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

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


    Consider for recommendation to the Board approval of the release of funds held in escrow as Improvement Guarantees in accordance with Section 135-5 of the Township Code for the following (Exhibit A):
    131-151 Rock Hill Road
    Escrow Release no. 7
    600 Righters Ferry Road
    Escrow Release no. 5
    5 W. City Avenue
    Escrow Release no. 2, Final
    6 Lancaster Avenue
    Escrow Release no. 3
    Stern Hebrew High School
    Escrow Release no. 4, Final
    The Arbors at Athens
    120 E. Athens Avenue
    Escrows Release no. 1
    Consider for recommendation to the Board a request from the Ardmore Initiative for approval to hold an Oktoberfest event on Cricket Avenue on October 10, 2015 and consider a waiver on the sale/use of alcoholic beverages such as beer. (Exhibit B)
    141, 145 & 147 W. Montgomery Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, W-15-002, Ward 13.
    Expiration Date – N/A Zoning – C-1

    Applicant – Hal Banker
    Property Owners – Steven Melman & WVessel, LLC
    Applicant’s Representative – Jamie Jun, Esquire, Fromhold, Jaffe & Adams

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a Waiver of Land Development Plan prepared by H. Gilroy Damon Associates, Inc. dated May 15, 2015 showing the demolition of an existing one-story garage at the rear of the existing building and the construction of a second story addition to the front of the building at 141 Montgomery Avenue. The plan also shows the installation of nine parking spaces and an underground stormwater management facility on 141 Montgomery Avenue. On Monday, June 1, 2015 the Planning Commission recommended approval subject to the following conditions:

    • Township Engineer’s Review:
      1. The Township Engineer’s review letter dated May 22, 2015 shall be incorporated by reference into these conditions of approval with the exception of items C13 and C16.
    • Architectural Elevations & Signage:
      1. The applicant shall construct the building addition on 141 Montgomery Avenue substantially as shown on the renderings provided to staff and presented to the Planning Commission at their June 1, 2015 meeting.
      2. The applicant shall work with staff on the design of all proposed signage to ensure it is appropriately scaled.
      3. The mean grade of the structure on 141 Montgomery Avenue 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.
    • Landscape Plan:
      1. The applicant shall work with staff on the location and design of the proposed fencing and the placement and species of landscaping along the rear property line.
      2. If planting is proposed along any sloped areas, the applicant shall work with staff to determine an appropriate species.
      3. The applicant shall work with staff on the location of street trees and other landscaping to create a more attractive streetscape.
      4. The landscape plan shall be revised to reflect the amount of new impervious surface shown on the site plan.
      5. A revised landscape plan complying with Natural Features Code Section 101-9 shall be submitted and shall be subject to the approval of Township staff.
    • Trash Storage/Removal & Deliveries:
      1. All trash containers shall be located within a solid, gated enclosure with four sides.
      2. Trash removal and all business deliveries shall occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      3. The location of the trash dumpster shall be shown for each lot on the civil/site drawings.
    • Circulation & Parking:
      1. An access and cross over easement shall be provided for the proposed circulation. A stormwater management easement shall also be provided. The Township Solicitor shall approve all easement language prior to the issuance of any permits.
      2. The applicant shall install a no left turn sign at the egress onto Bangor Road.
    • Stormwater Management:
      1. The detail for the stormwater facility shall indicate the storage pipe diameter and material. AASHTO No. 1 stone shall be specified and geotextile fabric shall be shown around the bed.
      2. A detail of the outlet structure shall be provided. The diameter and invert elevation of the orifice and the outlet pipe size, material, and location shall be provided.
      3. All inlets in non-paved areas shall be graded in a twelve (12”) inch sump condition in order to increase the efficiency of runoff collection. Grate elevations shall be adjusted as necessary to meet this requirement.
      4. A detail of the inlets shall be added to the plan. The inlets shall be numbered for identification and clarity.
      5. Inlet protection shall be provided on the plan. Details that conform to Township standards shall be shown.
    • Construction Details:
      1. A full reveal and depressed granite curb detail shall be provided.
      2. Depressed granite curb and concrete apron shall be indicated at the new driveway access locations. The length of depressed curb shall be dimensioned on the plan.
      3. The length of new, full reveal granite curb at the Bangor Road drive shall be dimensioned and clearly labeled.
      4. Concrete sidewalk shall be clearly shown and noted to extend across each modified driveway at grade.
      5. Existing and proposed contours shall be shown.
      6. The construction entrance shall be relocated and shall be consistent with the detail.
      7. A detail of the porous walk shall be provided and shall meet the cross section requirements if the walk is to be excluded from the impervious tabulation. Dimensions shall be added to indicate the width.
      8. A soil stockpile location shall be provided that is of sufficient dimension. Notes shall be added if excavated material is to be immediately hauled off the site.
      9. Details of the concrete apron shall be provided. Details shall conform to Township standards.
    • Standard Plan Items:
      1. Impervious areas shall be more clearly itemized for each property on the civil/site drawings. Driveway, concrete walkway, building and porous walkways shall be tabulated. The paving of the common portions of the driveway shall be allocated clearly on the plan. A covenant shall be provided if the common drive allocation is not evenly distributed amongst the properties served.
    • Standard Conditions of Approval:
      1. Escrow shall be posted for any required improvements prior to issuance of any permit.
      2. If any new lighting is proposed, a lighting plan shall be submitted. The location, luminaire type, wattage, pole height and illumination patterns shall be indicated. The lighting shall be designed to reduce the off-site transmission of light, to shield the source of illumination and to prevent glare on adjacent properties.
      3. Any lighting plan shall be designed to comply with the 2009 IECC or the 2007 ASHRAE Standard 90.1.
      4. A copy of the revised plan shall be submitted with any changes highlighted and shall be accompanied by a letter indicating how each requested revision has been addressed in the re-submission.
      5. Revisions to the plan shall address the Township Engineer's May 22, 2015 review letter.
      6. 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).
      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 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.
      9. The property owner(s) shall comply with all federal, state and applicable Lower Merion Township ordinances and laws regardless of specific mention herein.
    • The Planning Commission recommended approval of the following waivers:
      • Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-7A, to not provide a Tentative Sketch Plan.
      • Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-10A(3), to not provide a Preliminary Land Development Plan.
      • Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-13, to not provide a Final Plan.
    Consider for recommendation to the Board a request for a waiver from Natural Features Code Sections 101-5.C.2.a and 101-5.C.2.b, to disturb man-made steep slopes greater than 15% at 9 Presidential Boulevard, Bala Cynwyd. (Exhibit C)

