The Building Division issues construction permits and inspects work for compliance with Township codes, rental housing, property maintenance, public pools, vending machines and dumpsters and oversees the Township’s property resale program.
Planning Division responsibilities include the processing of land development and subdivision applications, subdivision and zoning code amendments. Long-term planning includes comprehensive plan, open space and master plan updates.
Community Development includes oversight of the Township's federal entitlement grant under the Community Development Block Grant Program. The focus of this program is to provide services to lower income neighborhoods and low-income residents of the Township.
Chris Leswing was the Township’s Assistant Director for Building & Planning for 13 years, supervising a staff of six in the Planning Division, before being appointed Director in September 2017. He has coordinated project management with the Building, Economic Development and Community Development divisions of the department, and directed land development applications and long-range planning. Chris was instrumental in the process of developing the Township’s Comprehensive Plan, adopted in early 2016, as well as the comprehensive update to the Lower Merion Zoning Code. He is also well known as a leader who helped spearhead the development and multi-jurisdictional partnership of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail, and subsequently the redevelopment of the Manayunk Bridge into a pedestrian walking and biking path, connecting Lower Merion with Philadelphia. A resident of Ardmore, he also helped lead the effort of neighbors there to convert a parking lot into the award-winning and well-used Linwood Park and gardens.
Chris holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Rutgers University, is accredited as a licensed professional planner (PP) and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).