News Briefs

All information obtained from the Suburban Realtors Alliance

General News

NAR comments on home price index
National Association of REALTORS President Chris Polychron submitted comments regarding changes to the national loan limit price index in response to a Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) request.  The national limit determines the individual loan limits available under the GSEs and FHA and VA loan programs.  Each year the FHFA adjusts the loan limits based on market changes. FHFA requested input on the methodology used to determine the appropriate national limit.  NAR recommends a multifaceted methodology that accurately reflects price growth in markets while also ensuring that accurate limits are maintained.  The 2016 limits are expected to be published in October. Read NAR’s Comment Letter.
Source: Realtor.org; 8/7/2015

Bucks County

Warrington holds hearings on new development
The western end of Warrington is the most wide open, rural area of the township. Warrington’s Comprehensive Plan describes most development in the area as single-family homes on large lots and protected farms assuring that agriculture will be part of the landscape in perpetuity. Now Metropolitian Development Group wants to build 90 single-family homes on lots of approximately one-quarter acre on the site of Geerlings’ Sunlit Farms nursery on Street Road. The community would be called Warrington Run. To do so, the developer is seeking changes to the Comprehensive Plan to remove the 40-plus acre Geerling tract from a Rural Holding Area and include it in a Staged Growth Area. The builder also is requesting to change the tract’s designation from RA to RA-2, which allows houses to be built on smaller lots.  The supervisors are holding hearings on the proposal, with the second night of testimony to take place at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 at Central Bucks High School South on Folly Road. The Legacy Oaks age-restricted community is adjacent to the Geerling property. The township sent letters to these and other nearby residents alerting them about the hearings.
Source: The Intelligencer; 8/5/2015

Bristol Borough Schools approve tax break
After having the finances of the potential developer of former Mill Run examined, the Bristol Borough School District voted to give the property a tax break. The decision will designate the vacant Wilson Avenue and Pond Street parcel as a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, or LERTA, property. The proposed developer, 1201 Wilson Acquisition, which was assigned its right to redevelop Mill Run by Dallas Properties LLC in recent months, now needs the same approval from the Bucks County Commissioners. The borough approved the proposal last month. If the county approves the proposal, the developer would need to apply for the LERTA designation and submit land development plans to the borough. Under the LERTA designation, commercial properties are taxed at 100 percent of their assessed value, prior to renovations, but free from paying taxes on all or part of the increased value of those renovations for up to 10 years. In addition to providing some tax relief to the developer, the phased-in tax arrangement would provide some tax revenue for the borough, the school district and Bucks County. Without the LERTA designation, Hollister has said, the project to turn the building into a multipurpose medical facility would be financially difficult.
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 8/7/2015

Waste Management Inc. fined $528K by state for odor at Bucks County landfills
The PA Department of Environmental Protection has fined Waste Management, Inc. $528,000 for odor and water treatment violations at its landfills in Falls and Tullytown, officials said.  The odor violation stems from the Tullytown Landfill that straddles the Tullytown-Falls border — and comes after the “frequent and recurring offsite odor nuisances experienced by Florence, New Jersey, residents,” DEP officials said. “We received and verified complaints regarding offsite odors from (the) Tullytown Landfill throughout a period from September 2014 through May 2015, despite efforts undertaken by the operator in an attempt to control and minimize their occurrence,” DEP Southeast Regional Director Cosmo Servidio said in the release. “The number and persistence of the offsite odors warranted a civil penalty.” WMI Company spokesman John Hambrose said that WMI is taking numerous steps to address the concerns raised by the DEP. Hambrose encouraged residents on both sides of the river to report concerns about landfill odors to the company. Pennsylvania residents can call 215-741-2925 and New Jersey residents can call 609-499-0500.
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 8/4/2015

Bridgeport to adopt 2012 International Property Maintenance Code
At the Bridgeport Borough council meeting scheduled for Tues., Aug. 18, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., Borough Council will consider an ordinance amending the Code of the Borough of Bridgeport, Chapter 405, Property Maintenance. The ordinance adopts the International Property Maintenance Code, 2012 Edition and replaces the International Property Maintenance Code, 2003 Edition. Among other things, it sets fees as specified in the most recent version of the borough’s fee schedule, sets penalties of $300 to $1000 dollars per day, establishes the allowable height of grass and weeds to be the height as specified in Chapter 168 of the borough code, and sets the timing during the year when screens and heat are required. Complete copies of the proposed ordinances are available for public inspection at Bridgeport Borough, 63 West Fourth St., Bridgeport, PA 19405.
Source: Times Herald; 7/27/2015

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