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

All Times Are Approximate

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

FINAL AGENDA

  1. ESCROW RELEASES

    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):

    110 West Montgomery Avenue
    Escrow Release no. 3 ......................................... $18,241.00

    Shipley School
    814 Yarrow Street
    Escrow Release no. 1 ......................................... $500,028.00

    600 Righters Ferry Road
    Escrow Release no. 14 ........................................ $99,900.00

    710 & 712 Schiller Avenue
    Escrow Release no. 2 .......................................... $26,104.00

    Bryn Mawr College
    Haffner Hall
    Escrow Release no. 2 .......................................... $24,728.00

    Rosemont College
    Escrow Release no. 3 .......................................... $18,000

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  2. WIRELESS ANTENNA LEASE EXTENSION

    Consider for recommendation to the Board extending an existing lease with Crown Castle for a wireless antenna at the Koegel Complex located at 1300 Woodbine Avenue, Penn Valley.
    (Exhibit B)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  3. PRELIMINARY SUBDIVISION PLAN

    1432 Mt. Pleasant Road, Villanova, SD# 3763, Ward 6.

    Expiration Date – N/A...........................................................Zoning – R-4/HROD

    Applicant – Zhehua Zhang
    Property Owner – Zhehua Zhang
    Applicant’s Representative – Kevin Momenee, P.E., Momenee & Associates, Inc.

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a proposal to demolish the existing single family dwelling and subdivide the 2.5 acre lot (112,547 sq. ft.) into two separate lots. Lot 1 will contain 1 acre (45,020 sq. ft.) and a new single family detached home with a 3,799 sq. ft. footprint and an attached garage. Lot 2 will contain 1.5 acres (67,528 sq. ft.) and a new single family detached home with a 3,799 sq. ft. footprint and an attached garage. 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.

    Second Stage Plan Approval:

    1. Second Stage Plan approval shall be obtained from the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners for the proposed improvements on Lot 1 and Lot 2 prior to the issuance of any permits. Architectural elevations of the proposed homes, including a list of materials, shall be submitted with each Second Stage Plan application.

    2. The design and materials for the proposed homes shall be consistent with and complimentary to those found in the adjacent residential neighborhood.

    3. The house and driveway on Lot 2 shall be shifted so they do not impact steep slopes. This condition shall be complied with on the Second Stage Plan.

    4. A landscape plan complying with 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 Second Stage Plan for each lot.

    5. 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.

    6. 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 proposed grading.

    Sidewalk:

    1. A future four foot (4’) wide sidewalk shall be shown on the Final Plan. The sidewalk shall be shown across the 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.

    Salvage:

    1. 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, brick, 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.

    2. The applicant shall investigate relocating the pillars to flank one of the new driveways.

    Access:

    1. A full reveal and depressed granite curb detail shall be provided. Granite curb shall be shown on the full property frontage.

    2. Depressed granite curb shall be indicated at each driveway access location.

    3. Notes shall be added to the requested full reveal and depressed granite curb detail that include the following:

      • The depressed curb height for the driveway shall be ¼ inch for each inch of existing curb reveal.
      • Any curb replacement must meet existing curb reveal height.
      • One foot cut back is needed in the street area where any curb is adjusted and/or replaced. All joints must be sealed.
      • An additional concrete support is needed mid-span of each section of depressed curb in the driveway area.

    Stormwater Management:

    1. All inlets in non-paved areas shall be graded in a twelve (12”) inch sump condition to increase the efficiency of runoff collection. Spot elevations shall be added to the plan to clarify grading.

    2. The seepage bed shall contain an observation port that reaches the bottom of the basin.

    3. The proposed inlet replacing the existing rip rap inlet in Mt. Pleasant Road shall be shown to be a City No. 1 inlet with a grate in front. An oversized box shall be used with dimensions necessary to accommodate the two existing storm sewer pipes in Mt. Pleasant Road. A site appropriate detail shall be provided on the plan showing the inlet and all of the connections.

    4. The plans and details for Basin No. 2 shall match the stormwater management calculations. The detail shall be adjusted per the final calculations.

    5. The plans and details for Basin no. 1.1 shall match the stormwater management calculations. The detail shall be adjusted per the final calculations.

