Monday, April 20, 2009

Phoenixville Library - current zoning law prohibits expansion plan

The following post was received on another thread in my blog, but I believe the information contained therein deserves a seperate thread.

Thank you, Anonymous 6:21 a.m., and a special thank you to Mr. Ellsworth Toohey for the research.


Anonymous said...

Plagiarized from Mr. Ellsworth Toohey's Blog:

Section 910.2. Zoning Hearing Board’s Functions; Variances.

(a) The board shall hear requests for variances where it is alleged that the provisions of the zoning ordinance inflict unnecessary hardship upon the applicant. The board may by rule prescribe the form of application and may require preliminary application to the zoning officer. The board may grant a variance, provided that all of the following findings are made where relevant in a given case:

(1) That there are unique physical circumstances or conditions, including irregularity, narrowness, or shallowness of lot size or shape, or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the particular property and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions and not the circumstances or conditions generally created by the provisions of the zoning ordinance in the neighborhood or district in which the property is located.

(2) That because of such physical circumstances or conditions, there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformity with the provisions of the zoning ordinance and that the authorization of a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property.

(3) That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the appellant.

(4) That the variance, if authorized, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property, nor be detrimental to the public welfare.

(5) That the variance, if authorized, will represent the minimum variance that will afford relief and will represent the least modification possible of the regulation in issue.

(b) In granting any variance, the board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of this act and the zoning ordinance.

April 20, 2009 6:21:00 AM EDT


Anonymous said...

If you didn't leave the council session early, you would have realized that Richard Kirkner pointed this out during the session. But if it helps to get Ellsworth voted in during his election bid, then go for it.

Anonymous said...

Karen, I appreciate your posting of the zoning ordinance. I was not able to attend the meeting, and read about it in the paper. The paper did not give even a fraction of what happened at the meeting including Richard Kirkner's part, just a lot of stuff about "lengths" and they even got that basic info wrong. Thanks.

Karen said...

The following was received from Ed Naratil in an earlier thread and is repeated here as another applicable zoning regulation.


The library will need a lot of variances to Borough Code. It is in a NCR-2 zone and some of the code applicable to it can be found on pages 27-405 and 27-406 of the Borough Code book codified in 2008.

Here is one paragraph. Check the parking requirements:

7. Library or Museum. A library or museum which is open to the public or is connected with a permitted educational use, and is not conducted as a private gainful business.

A. Area and Dimensional Standards.

(1) Minimum Lot Area: two acres.

(2) Minimum Lot Width: 100 feet.

(3) Minimum Front Yard: 30 feet.

(4) Minimum Side Yard: 15 feet; 30 feet for corner side yards.

(5) Minimum Rear Yard: 30 feet.

(6) Maximum Impervious Surface: 50%.

B. The buffer requirements of Part 30 of this Chapter shall be met.

C. Parking: one space per five seats or, where no seats are provided, one space per 250 square feet of total floor area. Parking areas shall be adequately screened when situated within 50 feet of land zoned for or in residential use.

Borough Codes and Ordinances can be viewd at:

Karen said...

My 11:00 p.m. departure from the meeting, Anonymous 5:21 p.m., was due to the limit of my endurance.

Is there a reason why you didn't post the information to the blog?

Do fill us in. What exactly is Mr. Ellsworth Toohey running for?

Karen said...

You are welcome, Anonymous 6:12 p.m.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:12 - You could have watched it on TV

I don't think I need to expand on ET and political involvement.

Anonymous said...

Those who are opposed to the library expansion claim it is for the good of community not just NIMBYism. Where is their outcry about this then -

It certainly affects the 'sanctity' of the neighborhood behind the hospital.

