Planning Division

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

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. HISTORICAL COMMISSION

  2. Consider for recommendation to the Board the construction of a new two car garage attached to the existing dwelling via a covered breezeway at 363 Spring Mill Road, Class 2, Villanova, 2015-R-6. The following additional changes are proposed on the front elevation: a new dormer at the second floor, relocation of the existing front door and the creation of an overhang over the door with a metal roof, elimination of three existing doors on the first floor two of which will be replaced with windows, and the addition of a skylight. The following changes are proposed on the rear elevation: two new dormers at the second floor, creation of a new window opening between the two dormers at the second floor, removal of an existing window on the first floor to be replaced with a door, and removal of a door on the first floor to be replaced with a series of three new windows. The following changes are proposed on the left elevation: removal of a set of existing French doors at the second floor to be replaced with a set of double hung windows, addition of a window opening on the side of the new dormer at the second floor, removal of an existing window at the second floor, and addition of a door at the first floor. Other improvements include the replacement of all existing cedar shake siding with new cedar shake siding.
    (Exhibit A)

    On Monday, March 23, 2015 the Historical Commission recommended approval subject to the following conditions:

    1. With standing seam metal roof and a dimensional asphalt shingle roof located as shown on the drawings.
    2. With cedar shakes as wall material to match the existing shake on certain elevations as exists today.
    3. With stone to be salvaged to fill, patch and repair the proposed new openings in the existing stone walls as best as can be assembled and with mortar replacement to be completed in a much better fashion than currently exists on the house.
    4. Windows shall be either Pella, Marvin or Weather Shield and replacement sash packets shall be researched to determine whether that is a better direction both design wise and financially. Windows shall be aluminum clad with wood interiors.
    5. The entire entry area, including the roof line, columns, eyebrows, doors and sidelights shall be restudied so the area does not stand out as much and so that it is true to the vocabulary of the existing house.
    6. The proposed garage doors are acceptable as submitted.
    7. The brackets on the small pent eave at the side entry (left elevation) from the garage and in two areas on the rear elevation shall be re-evaluated.
    8. The applicant shall further study reversing the gable roof over the garage in order to visually line it up with the roof of the main house including eliminating the shallow pent eave over the garage doors which may not be needed.
    9. Consider replacing the window at the front elevation at the office from eight over eight to six over six.
    10. The half round lunettes on each side elevation and the existing hoist to be retained shall be added to the plans.
    11. Any new opening shall be treated with the technique of toothing back in the stone.
    12. The Commission noted that all windows are to be replaced with the exception of the series of fixed one light windows on the left elevation.
    13. Flagstone shall be used for the proposed pathways and entry way patio surface.
    14. The composite material creating the spandrel panels on the first and second floor at the new triple windows on the rear elevation shall be painted.
    15. The changes requested by the Historical Commission shall be presented to a subcommittee.

    A subcommittee of the Historical Commission met on Thursday, April 9, 2015 to review revised plans and accepted the applicant’s changes subject to the recommendation listed below. The subcommittee also made a number of additional design suggestions that are outlined in Exhibit A.

    • The applicant shall clarify the material and design of the front door;

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  3. CONDITIONAL USE DECISION

    533 E Lancaster Avenue & 1024 Cedargrove Road,

    Wynnewood, SD# 3743, Ward 7.

  4. Expiration Date – 5/3/2015 ............................................ Zoning – HROD/R 4

    Applicant – Mark Rayer, Rayer Builders
    Property Owner – Joseph & Rita Lane
    Applicant’s Representative – Fred Fromhold, Esquire, Fromhold Jaffe & Adams

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a recommendation from the Hearing Officer for the following conditional use requests (Exhibit B):

    1. To reduce the 30 foot front yard setback along Cedar Grove Road to 15 feet (+/-) for the construction of a two-car garages attached to the building on proposed Lot 1, pursuant to Code §155-152;
    2. To reduce the side and/or accessory building setbacks (whichever are applicable) from the applicable required widths to 3 feet (+/-) for the construction of two (2) two-car detached garages on proposed Lot 1, pursuant to Code §155-152;
    3. To create Lot 4 as a narrow lot pursuant to Code §155-128; and
    4. To reduce the minimum yard along Cedar Grove Road for Lot 4 to 0 feet but not closer to Cedar Grove Road than the point at which Lot 4 attains the minimum lot width pursuant to Code §155-152.
    5. To allow impervious surfaces on proposed Lots 2-4 to be increased over the otherwise applicable limitations per Code Section 155-152.
    6. To the extent required, a Conditional Use under Code 155-152 to reduce any rear yard requirements applicable to proposed Lots 1-4.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  5. PRELIMINARY SUBDIVISION PLAN

    533 E Lancaster Avenue & 1024 Cedargrove Road,

    Wynnewood, SD# 3743, Ward 7.

