Planning Division

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The Township's Building & Planning Department provides a high level of service and maintains absolute integrity and honesty assuring customers of the Department's commitment to safety, sound planning, promotion of economic development opportunities and the quality of life issues. To promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare throughout the coordinated and practical development of the Township as outlined in the Zoning Code. To partner with Township residents and the development and commercial business community to encourage development that protects and enhances the aesthetic character of the community. To balance the evolving needs of the community in a comprehensive manner which culminates in the safe and timely completion of construction and development projects.


(include but are not limited to)

  • Implementing comprehensive building & planning goals and land use policies by preparing recommendations for amendments to Township Codes.
  • Developing and overseeing long range comprensive planning efforts. Evaluating and developing Township land use policies for recommendation to the Board of Commissioners.
  • Reviewing subdivision, land development and Conditional Use applications according to Township Codes within legal time limits. Facilitating coordination with Commissioners, Township Engineer, staff applicants and their representatives, and neighborhood groups. Negotiating  solutions to development issues and providing recommendations to the various advisory boards and the Board of Commissioners.
  • Ensuring that Conditions of Approval imposed on zoning, subdivision, land development and Conditional Use applications are met.
  • Coordinating with the Township Engineer's office to review traffic and transportation proposals for subdivisions and land development proposals.
  • Maintaining and analyzing demographic, census, and land use statistics.
  • Preserving community character through open space, streetscape and historic preservation efforts.
  • Implementing and managing Township approved redevelopment plans including the Ardmore Transit Center Plan, the Bryn Mawr Master Plan, Bala avenue and City Avenue Streetscape Plans, Rock Hill Road/Belmont Avenue Transportation Service Area (TSA) and City Avenue TSA.


Building & Planning Committee (Special)

Co-Chairs: Commissioners Elizabeth S. Rogan & Philip S. Rosenzweig 
Vice-Chairs: Commissioners George T. Manos & Daniel S. Bernheim 



    907, 921 & 931 W Lancaster Avenue and
    24 N Merion Avenue
    , Bryn Mawr, LD# 3721, Ward 10.

  2. Applicant – Paul Aschkenasy
    Property Owner – BAP Bryn Mawr Development, LP.
    Applicant’s Representative – Fred Fromhold, Esquire, Fromhold Jaffe and Adams

    Expiration Date – 7/6/2014 ............................................... Zoning – BMV-3/BMV-4

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a Tentative Sketch Plan prepared by Bohler Engineering dated March 13, 2014, last revised May 8, 2014, showing the demolition of three commercial buildings and two garages and construction of a two-story mixed use building with a 17,123 square foot footprint at 921 W. Lancaster Avenue to contain a mix of retail and office uses. The plan also shows the construction of a 4,637 square foot one-story addition at 907 W. Lancaster Avenue to connect to the existing commercial building at 921 W. Lancaster Avenue. The plan also proposes the relocation of the existing access driveway located at 921 W. Lancaster Avenue and construction of 176 on-site parking spaces to accommodate the proposed retail and office uses. All conditions shall be complied with on the Preliminary Plan unless specifically exempted. On Monday, June 2, 2014 the Planning Commission recommended approval subject to the following conditions:


    1. All lots shall be consolidated as described in note 3 on the Plan.
    2. Required parking spaces shall be provided for the existing car wash to remain. Detailed parking calculations shall be submitted to and shall be subject to the approval of the Zoning Officer. The approved parking calculations shall be included on the Preliminary Plan.
    3. The proposed trash receptacle that is adjacent to the 20 foot wide buffer in the vicinity of Sargent Avenue shall be relocated away from the residential homes. 
    4. The plan shall be revised to include the required buffer and the building area shall be reduced accordingly if the Board of Commissioners does not amend the Zoning Code as requested by the applicant prior to approval of a Final Plan for the project.

    Architectural Elevations:

    1. The applicant shall submit architectural elevations of all sides of the proposed buildings, including a list of materials, with the Preliminary Plan submission. 
    2. The mean grade of the structures shall be calculated and shown on the plan. The architectural plans shall be coordinated with and shall comply with the grading proposed with this application. This shall be fully evaluated with the Preliminary Plan.