Hmmmm, I wonder the same vocal minority don't stand up for this..... Oh because the effects of this expansion don't/didn't affect their neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Now that the law has been quoted in this blog, where are all the proponents? Are we permitted to not obey laws because we don't like them. Do laws only apply to others and not them. The zoning law of this community does not permit this Library debacle. And the "greater good" argument doesn't fly either. The laws are written to protect minorities, if in fact they are a minority, from the whims of a powerful and influential bully. It's amazing to me how this Borough Council encourages this party to violate the very laws they are sworn to uphold. They should all be removed from office or resign for not knowing what their oath of office requires.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:33am: maybe YOU should run for council since you seem to know exactly what Pville needs. Oh, what's that you say? You don't want to step up to the plate and put your butt on the line? Yeah, I thought so. It's funny how people who are Monday Morning Quarterbacks are constantly criticizing those trying to make a difference, and yet they'll be the first to submit their opinions on how things "should be done". Either take part and step up to the plate, or step aside.

Karen said...

Anonymous 10:24 a.m., personally, I do hope the Anonymous 8:33 a.m. you are calling out responds to you.

In the interm I have a couple of remarks for you.

Inane commentary such as you posted adds nothing to the discussion. If YOU have a constructive opinion regarding the current zoning laws, I repeat LAWS by which we are ALL governed, by all means, please post them.

The issue addressed on this particular thread is regarding the FACT that the zoning laws do NOT allow for the current proposal to win approval.

Also a fact is that spot zoning is ILLEGAL.

Those two FACTS alone should cause the responsible parties to withdraw the current plan.

The public, and I'm sure other developers are closely watching the decisions regarding the library expansion plan.

Rather than displaying your apparent inability to deal with the reality of this situation, I sincerely hope you take the opportunity to learn how development applications are processed through local government and what laws are applicable in determining approval or denial.

Anonymous said...

Don't we have the ability to "ratify" the laws in order to make this expansion "legal". I believe that laws are made and laws can be changed. Instead of shooting the plan down because it is "illegal", why don't we change the law and keep the expansion moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry Karen, I didn't mean to ruffle feathers. Our town roost ruler has spoken.

Anonymous said...

Nice Karen, now you're referencing from other blogs. And not to mention, a blog who honored the death of a porn star and references "masterbation". Where are your standards?

Karen said...

"We" as in you and me, do not have the ability to ratify law. That action, as it applies to local law (as well as all governmental bodies), is soley in the hands of Phoenixville Borough Council.

By their actions, or the actions of previous Councils, ratification or approval of a new law occurs by vote during a Council meeting.

The zoning laws under which the current issue fall do not allow for the applicant to create a hardship and then ask for a variance to resolve it, i.e., the horrendous parking problems which will occur.

Creating a new "law" for the purpose of allowing the current plan to move forward is called spot zoning.

Spot zoning is illegal and the members of the quasi-judicial zoning board will not permit an illegal act to pass approval.

Karen said...

Please, Anonymous 12:41 p.m., just try to stay on topic and add to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

A Pennsylvania land use law would need to be changed in order for them to allow spot zoning. The local attempts at allowing it won't stand up in court. So what's next, lobbying in Harrisburg for a new law so the library can build in the street? I doubt it would fly.

Karen said...

For the record, I've referenced authors from other blogs, internet sites, and newspapers, Anonymous 12:46 p.m., and I judge no one for their material.

The zoning law posted was sent anonymously to me and it is relevant to the library expansion.

Since you are aware of other threads from the blog from which it came, I can only assume you read that particular blog, too.

Are you in a position to question anyone's "standards"?

Anonymous said...

To: April 25, 2009 10:24:00 AM EDT

You don't know me and because its important to me, as it seems to be to you as well, to remain anonymous, I have and continue to "step up to the plate". I suspect more than you can even imagine. And because I have stepped up, I know an inordinate amount about the laws, workings and processes of local government. This proposal violates local zoning ordinances and unless the Zoning Board has been bought and paid for, cannot be approved by them. Nor can an appeal of their likely decision, be overturned by Commonwealth Court. You can take that to the bank, sir.

Instead of attacking those who are obviously a lot smarter than you, try expending some of that negative/attack energy on finding viable Library alternatives that are legal. Or feel free to "step aside".

Anonymous said...

I am not sure how the library expansion would create a hardship (such as a parking problem) if that "hardship" is already there. I don't know having difficulty finding a parking spot is a hardship anyway. It isn't too hard to walk a block to get home (I have to do it myself sometimes and don't have the luxury of a library or any establishment like it near me). If it is a problem, you are always able to apply to have a handicap spot designated in front of your house.

Anonymous said...

WOW talk about your friendly neighbors. I sense a great deal of animosity amongst many of these bloggers. I don't think the people who are for or against this expansion idea like to see arguments on their behalf that become vicious attacks on people. If they do than I don't think Phoenixville is the right town for them or the posters who attack people. This is a neighborhood that I enjoy living in b/c when I walk down the street I see friendly faces who smile and say hello. Let's get more of these people and less of the ones who attack people b/c they have differing opinions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:24am - Oh yes, you are right. You are much smarter than me and I would never deny that. It's always good to know your own skill sets. I envy your intelligence as I'm sure many others do. One thing, since you're so intelligent, then maybe it would be more beneficial to "out" yourself and tell us exactly who you are. You see, I tend to believe you don't do as much as you say you contribute (if anything at all).

As far as my anonymity is concerned: it doesn't really matter because I am not as smart as you so my identity doesn't matter. I have nothing important to contribute except to question others agendas. I know what some peoples agenda's are, like Toohey who is pandering for votes in the near future. And if you are so involved, as you state you are, then you definitely have an agenda. So right there you implicated your statements as biased towards your own agenda, which would skew your opinion. It's always amazing to me how unintelligent, even intelligent people can be sometimes. You see, sometimes silence can be the best contribution one can make.

Karen said...

I might be able to help you understand, Anonymous 3:24 p.m., how an huge expansion of 22,000 square feet would create a hardship with parking.

In 1978 when we purchased our home, there really was no parking problem with regards to the library.

However, about 1989 or so it became increasingly evident that the patronage was also increasing. The parking spaces were dwindling.

Add another decade, and the frustration grew as less and less parking spaces were available to the residents.

I am not one to complain about a problem unless I have a solution in hand to present. Already exasperated years ago, I spoke several times with the library director and asked that the employees do their part to free up spaces by parking their cars on Main Street.

Worked a little bit, for a little while. I think some may have made an effort. And, I am aware that the library did post a sign at their checkout asking patrons to park on Main, also.

However, to this day, employees still park on Second Avenue taking residential parking spaces.

Please remember, by the library's own figures over 217,000 vists are made to the library annually. The numbers keep growing every year.

When they add more programs, etc., the number of visits increase, leaving the residents with little or no parking at all times of the day and into the evening when the library is open.

Put an expansion on to the existing library and what do you think will happen? Add more programs to the library schedule and what do you think will happen?

If you build it, they will come.

Imagine the small neighborhoods surrounding the library absorbing, in a couple of years, 400,000 visitors annually.

Imagine St. Ann's having a Church-related function, one or both the funeral homes holding services, it's rush hour, and people want to drop off or pick up books.

The entire area surrounding the library will be gridlocked.


I hope this helps create a picture for you, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

April 25, 2009 10:24:00 AM say....

"Oh, what's that you say? You don't want to step up to the plate and put your butt on the line? Yeah, I thought so."

Dude....those voices you hear answering in your head when you ask yourself a question are signs of a very serious mental health issue. Seek professional help immediately before you hurt yourself or someone else.

Karen said...

One can only hope that library board members, school board members, and council members are reading the exchanges on this blog.

Some of the emotions engendered by the library expansion issue are raw, and whether we want to acknowledge them or not they are real.

The sad part of this entire mess is that with the proper foresight and planning, the negative reactions may have been minimal, and the anger non-existant.

Once, again...library board, please withdraw the current proposal and start anew.

Anonymous said...

To: April 25, 2009 4:29:00 PM EDT....

"I have nothing important to contribute except to question others agendas.".......

and with your statement quoted above, I will end this exchange. I can have one of equal value with my sofa, if so inclined. Wow!

Anonymous said...

Again I ask, how would the expansion "CREATE" a "parking problem" if a "parking problem" already exists.

Karen said...

