Jul 25, 2013

Clueless On Penn Street

The Allentown School Board took the first step tonight toward approving the KOZ for the Phoenix Mill apartments. They approved a deal sweetener, where the developer will pay 110% of the current tax during the KOZ period, in exchange for burdening the district with countless more children. The City of Allentown represented the interested party, stating with a straight face that the type of loft apartments planned will not attract families with children. One board member actually asked what the city is doing to provide affordable apartments in center city. Actually, there is a special low income rental district, it is from Front Street to 17th, between Walnut and Washington, plus large sections of the east and south sides. The proposal passed 6 to 2.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The funny part is that you were not even there at the meeting..... But you will not post that.

michael molovinsky said...

@11:39, i was at the entire meeting, and addressed the board at the meeting's end, which apparently you didn't stay for.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was Union to Washington?

Anonymous said...

Mike,

In the recent past the school board sat on its hands while residential growth grew in the city, as a result they needed to borrow a huge sum for new buildings and expansions to accommodate the influx of new students.
Is history about to repeat itself here? There are many new residential units being discussed and planned as part of the new developments downtown. When David Zimmerman asked the city representative for a number he dodged the question. What a surprise.
One more detail for your readers; the city representative thought so little of the ASD board that he tried to persuade them with the fact that city council OK'd this KOZ legislation.I looked him right in the eye and asked him "what don't they pass?".

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott@6:17, as i mentioned to the board, after the vote, the city presented much misinformation. the ill advised policy of signing up to speak before the meeting, prevented me from countering that misinformation before the board voted. the party requesting the KOZ doesn't even own the building, and apparently has an agreement of sale based on that approval. although no equity sake, the city planning department has been working full time for an out of town speculator.

Anonymous said...

isn't it illegal to disallow children in loft apartments? Of course there will be more children and a new school needed to welcome them.

Anonymous said...

From all the years of neglect and mismanagement of maitenance funds is that building sound enough to except federal housing dollars¿ I no with all the influx of hotdog venders and soda slingers for the new development!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"the city representative thought so little of the ASD board that he tried to persuade them with the fact that city council OK'd this KOZ legislation.I looked him right in the eye and asked him "what don't they pass?"."

While I try to avoid school board issues, i wish Icould have witnesses that little exchange.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie@5:36, unfortunately, there was no exchange, the city rep did not respond. worse, with one exception, his board peers were marching right along with the city. they didn't question the statement that over 128 apartments would attract virtually no school age children. furthermore, the city failed to mention that a former factory across the street was also converting to apartments, that that project had indicated to zoning that it was using the phoenix mill space for it's parking. i didn't intend on speaking, didn't sign the list, and wasn't allowed to counter comment. i did address the board at a courtesy session at the meeting's conclusion, but they had already voted. with the exception of armstrong and zimmerman, the board seems more interested in supporting city policy than protecting the school system. they perceive armstrong and zimmerman as teaparty members.

michael molovinsky said...

@5:32, i don't suspect that it will start out as section 8, but will be soon enough. i suspect from the big push by the administration, multiple grants will follow the KOZ application.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Talked to a zoning officer in a neighboring municipality. This person found the pairing of a residential project and KOZ extremely unusual.

Bernie,

The good people on the ASD board have barely begun to pay off the enormous debt from the last building expansion and are ready to repeat the error of sitting on their hands while the city runs residential project after residential project through planning and zoning. The definition of insanity comes to mind here.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

remember once the property is rezone from industrial/business to residential it is Katy bar the door time.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

Scott@10:49, i know of no other residential property in allentown that was ever given KOZ. I suppose pawlowski's plan is fill in the area between the two NIZ's, with KOZ's. meanwhile, allentown homeowner's must pay extra taxes to make up for this nonsense, while pawlowski has his eyes on bigger things (for him) in harrisburg

Anonymous said...

MM -

The tow homes at 8th and Walnut were KOZ's.

Mike

michael molovinsky said...

mike@7:32, you're correct, i forgot about that project. however, that was an attempt to bring upper middle class houses to center city, which failed. a large percent were purchased by investors as rentals, and the unsold remainder were auctioned off at 50-cents on the dollar. another portion of the project, facing S. 8th st., were never completed, with the foundations filled in. St. Paul's complained that the parking authority sold out the neighborhood parking for pawlowski's agenda. he planned on a similar treatment for 7th and linden, until he graduated to bigger projects with j.b. reilly.