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-Chairpersons: Commissioners Elizabeth S. & Rogan Philip S. Rosenzweig
Vice-Chairpersons: Commissioners George T. Manos & Joshua L. Grimes

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 the existing Giant Food Store at 50 East Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood.
    (Exhibit A)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

    ***THE FOLLOWING TWO ITEMS WILL NOT BEGIN BEFORE 7:00 P.M.***

  3. CONDITIONAL USE DECISION

  4. 100 Coulter Avenue, Suburban Square, Ardmore, Ward 5, SD# 3747.

    Expiration Date – 1/31/2016.......................................Zoning – C1/MUST

    Applicant – Geoffrey Glazer, Amerishop Suburban, L.P.
    Property Owner – Amerishop Suburban, L.P.
    Applicant’s Representative – Jamie Jun, Esquire, Fromhold, Jaffe & Adams

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a recommendation from the Hearing Officer on a Conditional Use request to not comply with the following MUST Architectural Design Standards as shown on architectural elevations prepared by BCT Architects dated December 15, 2015.
    (Exhibit B)

    1. For a 3,445 s.f. addition to the rear of Trader Joes:
      • Zoning Code Section 155-87.25.C.2.c – To not deemphasize the massing of all buildings in a variety of ways, including the use of projecting and recessed elements such as porches, windows, and roof dormers, to reduce their apparent overall bulk and volume, to enhance visual quality and contribute to human-scale development for the south, east and west elevations. Such breaks in the facades and rooflines shall occur not more frequently than the width of two historic shop fronts (generally about 25 feet each) nor less frequently than 100 feet.
      • Zoning Code Section 155-87.25.C.2.e – To not articulate walls (south, east and west elevations) with less than 25% clear windows with two or more of the following:
        1. Details in masonry courses;
        2. The provision of blank window openings trimmed with frames, sills and lintels;
        3. If the building is occupied by a commercial use, recessed or projecting display window cases.
      • Zoning Code Section 155-87.25.C.2.j – To use EIFS on the addition which is not a permitted material.
    2. For the construction of a two story, building with 20,000 s.f. of retail on the first floor and 20,000 s.f. of office space on the second floor along Coulter Avenue:
      • Zoning Code Section 155-87.25.C.2.e – To not articulate walls (south elevation) with less than 25% clear windows with two or more of the following:
        1. Details in masonry courses;
        2. The provision of blank window openings trimmed with frames, sills and lintels;
        3. If the building is occupied by a commercial use, recessed or projecting display window cases.
    3. For the construction of a parking garage:
      • Zoning Code Section 155-87.25.C.2.b - To not fully articulate the line between the ground and upper levels with a cornice, canopy, balcony, arcade or other visual device.
      • Zoning Code Section 155-87.25.C.2.c - To not deemphasize the massing of all buildings in a variety of ways, including the use of projecting and recessed elements such as porches, windows, and roof dormers, to reduce their apparent overall bulk and volume, to enhance visual quality and contribute to human-scale development. Such breaks in the facades and rooflines shall occur not more frequently than the width of two historic shop fronts (generally about 25 feet each) nor less frequently than 100 feet.
    4. The applicant also seeks any other relief or approvals necessary to allow the proposed improvements for the development.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  5. PRELIMINARY LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN

  6. 100 Coulter Avenue, Suburban Square, Ardmore, Ward 5, SD# 3747.

    Expiration Date – 1/31/2016.......................................Zoning – C1/MUST

    Applicant – Geoffrey Glazer, Amerishop Suburban, L.P.
    Property Owner – Amerishop Suburban, L.P.
    Applicant’s Representative – Jamie Jun, Esquire, Fromhold, Jaffe & Adams

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a Preliminary Land Development Plan prepared by Bohler Engineering, dated October 26, 2015, last revised December 21, 2015, showing the construction of a parking structure containing four levels and 571 parking spaces and 3,000 s.f. of one-story retail space along the Coulter Avenue facade; construction of a two story building with 20,000 s.f. of retail on the first floor and 20,000 s.f. of office space on the second floor; construction of a 3,445 s.f. addition to the rear of the existing Trader Joe’s; relocation of the “Dollar lot” commuter parking area from its current location along Coulter Avenue to the West lot across from Ruby’s Diner; and demolition of the existing freight shed behind Trader Joe’s. 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, January 11, 2016 the Planning Commission recommended approval subject to the following conditions:

    Off-Site Traffic Improvements:

    1. The applicant shall contribute $100,000 in cash/in-kind professional design and other services prior to the issuance of use or occupancy permits relating to the proposed improvements. This
      cash/in-kind professional design and other services shall be used for towards off-site traffic and/or other public improvements in North Ardmore that have been identified by the North Ardmore Civic Association and as approved by the Township. Any funds not so utilized for off-site traffic may be utilized for additional on-site stormwater management.