    6. The plans and details for Basin no. 2.1 shall match the stormwater management calculations. The cleanout orifice for the outlet for Basin No. 2.1 shall be included in the calculations and the detail and calculations shall be made consistent.

    7. The plans and details shall match the stormwater management calculations. The barrel invert and length of outflow pipe listed in the calculations for the outlet for Basin No. 2.2 shall match the detail. The detail shall be adjusted to match the final calculations.

    8. The calculations for Basin No. 2 incorrectly label the basin as Basin No. 1. This shall be corrected in the revised calculations.

    Landscaping:

    1. The applicant shall work with staff to ensure that vegetation located in the right of way is removed to create a pedestrian refuge.

    Utilities:

    1. An Improvement Construction Permit shall be obtained for the sewer main extension.

    2. The sanitary sewer profile shall indicate a .2 foot drop between the inflow invert and outflow invert across the channel in each manhole to account for energy loss through the structure.

    Construction Details:

    1. All construction-related vehicles shall be parked on-site or at a remote site not in the neighborhood. No construction-related vehicles may park on the street. This includes vehicles operated by construction workers, material suppliers, product vendors, and all construction trades engaged in the project.

    2. The applicant shall agree to not demolish the existing house prior to recording the Final Plan or submission of plans for building permits, whichever is later.

    3. The applicant shall submit a demolition plan with the Final Plan. The demolition plan shall indicate how dust and other air particles will be controlled, the procedure for demolishing the buildings and how the demolished building materials will be removed from the site. If asbestos or any other regulated hazardous material exists within the building, it shall be removed and certifications to that effect shall be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

    4. During demolition of the existing structure the applicant shall ensure that the contractor takes appropriate measures to minimize dust at all times during active demolition. A hose or water truck shall be provided on site to spray the structure during demolition. The applicant shall demonstrate with the demolition permit application how adequate water supply for dust control will be provided.

    5. A detail of the retaining wall shall be provided. Top and bottom of wall elevations shall also be clearly shown. Calculations shall be provided for wall heights exceeding four (4’) feet.

    6. A fill material soil stockpile location shall be provided.

    Standard Conditions of Approval:

    1. New 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 26, 2016 review letter.

    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. 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. 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:

    1. Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-28A, to provide a sidewalk along Mt. Pleasant Road and Brynllawn Road at such a time as required by the Board of Commissioners.

    2. Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-17.C.2.d to provide a driveway slope of 5% for a distance of 20’ starting from the edge of the roadway in lieu of providing a driveway slope of 5% past the right of way.

    3. Natural Features Code Section 101-4B, Applicability, to submit a landscape plan prepared by a Landscape Architect with the Second Stage Plan rather than the subdivision plan.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  4. WAIVER OF LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN

    250 Haverford Road, Penn Wynne Elementary School, W-16-001, Ward 14.

    Expiration Date – N/A...........................................................Zoning – R-4/HROD

    Applicant – Victor Orlando, Business Manager, Lower Merion School District
    Property Owner – Lower Merion School District
    Applicant’s Representative – Fred B. Fromhold, Esquire, Fromhold Jaffe & Adams

    Consider for recommendation to the Board a Waiver of Land Development Plan prepared by Chester Valley Engineers, Inc., dated January13, 2016, last revised February 15, 2016 showing the placement of a 4,743 square foot modular building on the property containing four classrooms. Ten parking spaces are also proposed to be constructed. The following conditions shall be complied with on the grading permit plan.

    Parking & Circulation:

    1. The two All reserve parking spaces shall be shown on the plan shall be installed.

    2. The applicant shall meet with a working group consisting of Township staff and members of the Penn Wynne Civic Association to develop and implement measures to address pedestrian access, parking, pick-up/drop-off of students, bus access to the site and traffic calming on nearby streets. The working group should be convened upon approval of this application.

    Pedestrian Improvements:

    1. A four foot wide sidewalk shall be installed along the Trent Road frontage of the site as directed by the Township. concurrent with the construction of the permanent addition onto the school. ADA ramps shall be provided at each corner.

    2. ADA ramps shall be provided as may be required at the south side of the intersection of Suffolk Lane and Haverford Road and the north side of the intersection of Drayton Lane and Haverford Road as directed by the Township Engineer.