    Landscape Plan:

    1. The applicant shall work with staff to consider improvements to the landscaped planted areas in the parking lot and the design of the parking lot closest to N. Merion Avenue. 
    2. The landscape plan shall comply with the Greening Standards in Subdivision Code Section 135-41.4 unless any partial waiver therefrom is obtained. 
    3. The applicant shall consider including either an urban garden, public art, or a plaza, square or courtyard amenity along Lancaster Avenue consistent with the Greening Standards. 
    4. Pedestrian access to and through the surface parking lots shall require safety provisions giving warning of the pedestrian walkway.
    5. Surface parking areas and pedestrian walkways connecting to them shall be well lit.
    6. Surface parking that is visible from the street shall be screened by a fence or wall and plantings. These plantings or shrubs shall be maintained at a height of two to three feet.
    7. Parking and exterior loading areas shall be buffered from any adjacent pedestrian way by planting street trees and providing a six foot wide landscaped area with a continuous row of two foot high shrubs or a fence or seating wall not less than two feet and no more than three feet high. Shrubs shall be maintained at a height of two to three feet. 
    8. Impacts to or removal of Township shade trees shall be subject to the approval of the Shade Tree Commission. This shall be fully evaluated with the Preliminary Plan submission. 
    9. All woody vegetation to be retained within twenty-five (25’) feet of a building site or disturbed area shall be protected from equipment damage by fencing placed at the driplines. The location of the fence shall be provided. A detail shall be included on the plan that complies with Township standards. The Township Arborist shall approve the location of the tree protection fence if it is not indicated at the driplines. This shall be fully evaluated with the Preliminary Plan Submission.
    10. Grade changes around the driplines of trees to be retained shall be minimized. Treatment of any impacted trees prior to construction to protect the root system shall be performed. The Township Arborist shall approve the procedure. This shall be evaluated with the Preliminary Plan.

    Traffic, Circulation & Emergency Access:

    1. The parking space closest to Lancaster Avenue shall be eliminated and this area shall be converted to either a courtyard or planted area. 
    2. The applicant shall work with staff to evaluate if and where crosswalks and sidewalks may be added to the internal parking areas to help guide pedestrians safely through the site.
    3. Documentation of the use of public parking spaces shall be provided with the Preliminary Plan. 
    4. The proposed driveways shall be constructed across the sidewalk at the grade of the sidewalks (i.e. no ADA ramps). 
    5. Concrete aprons shall be shown at the proposed driveway locations.
    6. Existing curb/driveway locations shall be more clearly provided on each side of the cartway within two hundred (200’) feet of the development. The limits of the drives shall be indicated to the right-of-way line. 
    7. Stop bars and centerline pavement markings shall be provided as required in order to provide safe and efficient movement of traffic. This shall be fully evaluated with the Preliminary Plan. 
    8. Adequate turning radii for the carwash drive through shall be documented. The two (2) parking spaces adjacent to the carwash queue shall be removed or relocated. 
    9. A traffic impact study shall be submitted with the Preliminary Plan that fully evaluates the proposed driveways and the following:
      • The levels of service.
      • The effect of this development on adjacent existing driveways and nearby intersections.
      • The applicant shall contact the Township Engineer’s office to discuss and develop the scope of the proposed study and the assumptions to be used in the analysis.
    10. The applicant shall revise the plans to expand the surveyed areas to include N. Warner and Sargent Avenue so that off-site maneuverability for emergency vehicles can be evaluated.
    11. The applicant shall meet with the Fire Department to determine if the current access to Sargent Avenue can be maintained. 
    12. The applicant shall explore consolidation of the parking/access for the proposed development with the existing parking areas at 14 and 18 North Merion Avenue. 
    13. The actual sight distance triangles shall be shown for each driveway. For new driveway locations, the sight distance shall meet the desirable sight distance as specified by Penn DOT Publication Title 67, Chapter 441. For existing driveways, the sight distance shall meet the minimum safe stopping distance required by Penn DOT Publication Title 67, Chapter 441. Calculations shall be provided as necessary. It shall be noted what improvements are necessary to be performed to achieve the required sight distance. The Traffic Safety Unit of the Lower Merion Police Department shall approve the final drive configuration. This shall be fully evaluated with the Preliminary Plan.

