Southeastern PA

Quakertown business owner inquires about triangle development petition

QUAKERTOWN, Pa. - A Quakertown business owner wants to know the status of a petition he and other borough business owners and residents submitted relating to the triangle property at Third and Broad streets.

Scott Soost, owner of Tana Kaya Boutique, 322 W. Broad St., pointedly asked borough council at Wednesday's meeting if it has taken action on the petition submitted during a meeting on April 21.

The petition requests action on certain items relating to the development of the property such as traffic and parking studies.

"For now, they [petitions] are received," council President L. James Roberts said. "The vote has been taken, that is a done deal."

Roberts said future action now rests with the Quakertown General Authority. At the April 21 meeting, borough council voted 6-0 to transfer the property to the authority to sell and develop.

"Your answer is nothing is going to happen with that petition," asked Soost, who opposes the development.

Roberts told Soost council's only responsibility is to review the petitions submitted. He said council is not obligated to take action on the submitted petitions.

Soost also said the borough has failed to integrate borough business owners in the development process.

"It's not been a collaboration process with the downtown merchants, which is a shame," he said. "You can't deny the process has not been collaborative."

Roberts said about half of the downtown merchants are in favor of the proposed development. He added the development remains in the beginning stages.

The $6 million, 30,000 square-foot, three-story building will include a pub and restaurant on the first floor, executive suites on the second floor and conventional office space on the third floor.

Business owners such as Soost have argued construction and the development will adversely affect their business.

Also during the meeting, council presented Ronald Heller with the 2014 William Peischel Excellence in Citizenship Award.

Heller was recognized for his countless volunteer pursuits including the borough Lions Club, founder of the little league and midget football programs, member of the borough Jaycees, borough council and planning commission member, Boy Scout troop committee member and assistant Scout master and active member in his church.

"I love volunteer work," Heller said. "I did it because I wanted to see Quakertown be a good place to raise a family."

Lisa Gaier was also formally sworn in to serve on council during the meeting. Gaier, an attorney, will fill former Councilman Edward Scholl's term until 2015.

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