Mark Halbersen, club president, said that previous owners of the club had installed speakers and that his board of directors continued using them when they took over the club. Last year, the township said the club could no longer use the speakers because they were in violation of the original charter, and the club stopped their use, he said.
Halbersen said the club would only use the proposed speakers during emergencies, club swim meets and championship tournaments. He said the club holds three or four meets per year.
Residents complained that the loudspeakers were not necessary, that they already could hear private conversations and radio stations from the club members at the pool. They suggested that lights or buzzers be used at the meets to signify that a race was about to start.
The board will make a decision on the request April 17.
In other business, the board heard a request to change the zoning of a historic home on Skippack Pike and decided in favor of a subdivision request for a single-story office building on Erbs Mill and Swede Roads.
Roach Brothers Realtors Inc. requested that zoning be changed from residential to commercial on a 2-acre site at 731 Skippack Pike and requested that once changed, the property could have one illuminated sign on the property front.
According to Marc Kaplin, attorney for the applicant, the home has been used for commercial ventures, and is next door to Blue Bell III, an office complex. He added that the interior has already been changed to suit a business and has been used as a business location for the past seven years.
According to Larry Flick, managing partner of Roach Brothers, the home on the tract was built around 1709 and is supposed to be the oldest home in the township. Flick said he wants to preserve the home and move the real estate office there.
In addition, the applicant wants to tear down some older sheds and refurbish the carriage house in the rear of the property for use as a title insurance and mortgage office.
Jeremy Starobin's home is on the other side of the property. He said that his home and his neighborhood, Symphony Lane, were in a residential area and that he was opposed to the zoning change. He said the change would lower his property value and create an eyesore with cars parked in the lot.
Flick said that about 32 company employees would be at the proposed location but that all would not be there at the same time. He estimated that six to eight employees would be in the carriage house at a given time and about 10 in the office/house because most employees would be out selling or listing homes.
The board announced that it would make a decision in the future.
The board approved the request by Lam & Buchsbaum Inc. to build an office building on a half-acre tract at Swede and Erbs Mill Roads.
The single-story building will be 3,200 square feet and has parking for 11 cars.