    Traffic, Circulation & Parking:

    1. Pedestrian signal upgrades/improvements at Montgomery Avenue and Glenn Road shall be provided. Crosswalks shall be clearly noted on the site plans to be refurbished.

    2. The applicant shall work with the Township to further investigate and implement a speed limit reduction on Montgomery Avenue between Llanfair and Mill Creek Roads if determined to be appropriate.

    3. Adequate maneuverability shall be demonstrated within the garage taking into consideration the location of any columns. The location of the columns, aisle widths and parking stall dimensions shall be shown on the plan.

    4. A post-development evaluation of the study area intersections shall be submitted by the applicant. The applicant shall optimize the signal timing of all study area intersections.

    Pedestrian Circulation:

    1. The applicant shall investigate providing a sidewalk along the north side of the parking garage by creating a small cut out in the building.

    2. Additional detail is required for the raised crosswalks. Sections shall be provided through the intersection for clarification of grades and lines. The use of trench drains in these locations is not recommended. Alternate design using Type M inlets and storm piping if/as necessary shall be provided. Relocation of utilities shall be performed if/as required.

    3. The applicant shall refurbish the existing stamped crosswalks across Coulter and Anderson Avenues.

    4. Additional crosswalks shall be added at the following locations within the site:
      • Between the ramp leading from Montgomery Avenue to the rear of the parking garage.
      • Between Coulter Avenue and the Gap.
      • Coulter Avenue & Sibley Avenue; and
      • Explore widening the existing sidewalk on Sibley Avenue.

    Landscape Plan:

    1. The applicant shall work with staff to minimize the degree of the waiver from the Natural Features Code by providing as much material on site as feasible. Any material not able to be provided on site shall be provided to the Township for planting in the Ardmore area.

    2. The footprint of the parking garage shall be included in calculating the total amount of plant material required by the proposal.

    3. All plant material shall meet the minimum size requirements contained in the Natural Features Code.

    4. Additional deciduous trees shall be added to the West Lot and at least one additional street tree shall be added in front of the parking garage along Coulter Avenue. Additional shrubs shall also be planted both behind the parking garage along the Montgomery Avenue frontage and behind Trader Joe’s in the area of the freight shed. In addition, additional shrubs can be added to the various planted islands throughout the site.

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

    6. Wooded lot calculations shall be provided and shall be approved by the Township Arborist. The total number of trees removed/impacted by the proposed construction shall also be listed.

    Stormwater Management:

    1. The applicant and shall work with the Township staff shall explore the feasibility of to providinge additional stormwater management beyond that required by the approved Preliminary Plan by increasing the volume of the proposed detention basins. The applicant and the Township shall negotiate the amount of additional stormwater management to be provided by the applicant and the amount of the financial contribution to be provided by the Township. The cost of installation of any such additional stormwater management including all design and installation costs shall be borne by the Township.

    2. The final design of the stormwater systems shall be sized to recharge the direct volume of runoff from the roof area of the proposed buildings and the parking garage generated by the five year storm. This water quality recharge volume shall not be reduced.

      18. The applicant shall investigate installing a green roof on the retail/office building.

    3. The applicant shall explore the possibility of installing a rain garden in the landscaped area adjacent to Montgomery Avenue behind the parking garage.

    Freight Shed:

    1. The existing freight shed shall not be demolished under any circumstances before Final Plan approval all land development and associated approvals are obtained.

    2. The applicant shall continue to explore options to preserve or repurpose the freight shed.

    3. If the freight shed is demolished, then the applicant shall submit drawings completed to the standards of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) to satisfy the Township’s documentation requirements. The applicant shall also create an interpretive sign to document the freight shed. The applicant shall work with the Township on the appropriate location of the sign.

    4. The applicant shall utilize the services of an architectural salvage or deconstruction company, to preserve or recycle building materials on the existing structure, including but not limited to stone, metal, and wood. Architectural details such as windows and interior and exterior details including but not limited to fixtures and any wood, glass and metalwork of quality and good condition shall be salvaged. The applicant shall provide documentation to planning staff indicating how this condition will be met.

    5. The applicant shall implement the mitigation measures outlined on page 49 of in the Historic Resource Impact Study prepared by Wise Preservation Planning, LLC, dated May 7, 2015.

    Construction Details:

    1. A construction staging plan shall be provided for each major phase of the project which depicts site access, emergency vehicle access, construction staging areas, public safety fencing, and contractor, customer and employee parking during construction.

    2. The architectural plans shall be coordinated with and shall comply with the grading proposed with this application regarding mean grade elevations and building height.

    3. The detail of the concrete apron shall be revised to conform to Township standards.

    4. The location of any curb to be raised to full reveal shall be clearly shown and the length shall be dimensioned.

    5. The piping associated with the clean-outs shown in the drive aisle adjacent to the garage on Sheet No. 15 shall be identified and added to the plan.

    6. The shut-off point for utilities to-be-removed shall be indicated on the plan.

    7. Existing storm sewers shown beneath the proposed Underground Basin No. 3 shall be clearly indicated on the Existing Conditions Plan as “To be removed” prior to construction of the basin.

