West Conshohocken promises greater transparency on future agendas

There was recent informal presentation by a developer in West Conshohocken that involved a 25-story mixed use/apartment building along Front Street in Conshohocken. The purpose of these type of presentation to solicit feedback from the elected officials, staff, and the public. However, if you read the agenda before the meeting, you would have had no idea such a presentation would be made.

The agenda simply read, “Confirmed Appointment for 17-37 Front Street.” That is it.

We have attended public meetings across several townships and boroughs over the past decade and have never heard the “confirmed appointment” term before. After not being able to find much use of the term online by other municipalities, we asked two land use attorneys we know about it and one had never heard it used before and the other immediately suggested we look at Limerick. Indeed, that had been the only municipality where we could find the term in use on a regular basis (and in recent time). The connection between West Conshohocken and Limerick is that they utilize the same law firm.

MoreThanTheCurve.com asked the elected officials in West Conshohocken about the lack of any type of descriptive information included with the agenda item that would have allowed the public to understand that a presentation would take place and what it would entail. We received the following response from Borough Council President Stephen Blumenthal.

As I indicated at the January 9th meeting, Borough staff had a staff meeting with the applicant. At that staff meeting was myself, borough manager, solicitor, and borough engineer. As was also stated by our borough solicitor at that January 9th meeting, without formal plans being filed with the borough, we did not know what the applicant would ultimately decide to propose at the confirmed appointment on Jan 9th. Going forward, we will endeavor to be more descriptive of confirmed appointment topics on council agendas.

In Limerick, there is a form that has to be completed to schedule a confirmed appointment. The form includes a place to describe what the presentation will be about.

So look for more detail on future agendas.