  6. Expiration Date – 5/3/2015 ........................................... Zoning – HROD/R 4

    Applicant – Mark Rayer, Rayer Builders
    Property Owner – Joseph & Rita Lane
    Applicant’s Representative – Fred Fromhold, Esquire, Fromhold Jaffe & Adams

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a Preliminary Subdivision Plan prepared by Catania Engineering Associates, Inc. dated February 2, 2015, last revised March 25, 2015 showing the conversion of the former William Penn Inn into three condominium units and the construction of three, two car garages. The two existing lots will be consolidated and then subdivided to create four new lots. Three new homes are shown to be constructed on Lots 2-4. 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, April 6, 2015 the Planning Commission recommended approval subject to the following conditions:

    Conditional Use:

    1. The applicant shall obtain conditional use approval for the following and shall comply with any conditions imposed:
      • To reduce the 30 foot front yard setback along Cedargrove Road to 15 feet (+/-) for the construction of a two-car garage attached to the building on proposed Lot 1 per Code Section 155-152;
      • To reduce the side, rear and/or accessory building setbacks (whichever are applicable) from the applicable required widths to 3 feet (+/-) for the construction of two, two-car detached garages on proposed Lot 1 per Code Section 155-152;
      • To create Lot 4 as a “narrow lot” per Code Section 155-128;
      • To reduce the minimum yard along Cedargrove Road for Lot 4 to 0 feet but not closer to Cedargrove Road than the point at which Lot 4 attains the minimum lot width per Code Section 155-152;
      • To allow impervious surfaces on proposed Lots 2-4 to be increased over the otherwise applicable limitations per Code Section 155-152; and
      • To the extent required, a Conditional Use under Code 155-152 to reduce any rear yard requirements applicable to proposed Lots 1-4.

    William Penn Inn:

    1. The applicant shall submit the design of the fence on Lot 1 to staff to determine compatibility with the William Penn Inn.
    2. The William Penn Inn shall be rehabilitated as proposed in the drawings dated January 22, 2015 prepared by JTA Associates, Inc. subject to the following revisions:
      1. The proposed dimensional asphalt roof shall be of a dark color that mimics a cedar shake which would be more appropriate to the character of the historic resource.
      2. The shutters on the second floor shall be louvered with two sections and the shutters at the first floor windows of a larger size would be a minimum of two solid raised panels. (There is no requirement for shutters on the doors, either existing or new or at the third floor double arched topped window on the east façade).
      3. The Historical Commission would be amenable to approval of alternate shutter holdbacks if the applicant so desires and notes that there may be alternate shutter holdbacks that would be historically more appropriate.
      4. Half round hung gutters with round downspouts.
      5. Divided light fenestration as proposed with an aluminum clad wood interior double hung window with applied muntins although the Historical Commission notes that the roll formed aluminum and mitered corners are less sympathetic than previously approved replacement windows. The Historical Commission indicated that any window that is noted to be repaired and retained on the drawings but is then determined to need replacement, that staff should review the details. If agreement cannot be reached between the applicant and staff then the applicant shall return to the full Commission for a resolution.
      6. The three proposed garages with staff to review details for gable on hip roofs instead of the pyramidal hipped roof and half round vents shown. The Commission prefers a shallower slope to the gable on hip roofs than what is shown on the drawings with the
        option of matching the existing roof slopes on the Inn. The Commission suggested that applied hardware be omitted from the proposed garage doors and recommended the simplification of the light panels of the garage doors.
      7. The roof material to match the Inn as preferred by the applicant.
      8. The Commission would recommend approval of the fence as proposed although their preference would be for a fence with greater percentages of openings or a modest reduction in height.
    3. The applicant shall investigate including additional articulation on the western elevation of the proposed house on Lot 2.
    4. The applicant shall construct the homes on Lots 2-4 substantially as shown on the architectural elevations dated March 23, 2015.

    Second Stage Plan Approval:

    1. Second Stage Plan approval shall be obtained from the Board of Commissioners for Lots 2-4 prior to the issuance of any permits if the plans are materially different from the approved plan as determined by staff. Architectural elevations including a list of materials shall be submitted with each Second Stage Plan.

    Sidewalks:

    1. The applicant shall install a five foot wide sidewalk along the full frontage of Clover Hill Road and Lancaster Avenue. A four foot grass strip shall be provided between the sidewalk and curb along Lancaster Avenue.
    2. The stormwater generated by the proposed sidewalks shall be accounted for in the individual basin designs if a waiver is granted to defer the installation of sidewalks to a later date.