    8. A detail for the proposed stair and walkway connection to the SEPTA platform in Area of Work No. 4 shall be provided.

    9. The location of the exterior trash containers/enclosures shall be clearly shown and labeled. Adequate truck maneuverability shall be demonstrated.

    10. The slope of storm pipe for the run between IN03 and IN10 has not been labeled correctly on the plan and shall be revised to be consistent with the slope analyzed in the calculations.

    Township Engineer’s Review:

    1. The Township Engineer’s review letter dated December 28, 2015 shall be incorporated by reference into these conditions of approval with the exception of item B-23 and except to the extent modified by or inconsistent with the conditions.

    Standard Conditions of Approval:

    1. An outdoor lighting plan, sealed by a responsible design professional, that includes illuminance patterns shall be submitted to and approved by the Director of the Building and Planning Department prior to issuance of any permits. The location, luminaire type, wattage, means of control and pole height shall be indicated. Lighting shall be designed to minimize the off-site transmission of light, to shield the source of illumination and to prevent glare on adjacent properties. Exterior luminaires shall be full cut-off unless it can be demonstrated that cut-off luminaires are more appropriate and will result in less off-site light trespass. This condition shall also apply to the existing lighting on the Urban Outfitters building.

    2. The lighting plan shall be designed to comply with the 2009 IECC or the 2007 ASHRAE Standard 90.1.

    3. 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.

    4. The Final Plan, complying with all applicable conditions of approval, shall be filed with the Department of Building and Planning within twelve (12) months from the date of approval of the Preliminary Plan by the Board of Commissioners.

    5. If required by a Township Public Safety Agency, all new buildings shall have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building based upon the existing coverage levels of the public safety communications systems at the exterior of the building.

    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. 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).

    8. The owner shall 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 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.

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

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

      • Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 133-30, to not meet the minimum spacing required for street trees.
      • Natural Features Code Section 101-9, to not provide all of the required plant material.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  7. SOUTH ARDMORE HISTORIC DISTRICT ORDINANCE AMENDMENT

  8. Consider for recommendation to the Board a request for the Township Secretary to advertise a public hearing and notice of intent to adopt an ordinance amendment on March 16, 2016 to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 88, entitled Historic Districts, to create and describe a new historic district to be designated the Ardmore Residential Historic District.
    (Exhibit C)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  9. HISTORIC RESOURCE INVENTORY ORDINANCE AMENDMENT

  10. Consider for recommendation to the Board a request for the Township Secretary to advertise a public hearing and notice of intent to adopt an ordinance amendment on March 16, 2016 to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter A180, Zoning, Historic Resource Inventory, To Add The South Ardmore Residential Historic District Properties To The Historic Resource Inventory And To Upgrade Certain Properties On The Historic Resource Inventory.
    (Exhibit D)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  11. HISTORIC OBJECTS ORDINANCE AMENDMENT

  12. Consider for recommendation to the Board a request for the Township Secretary to advertise a public hearing and notice of intent to adopt an ordinance amendment on March 16, 2016 to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 62, entitled Building Construction, Section 62-2, Deletions, Additions and Insertions to include Historic Objects; and to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 88, entitled Historic Districts, Article I, to add a new Section 88-1.1 defined terms, and to amend Section 88-4 to amend the Historical Architectural Review Board membership requirements; and to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 135, entitled Subdivision and Land Development, Article I, Section 135-2 Word Usage; Definitions to amend the definitions; and to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 155, entitled Zoning to amend Article II, Section 155-4, terms defined; and to amend Article XXV, General Regulations, Section 155-141.5. Impervious Surface Expansion to replace the term “Demolish” with “Remove”, and to amend Article XXVIA Historic Resource Overlay District, to add a new Section 155-149.1, Definitions to provide further clarity and better understanding of the terms relating to Historic Resources.
    (Exhibit E)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  13. AMENDMENTS TO THE BALA VILLAGE DISTRICT

  14. Consider for recommendation to the Board authorizing the Township Secretary to advertise a public hearing and a notice of intention to adopt an ordinance amendment on March 16, 2016 to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 155, entitled Zoning, to amend Article XXXV, City Avenue District, Bala Village, §155 -219.C, Dimensional Standards for Development by amending §155-219.C(7), Building Height by amending the building height limit along sections of City Avenue between Conshohocken State Road and Hampton Terrace to a maximum of 65 feet, between Hampton Terrace and Oakland Terrace to a maximum of 48 feet, and between Oakland Terrace and Orchard Road to a maximum of 38 feet.
    (Exhibit F)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  15. NOISE ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – TIME PERMITTING

  16. Discuss an ordinance to amend the Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 105 thereof, entitled Noise and Exterior Lighting, by deleting existing noise regulations in Articles I and II in their entirety and creating a new set of noise standards.
    (Exhibit G)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

 

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