    Landscaping:

    1. Proposed changes in grade required for the construction of the new parking spaces and associated retaining wall shall be shown on the plan.

    Traffic:

    1. The traffic study shall be revised to include the on-street parking demand observation data itemized by street area.

    2. The applicant shall conduct post-development observations of the afternoon queue onto Haverford Road as directed by the Township. If the queues are observed to interfere unacceptably with the traffic on Haverford Road, measures shall be developed to mitigate the queue and shall be implemented. Mitigation measures to be investigated shall include additional faculty assistance of additional school district personnel with direction of pick-up activities, investigation of the expansion of the parking area and pick-up/drop-off area/location, and investigation of the reversal of the one-way traffic flow on Suffolk Lane at the PM pick-up times or some other modification of the traffic flow during those times in order to improve the conditions. Separate reviews and approvals by the Board of Commissioners shall be received if/as required.

    3. School speed zones limit signs shall be installed on Suffolk Lane, Drayton Lane and along Rockglen Road at the approach to Drayton Lane concurrent with the installation of the modular classrooms if/as approved by Penn DOT.

    4. Arrows shall be provided on the plan indicating the direction of vehicular travel.

    Stormwater Management:

    1. Updated soil tests shall be submitted to the Township.

    2. All new inlets in non-paved areas shall be graded in a twelve (12”) inch sump condition or other sump condition satisfactory to the Township Engineer to increase the efficiency of runoff collection. Spot elevations shall be added to the plan to clarify grading.

    3. A detail of the seepage beds shall be provided on the plan and shall contain information that is sufficient for review and inspection.

    4. All proposed inlets and grading for the new parking spaces shall be provided. Piping conveying runoff into seepage bed B shall be fully shown and calculations qualifying all pipe capacities shall be provided.

    5. Erosion control measures shall be provided on the plan. Details that conform to Township standards shall be shown.

    6. All piping conveying runoff into seepage bed A shall be shown. Stormwater calculations qualifying all conveyance pipes shall be provided.

    7. A Runoff and Erosion Control Permit shall be obtained.

    Construction Details:

    1. The modular classroom shall be removed from the site within three 48 months or of the completion of construction of the permanent classroom addition, whichever occurs first.

    2. A topsoil and fill material stockpile location shall be provided. 

    3. The construction access and lay-down areas shall be shown. The area shall be included in the limits of the disturbed area.

    4. A detail of the proposed retaining wall shall be provided. Top and bottom of wall elevations shall be clearly shown. Calculations shall be provided for wall heights that exceed four (4’) feet.

    Standard Plan Items:

    1. The label for Rockglen Road shall be clearly indicated on the plan.

    2. The plan shall note that the property is split zoned R5.

    Standard Conditions of Approval:

    1. A lighting plan for the modular classroom shall be submitted with the grading permit application. 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.

    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 and shall be accompanied by a letter indicating how each requested revision has been addressed in the re-submission.

    4. The Township Engineer’s review letter dated February 29, 2016 shall be incorporated by reference into these conditions of approval to the extent the same is not inconsistent with these conditions of approval and issues, requirements and comments contained therein shall be addressed to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer.

    5. 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).

    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 shall make payment of the Township Engineer’s 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.

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

    1. Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-7A, to not provide a Tentative Sketch Plan.

    2. Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-10A(3), to not provide a Preliminary Land Development Plan.

    3. Subdivision & Land Development Code Section 135-13, to not provide a Final Plan.

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

    1. A waiver of Natural Features Code Section 101-5.C.2 to construct a parking lot and associated grading in manmade slopes greater than 25%.

    2. A partial waiver of the Stormwater Management Code Section 121-4.A.1 to not provide runoff rate control during construction stormwater management, for the stormwater management facility installed for the ten (10) new parking spaces provided that duration of the construction is limited to eight weeks unless otherwise extended by Township staff.

    3. e. A partial waiver of the Stormwater Management Code Section 121-4.A.1 to permit the seepage bed to empty in 96 hours or such other time as approved by the Township Engineer.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  5. HISTORICAL COMMISSION

    1. Consider for recommendation to the Board a proposal at 608 Loves Lane, English Village Historic, Wynnewood, 2016-R-1 to install a glazed front door in lieu of the approved solid wood door currently in place.