    Landscape Plan:

    1. The applicant shall work with staff to evaluate the existing plant material to be preserved so that it can be incorporated into the future residential landscape and help to buffer the proposed homes.
    2. The applicant shall minimize proposed grading to the extent feasible along Lancaster Avenue to preserve some of the existing mature trees.
    3. Gates shall be installed in the proposed fence along Lancaster Avenue on each new lot to enable future owners to access all portions of their lot to perform routine maintenance.
    4. Street trees shall be provided in compliance with Subdivision and Land Development Code Section 135-30.
    5. All required compensatory replacement trees shall meet Code requirements . The location, species and number of the compensatory trees shall be approved by the Township.
    6. Wooded lot calculations shall be provided on the plans and shall be subject to the approval of the Township. The total number of trees to be removed shall be indicated.
    7. The Shade Tree Commission shall approve the removal of any tree within a public right-of-way.
    8. A revised landscape plan showing proposed plant material on all four lots and complying with applicable Natural Features Code Sections 101-9 and 101-5B, Zoning Code Section 155-167.4 and conditions herein shall be prepared and sealed by a Registered Landscape Architect and submitted with the Final Plan. The plan shall be subject to the approval of the Township Arborist and/or Planning staff prior to recording the Final Plan.

    Access:

    1. The final drive configuration/locations shall be subject to the approval of the Traffic Safety Unit of the Lower Merion Police Department. If the Township determines that parking along the frontage of the development near the curve in Cedargrove Road should be restricted then the developer shall install signs prohibiting parking as directed by the Township. The applicant shall pay for all costs associated with the signage.

    Stormwater Management:

    1. A water quality seepage bed or beds shall be provided for the detached garages on Lot 1. The location shall not impact trees to remain or be located where recharge would impact the existing historic structure. The bed(s) shall be sized to recharge the roof areas of the garage for the two (2) year storm. The size, material and slope of the piping shall be shown. A sediment trap shall be provided prior to inflow of runoff. A detail shall be added to the plans and shall be consistent with Township standards. 
    2. Spot elevations shall be adjusted on the berm of the basin to provide one (1’) foot of freeboard over the spillway flow depth. The spot elevations shall be consistent with the details and supporting calculations. 
    3. A description of how each permanent stormwater control facility will be operated and maintained shall be submitted by the design engineer. 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.
    4. The basins shown on the plan shall not be reduced in size.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 provided as necessary and/or as directed by the Township so as to ensure acceptable conditions during the construction phase. 
    7. Additional clarification of the temporary swale that directs runoff to temporary basin no. 2 shall be provided. Spot elevations and drainage arrows shall be shown on the plan. The swale shall be qualified for the 100-year storm for the contributory drainage area and a note shall be added to the plan indicating that the swale shall be stabilized immediately upon installation. 
    8. The details for the temporary basin and spillway shall be adjusted to clearly indicate one temporary basin and shall be consistent with the final design that provides the required one (1’) foot of freeboard.
    9. The location of proposed stormwater systems shall be adjusted as required to minimize impact to trees that are to remain. The revisions to the location shall be coordinated with the Township Arborist and the Township Engineer.

    Utilities:

    1. A Planning Module or Exemption shall be obtained from the City of Philadelphia and the DEP prior to recording the Final Plan. 
    2. Adequate water supply shall be documented for the subdivision. A letter from Aqua Pennsylvania shall be submitted certifying adequate supply for the additional properties prior to the issuance of a grading permit.

    Construction Details:

    1. An As-Built Plan shall be submitted for Lots 2-4 which certifies the final amount of impervious surface constructed on each lot. 
    2. The allowable impervious surface for each lot shall be listed in both percentage of net lot area and in square feet. 
    3. Specifications for the proposed crosswalk shall be provided and shall be in compliance with Township standards. ADA compatibility shall be demonstrated for ADA ramps. Penn DOT permits meeting all applicable requirements shall be obtained as required. 
    4. Dimensions for the front patio on Lot 1 shall be added to the plan. 
    5. 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. 
    6. The applicant shall verify that any wood decks comply with the provisions of Zoning Code Section 155-141.5(2) regarding spacing and construction over a porous surface if they are not counted as impervious surface.

    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 March 27, 2015 review letter to the extent not inconsistent with these conditions.
    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. New deeds shall be recorded for all lots after the Final Plan has been recorded.
    6. Any changes to the approved plans shall require the submission of an as-built plan prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. Building and Planning staff can waive this requirement if the changes are determined to be insignificant. 
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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 recommended approval of the following waivers:

    1. Subdivision and Land Development Code Section 135-28B to defer the installation of a sidewalk along the frontage of Cedargrove Road. 

    2. Application fees (not including consultant’s escrow fees) for the revised plan dated February 2, 2015 otherwise required by Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-50A.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  7. ORDINANCE AMENDMENT

  8. Consider for recommendation to the Board authorizing the Township Secretary to advertise a public hearing and notice of intent to adopt an ordinance amendment on May 20, 2015 to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 155, Zoning, Article III, Classification of Districts, by amending Section 155-9B, to exempt land leased by the Township from the provisions of Chapter 155.
    (Exhibit C)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Return to full list >>

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Flash Player QuickTime Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer