Thursday, February 11, 2016

201 Sabine Ave

Can we view the signed, executed leases for tenants at 201 Sabine Ave?

Yes, they are posted as links on the right of the page.

Is rent being paid for these leases which are back dated?

Yes however due to our transition of property managers it is difficult to locate and post this information to this blog at this time. If you would prefer not to wait, please file a right to know request with the Borough office.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Building and Zoning Committee

The Committee met last night and discussed regulating short term rentals, reviewed the Narberth Planning Commissions recommended changes to the nonconforming use zoning text amendment before adjourning at or about 5:30 pm. Since the meeting was well-attended and there was a lot of public comment, the Committee postponed discussion of noise ordinance regulations, and a job description of a zoning enforcement official to its next meeting.

We've posted a link to the information packet distributed at the meeting in the list to the right. The Committee recommended that the Narberth Planning Commission research regulatory language for short term rentals in the Borough. Ideas of limiting occupancy, frequency of rental, percentage of the building able to be rented, requiring owner occupancy on the lot- were all mentioned. We'll continue to post comments and documents here as the issue of short term rentals evolves.

The Committee also commented on the noise ordinance standards presented by our solicitor (in the meeting materials) as being concise and ready to move forward although they ran out of time yesterday to consider them at the meeting.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Questions about Two-hour Parking Zones and Meters

1. Is it correct that residents whose residences front a two-hour zone zone are eligible for $1 parking stickers for each of their vehicles? Is there any limit on the number of stickers they can apply for?

2. How many stickers were issued in 2014?

3. Of those, how many residences registered one vehicle? How many registered 2 at any one time? How many registered 3 at one time? Did any one register more than 3 at one time?

4. Do you have information answering questions 1-3 for past years (say 2010 onward?) and if so, could you send me that too?

5. Also how many meter spaces are in the Borough?

2-hour parking zones are in effect in many residential neighborhoods in the Borough. Residents can petition Borough Council to create new zones on their block. There is currently an ordinance that has been introduced to create a new two-hour zone on the west side of the 200 block of Dudley Avenue for instance.

The rules for two-hour parking can be found in Chapter 118 Article 3 of the Narberth Borough Code available here. Any resident of any dwelling on any lot that fronts along a two-hour zone may apply for $1 annual parking parking stickers for any cars registered to that address. We request proof of address and registration prior to issuing a sticker. There is no limit to the amount of stickers any one person, dwelling, or lot can obtain for residential properties.

Commercial properties may also apply for parking stickers when they front on a two-hour zone, but there are limits for them. The amount of footage of a lot that fronts on a two-hour zone is divided by 22 and the whole number (no remainder) left is multiplied by 2 to determine the limit. For instance if a commercial property has 74 feet of frontage on a two-hour zone they would be entitled to (74/22 = 3.36  3x2 = 6 spaces)

Your remaining questions can't be answered quickly because we currently track permit issuance with a paper-based system. We know that some properties register 3 or more vehicles, and that the total number is something north of 300. We will work towards digitizing this valuable data and use a GIS to better understand the geography of parking supply and demand. Parcel-based analysis would give us a good idea exactly how many cars per household we're dealing with and lead to better understanding. We would also like to survey actual parking usage to know the availability of parking in the Borough. It will take several months to complete these tasks because demand and supply fluctuate with seasonal behavior. We think in the long-run the data will help us tailor the privileged parking system.

There are 174 metered parking spaces in downtown Narberth. This number includes the eight spaces on the east side of North Narberth Avenue approaching the Narberth Avenue Bridge that are technically in Lower Merion Township. We don't have a one-size-fits all policy with regard to parking prices. Spaces a little further from downtown are less expensive on an hourly basis than ones for example in Station Circle. FYI, nearly a third of all available public parking downtown is located behind the businesses on Haverford Avenue.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Questions about Borough-owned Property...

The Borough owns the land and buildings located on Narberth Playground, including the library and its east and west wings, the administrative buildings, fire house, and small concession building. (link) The Borough also owns the site of the former Narberth elementary school and Sabine Park. The Borough rents the former to a mixture of office and institutional tenants through a professional real estate management company. We've heard a few of your questions by email and at the May 26th Property Committee Meeting.

Are Borough-owned properties owned outright, without debt of any kind?

The Borough owns its properties and is also in debt. Being a public entity, the Borough does not use the buildings as collateral for its loans. Instead, general obligation notes are issued against the Borough's ability to collect taxes and manage its financial resources. As of the beginning of 2015 the Borough has an annual debt service of $498,722 from five active general obligation notes with different dates of maturity ranging from the end of 2015 to 2022. Money is borrowed for a range of items such as capital improvements. The Borough estimates its total 2015 expenditures at $4,503,127. This information is published in our annual budget adopted by Council prior to the start of the new year.

What are each property’s public use policies?

The Property Committee is working with the Borough Solicitor to recommend to Council a policy concerning who can use Borough owned property and what the expectations for the usage will be. That information will be published on the Borough website when complete. The next meeting of the Committee will take place Thursday June 25th at 8pm.

How does the public access the calendar of reservations for property use?

The calendars for all spaces at Borough Hall and the library are being migrated to our new shared system. A read-only feed of the calendars will be published and anyone can use the data. will have a read-only version of the calendar and policy and procedure for using the spaces on a new page.

What is the current income (if any) from each property?

The vast majority of income from Borough-owned property is generated by 201 Sabine Avenue. Our 2015 budget estimates that amount at $200,000. Space in Borough Hall is also occasionally rented and the revenue is expected to be $3,000 from those spaces.

What planning has been done to maintain and improve these properties?

The Property Committee is considering to recommend the Borough develop a plan for all Borough-owned buildings and land that would cover maintenance, present and future uses, energy efficiency, and sustainability.

What is the process for choosing property managers, and how are they compensated?

The Borough strives to make prudent decisions when choosing consultants. We typically solicit at least three service proposals and vet any firm that proposes to work with the Borough. The property manager at 201 Sabine is compensated at a percentage of total rent in accordance with prevailing market rates for these services.

What is the process by which rental rates and utilization requirements are determined for particular properties?

The current property manager at 201 Sabine is Mr. Lee Preble with Main Line Executive Management LLC- Ardmore PA. We rely on his expertise to gauge the rental market and the advantages and challenges of the spaces the Borough offers. The Borough has charged Lee with the goal of negotiating the best possible value for each space as it becomes available. Each lease is discussed on a case-by-case basis and, for the sake of protecting the Borough's negotiating interest, the details of the arrangements are not made pubic until both parties agree. Any rental agreement is public information once presented and voted on by Council.