      On February 29, 2016 the Historical Commission recommended approval provided the applicant retains on site the solid wood door.

    2. PUBLIC COMMENT

    3. Consider for recommendation to the Board a request to demolish the house at 800 Eagle Farm Road, Class 2, Villanova, 2016-R-3.

      On February 29, 2016 the Historical Commission recommended a 90-day delay on the issuance of the demolition permit to be reduced to 60 days should the applicant fulfill all documentation requests which are to be worked out with staff. The applicant may return to request a reduction in the delay period from the Commission.

    4. PUBLIC COMMENT

  6. CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

    1. Consider for recommendation to the Board a Certificate of Appropriateness to remove two internally illuminated box signs and install two flat panel non-illuminated signs at 20 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, Rossi Shoe Service, Ardmore Commercial District.

      On Tuesday, March 1, 2016 HARB recommended approval as submitted.

    2. PUBLIC COMMENT

    3. Consider for recommendation to the Board a Certificate of Appropriateness to remove a wooden picket fence and install a four foot high aluminum estate fence at 1001 Black Rock Road, Stine’s Designs, Inc. Gladwyne, Gladwyne Historic District.

      On Tuesday, March 1, 2016 HARB recommended approval as submitted.

    4. PUBLIC COMMENT

    5. Consider for recommendation to the Board a Certificate of Appropriateness for the following improvements: 1) replace existing windows with vinyl windows, 2) replace two exterior doors, 3) close up a through-wall air conditioning unit opening with stucco to match existing, and 4) install a wood deck extension over an existing concrete rear porch at 554 Barrett Avenue, private residence, Haverford, Haverford Station Historic District.

      On Tuesday, March 1, 2016 HARB recommended approval subject to the following conditions relating to the treatment of the historic wood windows:

      1. Front Windows:
        1. 2nd floor windows shall be replaced with new Andersen 400 Series clad-wood windows with 1/1 or 2/2 simulated divided lights (SDLs).
        2. 1st floor windows shall be retained and equipped with new 3-track storm windows.
      2. Right Side Windows:
        1. 2nd floor dormer window shall be equipped with an aluminum storm window or replaced with an Andersen 400 Series 3-light SDL window.
        2. 1st floor windows shall be retained and equipped with new 3-track storm windows.
      3. Left Side Windows:
        1. 2nd floor dormer window shall be equipped with an aluminum storm window or replaced with an Andersen 400 Series 3-light SDL window.
        2. 1st floor windows shall be retained and equipped with new 3-track storm windows.

      PUBLIC COMMENT

  7. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN IMPLEMENTATION UPDATE

    Staff will provide an update on the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  8. ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER REAPPOINTMENTS

    Planning Commission
    Consider for recommendation to the Board reappointing Harriet Ruffin to the Planning Commission for a full four year term to expire February, 2020.

    Environmental Advisory Council
    Consider for recommendation to the Board reappointing Brian Hoppy to another four year term on the Environmental Advisory Council such term to expire December, 2019.

    Zoning Hearing Board
    Consider for recommendation to the Board reappointing Ken Brier to another three year term on the Zoning Hearing Board such term to expire March, 2019.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  9. FOR INFORMATION – LIST OF HISTORIC PROPERTIES TO BE FURTHER RESEARCHED

    At a meeting on February 16, 2016, the Historical Commission requested that staff direct the Township’s Historic Preservation Consultant to research the properties contained in Exhibit C.
    (Exhibit C)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  10. BAMBOO ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – TIME PERMITTING

    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 D)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  11. CLEAN WATER ACT RESOLUTION - TIME PERMITING

    Consider for recommendation to the Board adopting a resolution to support the ‘Clean Water Counts’ campaign to bring greater awareness and attention to the water quality challenges facing local communities throughout the Commonwealth.
    (Exhibit E)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

  12. UPCOMING ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER TERM EXPIRATIONS

    Planning Commission

    • Charles Howland, term expires May 2016
    • Anthony Vale, term expires May 2016

    PUBLIC COMMENT

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