    Stormwater Management:

    1. In order to improve water quality and reduce runoff within the sub-drainage basin area, the applicant shall provide a recharge basin for the volume of runoff generated by the roof area for the two (2) year storm for all roof areas in the development, unless a waiver thereof is obtained.
    2. At a minimum, if determined to be feasible by the Township Engineer, the increased volume of stormwater generated by the proposed development for the twenty-five (25) year storm shall be recharged unless a waiver thereof is obtained. For parcels where the principal building is being demolished, meadow cover condition shall be used as the base line for determining the volume. Calculations documenting this shall be submitted with the Preliminary Plan.
    3. Seepage beds installed for rate control shall be designed to empty the total design storm volume in twenty-four (24) hours or less unless a waiver thereof is obtained. Calculations verifying this shall be submitted with the Preliminary Plan. 
    4. All seepage beds shall contain a sediment trap accessible for maintenance. Details shall be submitted with the Preliminary Plan. 
    5. For rate control seepage beds, soil permeability tests shall be performed to a depth adequate to demonstrate the functioning of the system. The location of the percolation tests shall be indicated on the plan the complete test report shall be submitted for review. This shall be fully evaluated with the Preliminary Plan.
    6. For parcels where the principal building is proposed to be demolished, the Cn number for the pre-development conditions on that parcel shall be considered as meadow for all stormwater rate control and runoff volume analysis. 
    7. The limits of disturbance and the amount of square feet of earth disturbance shall be listed on the plan. This shall be fully evaluated with the Preliminary Plan. 
    8. The species as well as the size of trees on the property within twenty-five (25’) feet of disturbance shall be included on the plan. 
    9. A sequence of construction activities shall be submitted. Installation of tree protection fence, erosion control, any required temporary basin, seepage beds, roof collection systems, and connection to an existing closed storm sewer system shall be listed. Notification of the Township Engineer shall be listed in the sequence following installation of protective barriers and prior to earth disturbance. The demolition of existing structures and paving shall be listed. Notification of the Township Engineer for inspection shall be listed prior to installation of the seepage bed and piping. This shall be fully evaluated with the Preliminary Plan. 
    10. No grading changes shall be shown within three (3’) feet of the property line in order to ensure transition to the grading on the adjoining property, unless a waiver or approval from the adjoining property owner is obtained. 
    11. For disturbance of over one acre, an NPDES Permit shall be obtained from the Montgomery County Soil Conservation District prior to issuance of any permits. 
    12. The runoff crossing to the adjacent properties during the construction phase of the project shall be managed so that the water quality/quantity does not adversely impact the adjacent properties. Diversion berms, stoned construction staging areas, and inlets/piping shall be noted to be provided as required and/or as directed by the Township so as to ensure acceptable conditions during the construction phase. This shall be fully evaluated during the Preliminary Plan. 
    13. The applicant shall investigate ways to incorporate stormwater best management practices into the proposed parking area, including but not limited to curb cuts within the required parking islands and swales along the required buffer area. 
    14. The soil hydrologic classification shall be provided. Type B soil shall be listed in the analysis.
    15. Existing drainage patterns/directions shall be shown. The outflow termination locations of existing storm sewers/inlets/drains shall be clearly indicated. 
    16. Proposed drainage patterns and overflow locations from recharge areas shall be shown. Areas to be controlled and those to be uncontrolled shall be clearly indicated. 
    17. Discharge from any stormwater basin shall be converted from a concentrated flow to a sheet flow. The overflow shall be piped to a level spreader, bubble-up spreader or if determined to be feasible, conveyed to the existing storm sewer systems. Details shall be fully evaluated with the Preliminary Plan. 
    18. Areas for stormwater management, including areas for post-development rate control and/or water quality, shall be shown. The location of any required “during construction” temporary facility shall be indicated.
    19. Roof drains shall be directly connected to a stormwater facility. The location of the proposed collection system shall be shown. Details regarding the size, slope, and material shall be evaluated with the Preliminary Plan.
    20. Erosion control measures shall be provided on the plan with details that conform to Township standards. This shall be evaluated during the Preliminary Plan stage. 
    21. A soil stockpile location shall be provided on the Preliminary Plan. 
    22. A note shall be added to the plan indicating that the Township Engineer shall be notified 48 hours prior to the installation of any seepage bed and prior to the start of earthmoving activities.

    Construction Details:

    1. Full reveal and depressed concrete and granite curb details shall be provided on the Preliminary Plan. 
    2. Depressed curb and concrete apron shall be indicated at the driveway access locations. This shall be provided on the Preliminary Plan. 
    3. Sidewalk and curb shall be noted on the plan to be repaired/replaced at the direction of the Township. 
    4. Details of the concrete apron and sidewalk shall be provided. Details shall conform to Township standards.


    1. A Planning Module or Exemption shall be subject to the approval of the City of Philadelphia and the DEP prior to recording the Final Plan. 
    2. Adequate water supply shall be documented for the development. A letter from Aqua Pennsylvania shall be submitted certifying adequate supply for the additional demand. This shall be submitted with the Preliminary Plan.
    3. The location of the existing sanitary laterals shall be shown.
    4. The location, size, material, and slope of the proposed sanitary lateral shall be shown. 
    5. The location of the proposed utility services shall be provided. This shall be indicated on the Preliminary Plan. 
    6. The existing sanitary sewers shall be shown to within 200’ of the development. 
    7. Existing utility service locations shall be shown. 
    8. The location of existing storm sewers shall be provided. The size, slope, and material of all storm sewers within two hundred (200’) feet shall be indicated. This shall be fully provided with the Preliminary Plan.

    Standard Plan Requirements:

    1. The error of closure shall be provided and shall not be greater than 1:5,000. 
    2. The existing lot lines to be removed/revised shall be shown as dotted. The new property lines shall be shown as conventional boundary lines. 
    3. Concrete road control monuments shall be installed at the right-of-way at the intersection of each property line and at all changes in direction where feasible as determined by the Township Engineer.

    Standard Conditions of Approval:

    1. An outdoor lighting plan shall be submitted with the Preliminary Plan showing all existing and proposed lighting on the property. The location, fixture type, wattage, means of control and pole height shall be indicated. 
    2. A copy of the revised plan shall be submitted with any changes highlighted. A letter shall also be provided with the revised plan indicating how each requested revision has been addressed in the re-submission. 
    3. Revisions to the plan shall address the Township Engineer’s May 23, 2014 review letter. 
    4. The Preliminary Plan, complying with all conditions of approval, shall be filed with the Department of Building and Planning within twelve (12) months from the date of the Tentative Sketch Plan approval. 
    5. Approval of this Tentative Sketch Plan does not ensure that the applicant can ultimately develop the property as shown in the plan. The proposed development’s compliance with various Township ordinances, including but not limited to the applicable provisions of the Natural Features Conservation Code, shall not be determined until the applicant submits a Preliminary Plan for Township approval.
    6. The owner will make payment of fees and expenses of the Township’s professional consultants who perform services on behalf of the Township with respect to these plans and the work contemplated thereunder and will establish and maintain with the Township those escrows for the payment of such fees required by Township Code. Owner agrees that any statement from the Township for such fees which remain unpaid for a period of 30 days may be recorded against the property as a municipal lien.
    7. The owner shall make payment of the Township Engineer’s and/or Clerk of the Works’ inspection fees within 30 days of presentation. A penalty of 1.5% per month will be due for late payments from the date of presentation. If any shares are not paid within 60 days of presentation, the Township may elect to suspend any outstanding permits until all pending charges are settled. 
    8. The property owner(s) shall comply with all federal, state, county and applicable Lower Merion Township ordinances and laws regardless of specific mention herein.

    The Planning Commission also recommended approval of the following waiver:

    • A waiver of Subdivision Code Section 135-35, Lots, to create an irregular lease line.



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