Why Councilor Rhoads Voted To Remove HARB’s Jurisdiction From Pottstown’s Central Business District

Sixth Ward Councilor and “man of the people”, Jody Rhoads shared his thoughts with me about the recent action taken by Pottstown Borough Council to remove the Historic Architectural Review Board’s (HARB) jurisdiction over the Downtown Commercial District.  The motion as stated on the Council Agenda was:

13. Motion to adopt an Ordinance amending the boundaries of Certified Local Historic Districts to eliminate a portion of the Downtown Commercial District from the Old Pottstown Historic District

The motion passed by a 4-3 vote at Pottstown Borough Council’s November 14th meeting.  Councilors voting in favor of the amendment were Toroney, Allen, Chomnuck and Rhoads.  Councilors voting against the amendment were Gibson, Kirkland and Weand.

Councilor Rhoads’ reasons for voting in favor are:

  • I believe anyone who wants to open a business or buy a property in town will do so and keep the architecture we have.
  • There is nothing holding anyone back from consulting any HARB member for opinions if they are interested in a downtown property.  HARB members who are so interested can keep tabs on issues coming through Borough Hall.
  • I believe there is now such a significant awareness of the concerns that we will not lose the architecture we have.
  • Pottstown is stuck in a rut and no one wants to make changes.  For the good of the community, we need to move forward.
  • And most significantly; this decision can be reversed if needed.

Despite a difference of opinion by three councilors and the HARB Board, the majority of Council has spoken.  As Councilor Rhoads pointed out, if down the road this decision proves to be flawed, it can be changed by a vote of Council.

Members of the Historic Architectural Review Board are:

Joseph Fay, Chairman
Levi S.Wolf
Stephanie Stranick
Jeffrey Leflar
P. Richard Frantz
Andrew Monastra

Pottstown Sheds Regulations To Be More Business Friendly

The Fishwrap is reporting that an effort is finally being made to become more business friendly and welcoming to investors in our central business district.  I say, “Here, here!”  It’s about time. 

Driving down High Street should be an exciting experience, however, it is the opposite as of late.  Removing rules and procedures, that needlessly delay construction, is a good thing.  If we would work really hard at filling up all those empty retail spaces downtown, it would go a LONG WAY toward helping the tax base, drawing people downtown to spend money on goods and services and creating employment!  In the past we have worried about looks (and trees), at any cost, and you see the result.  Crickets!

Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Jason Bobst and Councilor Chomnuk for cutting through the Hyltonesque gobbledygook and trying to foster a climate that says “Pottstown is open for business”.