Wynnewood Civic’s Annual Meeting

The Wynnewood Civic Association’s Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at All Saint’s Church on Montgomery Avenue.

Turnout was terrific — more than 30 of our neighbors came out on a cold night to hear our special speaker, State Representative Tim Briggs, Pennsylvania 149th District, talk about issues important to our community. Two of our commissioners were also there — Commissioners Cheryl Gelber of Ward 5 and Commissioner Liz Rogan of Ward 7. The meeting began with the nomination and approval of the WCA Board and the election of our officers. Our great thanks goes to Tony Lame for agreeing to serve another term as president, and a warm welcome and thanks go to our two new board members, Bea Alemar and Ray Courtney.

Representative Briggs’s talk focused on three main areas of concern for Wynnewood residents: traffic, radar use, and redistricting. The traffic issue receiving the most attention was the lack of a left turn signal on the westbound direction of Wynnewood Road approaching Lancaster Avenue. Representative Briggs explained this is a state issue and is within the purview of PENNDOT. He said it would require effective lobbying on the part of residents to get a new signal at this intersection. The WCA has been working on this issue for quite some time and will continue to do so until a left turn signal is installed.

Also discussed was the inability of local police forces, like Lower Merion’s, to use radar to enforce speed limits in municipalities. Representative Briggs explained that Pennsylvania only permits state police to use radar, thereby prohibiting local police forces from using radar. Approximately 70% of Pennsylvania towns use the State Police as the primary agency to enforce public safety. Legislators are currently discussing new legislation to address this issue to allow local law enforcement to use radar in traffic enforcement, which could help slow down traffic our township!

The last issue discussed was the issue of redistricting, or more precisely, gerrymandering. Redistricting occurs after each census is taken (every ten years), and there is a hearing scheduled before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Harrisburg on January 17, 2108 regarding the 2011 redistricting which could result in the redrawing of federal congressional district lines.

Wynnewood & Lancaster Gas Station Parcel: What Will the Future Bring?

img_6046Many of you have noticed recent sidewalk and curb concrete work being done on the site of the abandoned gas station and adjacent closed bank building on the parcel at the corner of Wynnewood Road and Lancaster Avenue. According to Chris Leswing, the township’s building and planning director, this work was routine maintenance. 

While this is good news for the present, there is no doubt this is one of the most important development locations facing our Wynnewood community. This parcel is across the street from Whole Foods and has the potential, if the development is done properly, to further enhance the gateway to our community.  The site’s existing C-1 zoning would allow another gas station or a high-traffic fast food operation, neither of which would be desirable, in our view.

Recognizing the importance of this parcel to Wynnewood and the entire Lower Merion community, Chris Leswing has been working with the WCA and the Shortridge Civic Association to develop a proactive approach to the inevitable development of this parcel.

During the past 12 months Chris has met with both civic associations to discuss realistic alternative concepts for the site. Chris suggested both civics and the township agree on some broad concepts to benefit both the site and the community. Chris said he would then take that information and forward it to the owners of the two parcels comprising the site.

We want to send this message: Both the township and the civic associations want a community-enhancing project on this site and not something that will be a high traffic generating eyesore. We hope, with the assistance of the township to make it clear to anyone proposing development,  that the township and the civics support a community-enhancing project,  and we will vigorously oppose any proposals not meeting these goals. 

As part of this process, both the WCA and the Shortridge Civic Association have articulated their positions in letters to the township planning department. Both letters are linked below:

Wynnewood & Lancaster Shortridge Letter

Wynn & Lanc lot letter to Leswing