Anonymous 9:46 p.m., you reference "Section 910.2 #(3) That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the appellant."

Lawyers may have a field day with just this one segment of the zoning law.

I'm not a lawyer or a judge, but let's take a look at the current parking problems and verbiage used in the law.

At the date of this post, April 26, 2009, Second Avenue as well as Main Street residents share parking with 217,000 vistors per annum to the library as of the last tally provided by the library board. Date of report unknown to me.

Build a 22,000 square foot addition to the library with a coffee shop, a book shop, more books, an expanded children's library, more programs, day and evening, add extra amenities and no additional parking.

Brand spanking new, HUGE and pretty building.

Second Avenue is closed.

The street behind the building becomes a parking lot for the library.

Parking on the two hundred block of Second Avenue already at a premium, will have to supply residential spaces on the need for additional library parking.

Main Street will be completely parked up for several blocks, north and south.

Library patrons will park on Third, First, anywhere they can find a space.

The success of an expansion will create unnecessary hardship not only for those residents to the east of the library but also for all those residents in the adjacent neighborhoods.

To repeat, the guaranteed sucess of a larger library guarantees additional visitors which guarantees worse parking problems than that which exists on this date.

MY conclusion; the appellant creates an unnecessary hardship on ALL the neighborhoods surrounding the library.

The desperate after-thought suggestion of using the parking lot at Washington Avenue and Main Street may work for a few cars.

As the former Parking Authority Chairman I may still have the data from reports on the parking habits of human beings which have not changed over the years.

Human beings want to park as close as they can to the building they are visiting.

The above mentioned parking lot, one full block away, will not relieve the ever-worsening parking situation.

Now, since this is the second time you've posted this question, you apparently must have a or some point(s) you would like to make.

I would like to read them.

Or, am I, a very casual student of law, just helping frame in advance the argument for the library's appearance before the zoning hearing board?

Anonymous said...


Your blatant NIMBYism is getting worse! I literally almost spit water on my computer screen when reading about you begging for people to park on Main St. instead of your precious 2nd Ave. Why should people park on Main instead of 2nd? People live all along Main St. too. It is still 'residential'. This issue is really letting your true colors show through.

Solofloyd said...

So vacating 2nd Ave. isn't the biggest issue anymore? Now it is the parking? In other words, no expansion plan on the current site will satisfy those against the expansion? When the library ends up vacating the current historic building and a new generic looking building is built outside of the Borough we will all be sorry.

Karen said...

Anonymous 7:06 a.m., you really don't know this area of Phoenixville, do you?

Do you realize the east side of Main Street I referenced is bordered by Reeves Park and has no homes in it? At the time of my request very, very few library patrons parked along that section of Main.

The west side of Main Street is one home on the corner of Third, and they park mostly on Third Avenue and in their garage. Next to it is a grand home turned condos with a parking lot in the rear.

The Byrne Mansion is filled with offices and has a parking lot in the rear.

Ummm, yes, I suggested the library employees park on Main Street...sigh.

Karen said...

Solofloyd, I'm certain you know the current library proposal is fraught with many serious concerns.

First and foremost is the public safety issue.

On these blogs, the subject matter on the plan will cover all aspects of the plan, however, the safety of our children is the paramount issue.

The zoning laws will be the yardstick by which this plan is approved or denied.

The library board is responsible for researching the law and the concerns of the surrounding neighborhoods. If the plan is unsound, Solofloyd, they alone own the results.

They should withdraw the current plans and work with the community to draft a plan which meets the safety issues and the law.

Solofloyd said...

Yes, I understand that you and others have many different concerns about the expansion. I'm just making the statement that even if a new expansion plan is developed that alleviates some (or most) of those concerns there really isn't a solution to the parking issue. It is becoming a foregone conclusion that this expansion will never happen due to those concerns. I guess we will end up with a big, generic looking library outside of the Borough with a nice big parking lot (the more impervious surface the better!). So much for the days of walking to the library......and to think that was one of reasons I chose to move to Phoenixville.

Karen said...

"I'm just making the statement that even if a new expansion plan is developed that alleviates some (or most) of those concerns there really isn't a solution to the parking issue."

Correct, Solofloyd.

Which brings us full circle BACK to the problem which created this mess to begin with.

The library has outgrown the building.

The library board should welcome the input of the community in the conception and drafting of a new plan.

One completely vetted for obvious problems and concerns right from the beginning.

Imagine a new plan which has addressed every conceivable issue PRIOR to application and carries with it the approval of the entire community it is supposed to serve.

It would be a true "community building" project.

Anonymous said...

Of the community libraries in the Chester County Library System, how many others are supported from property taxes leveled by the local school board? What percentage of school taxes does a homeowner in Chester Springs pay for the Hankin Library? Someone in Devon to the Tredyfirrin library? The school taxes last year included a half million dollars to the library board. Isn't that about 6.66 percent of a homeowners taxes? Doesn't that mean a home assessed at 150,000 would be paying $100 a year for the library system. These numbers may be way off, but can someone do the math please and answer the question what other libraries in the Chester County library system have school taxes paying such a high percentage to local library systems from school taxes?

Anonymous said...

So, you folks are just figuring out that Karen is about Karen. How rude would it be if you were parking at the library and some resident told you to park on Main Street and not on "my street". It's always funny to me how people lay claims to their parking spaces in "public streets".

It will be a sad day when the library isn't permitted to expand and they move/build a satellite location somewhere else, and Phoenixville loses another precious gem in its possession. Didn't the town lose enough when these people were on council 20 years ago, and now they want to destroy the town more.

Anonymous said...

Karen has never been and never will be as you describe her Anonymous. I've known her for better than 30 years, and I copied her resume` from on this blog. I defy you to tell us who you are and post your resume` for all to see. You probably haven't done one bit of community work.

You don't have a hair on your a** to put your name out so all can see but you brazenly attack her good name anonymously. You are a coward and a liar.

When Karen was on council we had the best councilwoman ever and many of us wish she was still on council. All the stupid ideas over the last 8 or 9 years woud not have been approved and this library plan would have been out at the first meeting.

Stupid anonymous coward. Show some respect for what she gave up in time and energy and for what she did for this town!

Karen E. Johns' resume


Saint Ann Church - Women’s Guild Program Chairman
Bingo - Organizer, coordinator and volunteer
Cancer Society Phoenixville Chairman
Muscular Dystrophy Society Evansburg Chairman
Heart Fund Phoenixville Area Coordinator
Phoenixville Little League Chairman, Little League Field Lighting Fund
Team Mother
Chester County Office of Aging
Phoenixville Area Community Services
Coordinator - developed and implemented a volunteer program in conjunction with both offices to assist physically and/or mentally challenged senior citizens in Phoenixville with personal services
Phoenixville Historical Society Charter member - Membership Chairman


Phoenixville Parking Authority Secretary
Phoenixville Board of Housing Appeals
Phoenixville Democratic Committee Vice Chairman
Registration Chairman
Committee Chairman
Chester County Democratic Executive Committee
Phoenixville Borough Council Member
Assistant Secretary

Phoenixville Borough Council Committees - Finance - Member
Utilities - Chairman
Renaissance Committee - Member
Schuylkill Valley Health Promotion Council - Member
Pension Fund Committee - Member
Phoenixville Area Economic Development Corporation -
Member, Liaison
Phoenixville Area Business Association - Liaison
Regional Advisory Committee - Member
Streetscapes Committee - Member
Gay Street Bridge Reconstruction Committee - Member
Phoenixville Sesquicentennial Commission - Chairman
Phoenixville Annual 4th of July Concert and Fireworks - Producer
At the request of the Department of Defense, I was one of a 15 member national panelist review board of a DoD program to be instituted in the event of a chemical or biological attack on the United States.


