Planning Division

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Mission

The Township's 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. Promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare throughout the coordinated and practical development of the Township as outlined in the Zoning Code. partner with Township residents and the development and commercial business community to encourage development that protects the aestetic character of the community and balances the changing needs in a comprehensive manner that culminates in the safe and timely completion of construction and development projects.

Responsibilities:

(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.

Categories

Building & Planning Committee (Special)

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

SPECIAL AGENDA

  1. LIQUOR LICENSE PUBLIC HEARING

  2. Consider for recommendation to the Board the transfer of a liquor license from a location outside of the Township to a new restaurant at 105 Coulter Avenue, Besito (formerly Plate Restaurant), Ardmore, Suburban Square.
    (Exhibit A)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  3. CONDITIONAL USE DECISION

    330 Spring Mill Road, 350, 351 & 357 Greenwood Court,
    and 1829 County Line Road,
    Stoneleigh/Haas Estate, Villanova, Class 2, CU# 3739, Ward 6.

  4. Expiration Date – 3/22/2015 ......................................... Zoning – R 1/HROD
    Applicant – Estate of John C. Haas and the Natural Lands Trust
    Property Owner – Estate of John C. Haas and the Natural Lands Trust
    Applicant’s Representative – Denise Yarnoff, Esquire, Riley Riper Hollin & Colagreco

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a conditional use application to use the above properties as an Estate Preservation Lot as permitted by Zoning Code Section 155-11.O.
    (Exhibit B)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  5. PRELIMINARY LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN

    330 Spring Mill Road, 350, 351 & 357 Greenwood Court,
    and 1829 County Line Road,
    Stoneleigh/Haas Estate, Villanova, Class 2, LD# 3739, Ward 6.

  6. Expiration Date – 5/3/2015 ............................................Zoning – R 1/HROD
    Applicant – Estate of John C. Haas and the Natural Lands Trust
    Property Owner – Estate of John C. Haas and the Natural Lands Trust
    Applicant’s Representative – Denise Yarnoff, Esquire, Riley Riper Hollin & Colagreco

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a Preliminary Land Development Plan prepared by Site Engineering Concepts, LLC, dated January 16, 2015, last revised February 13, 2015, showing the demolition of a single family detached dwelling at 1829 County Line Road, removal of an existing tennis court, consolidation of five properties, construction of a parking area off of County Line Road with 66 paved spaces and an overflow grass parking area. The plan also proposes the construction of six new parking spaces to the rear of the main house, the striping of ten parking spaces adjacent to the carriage house and construction of a walking trail along the perimeter of the property. The following conditions shall be complied with prior to recording the Final Plan by means of plan revision, completion or financial guarantee, unless specifically exempted. On Monday, March 2, 2015 the Planning Commission recommended approval subject to the following conditions:

    Sidewalk & Pedestrian Access:

    1. A pedestrian entrance shall be installed at the intersection of Spring Mill and County Line Roads. The applicant shall work with staff on the location and design of the pedestrian entrance.

    2. The applicant shall work with staff and the Township Engineer to design and install a safe pedestrian landing at the corner of County Line Road & Spring Mill Road. The pedestrian landing shall be integrated with the pedestrian gate at the corner.

    3. A future four foot (4’) wide sidewalk shall be shown on the Final Plan. The sidewalk shall be shown across all driveways at grade. Township standard sidewalk, concrete apron and depressed curb details shall be provided on the plan. The sidewalk shall be installed at such time as required by the Board of Commissioners. Street trees and other improvements shall be installed in a manner that will not interfere with the future installation of the sidewalk.

    Parking Lot Design & Access:

    1. The applicant shall consider the use of a porous paving system for the proposed parking lot.

    2. The applicant shall consider not installing curbing around the edge of the parking lot in addition to creating cuts within the curbing of the planted islands within the parking lot.

    3. The actual sight distance triangles shall be shown for each driveway. It shall be demonstrated that the existing driveways provide 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 minimum safe stopping distance. The final drive configuration shall be subject to the approval of the Traffic Safety Unit of the Lower Merion Police Department.

    4. Maneuverability diagrams for the vehicle access/egress of the new driveway to County Line Road shall be provided. The radii at the access to the cartway shall be dimensioned on the plan and shall be adequate for the proposed use.

    5. The traffic study shall be revised to address the possibility of left-turn access into the site for the projected use and to include a calculation for the projected Level of Service impact for the future year 2018 without the development for proper comparison.