    a. Consider for recommendation to the Board a Certificate of Appropriateness to install an ADA compliant elevator addition and exterior site improvements for parking, vehicular circulation and access to the library entrance at 362 Righters Mill Road, Gladwyne Free Library, Gladwyne, Gladwyne Historic District.

    On Tuesday, June 2, 2015 HARB recommended conceptual approval of the architectural rendering submitted subject to the applicant returning to the HARB with developed drawings to confirm the consistency of the width of the curtain wall framing members.


    b. Consider for recommendation to the Board a Certificate of Appropriateness to reface the existing non-illuminated box sign and install two awnings at 49 W. Lancaster Avenue, aka 63 W. Lancaster Avenue, formerly VIP Nails, Ardmore, Ardmore Historic District.

    On Tuesday, June 2, 2015 HARB recommended approval as submitted to include removal of the existing light box sign, patching of anchor holes and electrical penetrations at sign frieze, and installation of two awnings at original awning locations.


    a. Consider for recommendation to the Board a proposal at 625 Hazelhurst Avenue, Class 2, Merion Station, Merion Tribute House, 2015-R-9 to construct an ADA accessible ramp onto the side of the existing building.

    On Monday, May 18, 2015 the Historical Commission recommended approval of the ADA ramp and associated landscaping as indicated on the plans dated May 5, 2015 with the details of additional site improvements on the west side of the building to be reviewed by staff. If agreement cannot be reached between staff and the applicant then the applicant can return to the full Historical Commission and Board of Commissioners for a resolution.

    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 July 15, 2015 to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 155, Zoning, to add definitions for the words “Governmental Purpose” and “Municipal Use” and to permit Municipal Uses in the ASDD – Ardmore Special Development District, MUST – Mixed-Use Special Transportation District, BMV – Bryn Mawr Village District and the City Avenue Districts. (Exhibit D)
    Discuss an amendment to Chapter 126, Sewers, to require and regulate the inspection and maintenance of grease traps in all establishments performing food preparation on the premises and providing for the submission of reports to the Township. (Exhibit E)
    Consider for recommendation to the Board a request to add a Planning Technician position in the Building & Planning Department. (Exhibit F)
    Discuss an ordinance to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 59, Entitled Brush, Grass & Weeds to regulate the planting, growing or maintenance of running bamboo. (Exhibit G)
    • Susan Dineen, HARB, March, 2015. This concludes her first term. Ms. Dineen indicated that she will not seek appointment for a second term.
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