Graduated PAHS - Business degree
Delaware Valley Community College - Speaking and writing courses
Life Office Management Association Institute - Insurance courses
The Saenger Organization - Licensing courses
Continuing education courses
Chester County Emergency Services - Course of instruction in weapons of mass destruction awareness


Licensed agent - Accident and Health
Life and Fixed Annuities


Alexander MacKenzie Award for highest production in the second largest field office for North American Life Assurance Company
Twice nominated and twice awarded Woman of the Year - The Phoenix newspaper
Citation and Merit Award - Chester County Board of Commissioners - 2000
Award of Merit - Phoenixville Area Chamber of Commerce - 2000
Resolution - Phoenixville Borough 1983, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006
Certificate of Appreciation - Greater Phoenixville Ambucs Organization
Certificate of Appreciation - Phoenixville Little League Organization
Grand Marshall - Phoenixville Jaycee Dogwood Parade
Golden Poet Award - World of Poetry
Service Award - Phoenixville Democratic Committee

Anonymous said...

Uh oh, the people are starting to voice their displeasure against these people who don't want the town to progress and move into the future. The anti-Phoenixville people (and that's what you are) should be ashamed of themselves. I agree that a lot of these same people were in control when the town went into the toilet, and now they can't stand the fact that the town is succeeding and getting things done where they could not. It's quite sad.

Anonymous said...

Parking will always be an issue in this town. With the current plan,the library will lose appoximately 13 spaces. Add 8 including 2 handicap out front. That is a total of 7 more lost spaces. My comment is when the library board and the architect say to council that five or six plans were discussed and looked at,why is this the only concept being crammed down everyones throat? How come no council member asked to see any of the other concepts? With the majority of council on board with the vacating of 2 nd Avenue something just smells fishy. After talking to some school board members ,they aren't even aware of the volatility of this issue by closing Second Ave. Thank God the solicitor had the forethought to change the motion in executive session.

Solofloyd said...

I commend Karen for posting the negative (and very personal) comments that people have written. She very easily could have deleted them. While I don't agree with her on this issue, I certainly don't think she deserves to be attacked over it.

Karen, you suggest that we need to work together as a community to come up with a plan that we all can embrace. I agree with that statement but the laundry list of reasons that you and others have come up with against the expansion precludes ANY expansion plan. Therefore, the only solution is a satellite or new location. That doesn't satisfy those of us who can't stomach losing the library in its current location. At this point that puts us at a roadblock. I just don't see how we can work towards a solution if the residents of 2nd Ave. aren't willing to accept any change.

In my opinion the expansion plan will be wonderful in the long run. It is a pretty drastic change and sometimes change is hard to accept in the short term. BUT this expansion can be done in a way that keeps children safe and causes minimal alteration to Reeves Park. The construction phase will be painful, especially for those that live nearby, but, after completion this will be a beautiful addition to the Borough. A year or two after that the new library will look like it has always been there. It will mesh beautifully with Reeves park, and everyone will wonder what the big stink was. Just my 2 cents.

Courtney said...

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge.

Anonymous, please know what you are talking about before you write it. When you attack someones credibility make sure they haven't spent the better part of there life trying to make this town a better place. There is only so much that I can take when I know how much time, patience, dedication my mother has devoted to this town. I HAD TO LIVE IT and still do. So please STOP. Stop attacking my mother's resume because I can guarantee you that yours can't compare.

Anonymous said...

I am still lost as to how the expansion will "CREATE" an unnecessary hardship because of parking. If parking is already a "problem" or "hardship", how can the expansion create a "parking hardship". If something already exists, it cannot then be created. It has already been created.

Anonymous said...

You need to be a little less thick than a brick.......this expansion plan will "create" a significantly bigger parking problem. The "hardship" part is the basis on which the Library would be granted a variance by the Zoning Hearing Board, if they were so inclined, because it would allegedly be a hardship for the Library to conform to the zoning requirements. Zoning variances can be granted due to the hardship the zoning requirements may create for the applicant (Library) but ONLY if the applicant for those variances did not create the hardship to themselves by the plan they propose. NOW do you get it? GEEZZZ!

Anonymous said...