    6. Driveways on 1808 West Montgomery Avenue shall be shown. Easements and common driveways shall be indicated and properly tabulated on the impervious surface summary chart.

    Landscape Plan:

    1. The number of canopy trees along the perimeter of the parking lot shall be increased.

    2. The applicant shall consider using native plants and other stormwater best management practices (BMPs) to enhance water quality.

    3. The wooded lot calculations, including the number, size, species and location of the compensatory trees shall be subject to the approval of the Township Arborist.

    4. A revised landscape plan complying with Natural Features Code Sections 101-9, 101-5B, Zoning Code Section 155-141.7 and conditions herein shall be prepared and sealed by a Registered Landscape Architect and submitted with the Final Plan.

    Stormwater Management:

    1. If on a drainage basin basis, the removal of impervious surface/paving results in reduced runoff then the applicant is not required to install a permanent stormwater rate control facility. The applicant shall demonstrate that there is no increase in during construction runoff for up to the 10 year storm event. The determination as to whether the removal results in reduced runoff shall be made by the Township Engineer. Should the applicant not remove additional impervious surface to achieve reduced runoff, then conditions 13-28 and 31 shall apply.

    2. Both during construction and post development, the two (2) year peak rate of runoff shall be controlled to the one (1) year pre-development peak rate of runoff. The five (5) year frequency storms shall be controlled to the two (2) year pre-development peak rate. The ten (10) year frequency storms shall be controlled to the five (5) year pre-development peak rate. The twenty-five (25) year frequency storms shall be controlled to the ten (10) year pre-development peak rate. The fifty (50) year frequency storms shall be controlled to the twenty-five (25) pre-development peak rate. For the 100-year storms, post-development storms cannot exceed pre-development values.

    3. At a minimum, the increased volume of stormwater generated by the proposed development into the Darby-Cobbs drainage basin for the twenty five (25) year storm shall be recharged. Calculations documenting this shall be submitted.

    4. In addition to the code required minimum rate controls, a rain garden shall be provided downgrade of the proposed parking area to provide added water quality improvements. The applicant shall work with staff on the location and design of the rain garden.

    5. Areas of existing diffused drainage onto adjacent properties must be managed such that the peak rate of runoff does not increase in the general direction of discharge. The proposed improvement increases the runoff onto the adjacent property on the northwest side. Stormwater control measures shall be added.

    6. In addition to the twenty-five (25) year recharge requirement, the calculations shall demonstrate that the Rev infiltration volume requirements have been met for all new/revised impervious surface shown on the site.

    7. Field tests such as double ring infiltrometer or hydraulic conductivity tests shall be performed at the level of the required soil infiltration in order to demonstrate adequate design
      parameters. Complete test reports shall be submitted and the location of each test shall be indicated on the plan.

    8. A minimum depth of twenty-four (24”) inches between the bottom of any proposed seepage bed and the limiting zone shall be demonstrated. Soil tests shall be submitted as required to demonstrate compliance.

    9. The required seepage bed shall be demonstrated to empty the Rev volume within four (4) days. Calculations demonstrating this shall be submitted.

    10. The water quality volume (WQv) shall be calculated and demonstrated to be sufficient for the design changes within the Darby-Cobbs drainage basin.

    11. Discharge from the requested stormwater basin shall be converted from a concentrated flow to a sheet flow. The overflow shall be piped to a level spreader or bubble-up spreader. A detail shall be added to the plan.

    12. Seepage beds shall be designed to empty the total design storm volume in twenty-four (24) hours or less. Calculations verifying this must be submitted.

    13. The requested seepage bed shall contain a sediment trap accessible for maintenance.

    14. The requested seepage bed shall not receive runoff until the entire contributory area has been stabilized. A temporary basin shall be designed and shown on the plan.

    15. A description of how the requested stormwater control facility will be operated and maintained shall be submitted by the design engineer. The frequency of inspection and the contact information for the party responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facility shall be listed. The plan shall be presented in recordable form as a covenant running with the land and shall be subject to the approval of the Township Solicitor prior to recording.

    16. Inlets and piping shall be added to the plan to convey the runoff from the parking area into the requested facility. Structures shall be used where abrupt changes are made in storm sewer alignment.

    17. The maximum time of exposure for bare soil areas shall be twenty (20) days before stabilization measures are implemented. This shall be clearly noted on the plan.