Where is there not a parking problem in Phoenixville. If people weren't so lazy and could walk a block to get to their house, bar, restaurant, even the library, there wouldn't be a problem. Our society has gotten too lazy they want everything handed to them. So you can't park right in front of your house and have to walk 200 feet to get home. If you aren't crippled (in which case you'd have a designated handicap spot) get some exercise and park a little farther down the street. Suck it up. I live on a street with no businesses and sometimes have to walk a ways to get to my car. That's what happens when you live in a borough with public parking on street. If you don't like it you shouldn't live where you do. Find a house with off street parking and stop complaining. Some may say that when they bought their house there wasn't a problem. Well times change and I guess you should have looked a little farther into the future before deciding on buying the house you bought.

Anonymous said...

To: April 30, 2009 8:00:00 AM EDT...since you are so tolerant of parking problems, lets put the Library in your neighborhood or on your street and see how much you like it. Sounds like you are volunteering to me, and you can have it as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous April 30, 2009 8:52:00 AM EDT,

Some of us would welcome a library in our neighborhood. Unfortunately people like you want to make the library leave the Borough completely.

Anonymous said...

To: April 30, 2009 11:14:00 AM EDT

The fact is that you are the only one I've heard suggest that the Library move out of town. Nice to know that if you can't find real reasons for your agitation, you can always make something up. Nice try. Oh, and if you can't get a seat you like in the theatre you can always yell "fire" too I guess.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:52:
I would love to have the library right next door to me. To have the traffic cut down to only those who live on the street or who are visiting the library would be wonderful. I hate the through traffic that I have on my street, but realize that is what comes with living in a small town. If I weren't happy with it, I would have chosen to live in the country where there is no traffic. One of the reasons I chose to live in town is that I love being around other people and know that I have to sacrifice some things (like parking) in order to have others (like being close to everything).

Solofloyd said...

Anonymous April 30, 2009 5:15:00 PM,

I agree with what Anonymous April 30, 2009 11:14:00 AM said all though I think they needed to say a bit more to get their point across. I have already written this in a comment above and nobody who opposes the current expansion has addressed it.

The laundry list of reasons that you and others have come up with against the expansion precludes ANY expansion plan. Even if the plan is altered to not vacate 2nd Avenue the parking issue has no solution. I think we can all agree that some point the library will expand. So although no one has stated that they want the library to move, if the residents of Second Avenue won't let the expansion happen at the current site then the only solution for the library is to move to a new location.

If any of the opposers have a suggestion of how to solve this issue then I'd love to hear it. Karen suggested working together to come up with a solution but no reasonable ideas have been suggested.

Anonymous said...

It's called buying the surrounding properties at a mark up above fair market value so those current owners are given little choice but to cooperate. The hospital had to do it and in fact paid one home owner over twice the fair market value to clear the way. Everything we own is for sale at the right price. To think any adjoining owner would just cooperate because the short sighted Library Board wants them to is ridiculous.

Solofloyd said...

Anonyous May 1, 2009 11:38:00 AM,

That still does nothing to solve the parking issue.

Anonymous said...

How about bying more than one property?

Anonymous said...

The operations of the library foundation and the library deserve some scrutiny. A reason cited for the need to pass the "vacate the street" ordinance was for fund-raising. It looks like the library spends more on conducting fund-raising than the money it raises in fund-raising. The board and the library executive operation team need some serious attention. Fund-raising, strategic planning, community relations have been dismal failures over at least the last several years.

Anonymous said...

The hospital had the resources to buy property above fair market value because they are a for profit hospital. The library doesn't have that luxury seeing as they are a non-profit organization. Next solution please.

Anonymous said...

Why reinvent the wheel here? Was any research done as to how other towns have dealt with this issue? I know that there is a Carnegie Library in Easton, whose patron base size is similar to Phoenixville's. They added a satellite in another part of town years ago. I am not saying this is the solution for the Phoenixville Library, there may be a better one.
But this is not a new problem, exclusive to Phoenixville. Why not see how others have solved it? It will need to be done eventually, because I cannot see how this expansion into the street with no added parking and increased patronage can possibly get through the zoning process.

Anonymous said...

To: May 1, 2009 5:22:00 PM any non profit that doesn't have money and does have a worthy cause should be given borough streets? Give me a break. Maybe all you supporters should get out your check books so the Library can buy the property they need. I don't like being forced to contribute indirectly by having the Borough give away its streets for a dollar, streets we all own.
And, who doesn't yet get that this Library plan violates zoning law? Any body? Do all of you ignore the laws you don't like?

Anonymous said...

This "preserve the Carnegie Library as a library" is awfully old. There are literally hundreds of these small reading-room boxes. Click here and take a look. The library was built before the automobile age. Henry Ford's model T wouldn't be mass-produced until a half-dozen years after the library's Coffin plot was secured. The service population of the library is close to 40,000. Most of the library patrons do not walk and they park their horseless carriages in the residential historic preservation district. It is time for a thorough rethinking of the concept of how a public library is to serve the public.

DatesAndMeetings said...

To discuss how half a million of your money is spent toward library board concept


The next Buildings & Grounds meeting will be held on May 7, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School library.

Anonymous said...

You know Bill, you seem to possess a bunch of knowledge about the "boxes of libraries in Pa" and yet you haven't once presented any ideas to anyone at any meetings presented by the library board. It's medication time Bill, your paranoia is apparent. No one is as smart as you Bill, so why don't show some backbone and run for council and help us understand what we should be doing?

Karen said...

Anonymous 11:13 a.m., I am not going to let your remarks be posted without using you as an example of the worst type of anonymous poster on blogs.

Your comments, hiding behind anonymity, presume to identify another poster when in actuality you have no method or idea who posts on this blog unless they state their name.

While I will tolerate heated discussion on any topic, what I will not tolerate is the demeaning of another poster because of their viewpoint.

Using your thought processing I could potentially identify you as any of a number of library patrons, supporters, staff, or library board members. Surely, you would not want me to speculate on who YOU are publically.

Particularly disturbing is your reference to the poster needing "medication". Do you realize defamation of character and slander is cause for a lawsuit?

I am going to leave your post on my blog as an example of the lowest form of anonymous cowardice imaginable, and if you EVER try to post a similiar despicable piece it will not be published.

You, sir, madam, should consider yourself on notice.

This also should be considered as fair warning to anyone else considering such a post.

Think before you write.

Bill said...

I am assuming the author of the comments at May 2, 2009 11:13:00 AM EDT is addressing me. First, I attended one public meeting of the library board and was the only person present who was not a member of the board, a liason, or an agent. So I also assume that the person who made that worthwhile comment was likely a member of the library board, a liason, or an agent. Had there been a series of widely advertised public brain-storming sessions about the direction of the Phoenixville area library, I would likely have attended them. I know of no one in the public who participated in a process of proposing and then refining ideas from the many people who live in the School District.
The only Pennsylvania Carnegie libraries I am familiar with is a larger one in the town in which I grew up and the small one in the town in which I now reside.
I don't know which library board member, or liason or agent wrote such an open, thoughtful, considerate, constructive comment. It does make me a little paranoid to think that people like this are running the library and plotting its future. Public forums like blogs and newspapers, coffeeshops, supermarkets, parks, backyard fences and libraries are where we should help each other try to understand what is best for the community.
Mr/s May 2, 2009 11:13:00 AM, Agent/Liason/Library Board Member, I think library services are important, as are parks, history, architecture, people and traffic flow. Can you straighten up, show some backbone, identify yourself and contribute how you have come to the understanding that the proposed library expansion plan is the best way to provide library services and explain the urgency to its implementation and justify all its effects. I will see you at future library board meetings, I suppose. I look forward to an intelligent and civil conversation.
And by the way, I never wrote anything about "boxes of libraries in Pa". There is an interesting expansion project in the East San Jose Carnegie library which is nearing completion that may be worth a look. I do agree and stated in Council that the concept of a Carnegie library, a concept rejected by many towns as a bald faced attempt by an egomaniac to tax people so that his name is memorialized - is not such a grand thing despite all the chanting and repetition.
Now, can we get back to the issues, please?