    18. The limits of disturbance shall be clearly delineated on the plan to include all disturbed areas including access and the removal of the tennis court. The square footage of disturbed area shall be clearly listed.

    19. Drainage area maps for both the during construction analysis and the permanent facility analysis shall be provided with the requested calculations for verification of data used in the qualifications.

    20. The size and species of trees on the property within twenty-five (25’) feet of disturbance shall be included on the various plans in the set.
    21. Additional detail is required in the sequence of construction activities. Installation of a temporary basin, permanent seepage bed, inlets/collection system, and level spreader system
      shall be listed. Notification of the Township Engineer for inspection shall be listed prior to installation of the seepage bed and piping.

    22. An NPDES Permit shall be obtained from the Montgomery County Soil Conservation District prior to issuance of any permit if the total disturbed area exceeds one acre.

    23. The runoff crossing to the adjacent properties during the construction phase of the project shall be managed so that the water quality/quantity impact is minimized to the adjacent properties. Diversion berms, stoned construction staging areas, and inlets/piping shall be noted to be provided as necessary and/or as directed by the Township to ensure acceptable conditions during the construction phase.

    Utilities:

    1. The existing sanitary sewers shall be shown to within two hundred (200’) feet of the development. Any easements shall be indicated.

    2. Existing utility service locations shall be shown. Those to be abandoned shall be clearly indicated.

    3. The location of the existing sanitary laterals, tanks and on-lot disposal fields shall be shown for all lots.

    4. The location of the proposed electric service lines for the proposed pole and bollard lighting shall be provided.

    5. On-lot sanitary disposal areas and tanks to be retained within fifty (50’) feet of construction activity shall be protected by fencing prior to construction. This shall be noted in the construction sequence.

    Construction Details:

    1. Topsoil and construction debris stockpile locations shall be provided.

    2. The construction entrance detail shall be modified to indicate placement of the AASHTO No. 1 stone starting five (5’) feet from the cartway of County Line Road. Crushed stone shall be shown in the area between the start of the entrance and the curb line.

    Standard Plan Items:

    1. The existing and proposed contours shall be clearly labeled on the plan and shall conform to Lower Merion Township Datum.

    2. The soil hydrologic classification shall be provided. Type B soils shall be considered.

    3. The existing structures on adjoining properties within two hundred (200’) feet of the property shall be provided.

    4. The cartway width shall be provided for County Line Road.

    5. The error of closure shall be provided for the combined lot and shall not be greater than 1:5,000. 

    6. The driplines of trees on the lot in the area of construction activity shall be accurately represented on the plan.

    7. The scale of the Record Plan shall be a minimum of fifty (50’) feet to the inch. The tract perimeter survey must be sealed/signed by a professional surveyor.

    8. The existing stormwater management system shall be shown on 330 Spring Mill Road.

    9. The areas of gravel on the property shall be more clearly labeled/identified.

    10. The existing lot lines to be removed shall be shown as dotted on the Record Plan.

    11. 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.

    12. The owner of the properties included in this application shall be clearly labeled on the Record Plan.

    13. Additional dimensions shall be provided on the proposed parking area and driveway to better define the limits of the proposed paving.

    14. Indemnification Agreements shall be entered into with the Township for fencing and other obstructions that will remain in the right-of-way.

    15. The applicant shall show the ultimate right-of-way for Spring Mill Road on the plan and shall consider offering it to the Township for dedication. . A radius of twenty-five (25’) feet shall also be provided at the intersection of Spring Mill Road with County Line Road.

    16. The addresses of the various properties involved in the subdivision shall be listed in the title block of the Record Plan.

    Standard Conditions of Approval:

    1. New and existing buildings shall have approved address numbers, building numbers or approved building identification placed in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting on the property. The address numbers shall be a minimum of four (4) inches (102mm) high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch (12.7mm).

    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 February 20, 2015 review letter with the exception of item C9.

    4. The Final 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 Preliminary Plan approval.

    5. Per the MPC, 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. 

    6. Per the MPC, 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.

    7. The property owner(s) shall comply with all federal, state, county and applicable Lower Merion Township ordinances and laws regardless of specific mention herein.

    In addition, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the following waivers:

    • Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-26, to exceed the 36 foot maximum width for proposed driveway opening width at the cartway of County Line Road.
    • Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-7, to not provide a Tentative Sketch Plan
    • Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-28A, to defer the installation of a sidewalk along County Line Road, Spring Mill Road and Montgomery Avenue.

 

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