Institutional Zoning in Lower Merion

At last night’s WCA meeting, we discussed the importance of the upcoming township meeting featuring Lower Merion’s zoning consultant, DPZ, where the topic of institutional zoning will be discussed. As you know, Lower Merion is drafting a new zoning code, and has hired an excellent firm, DPZ, to do the work. DPZ will be presenting tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 28, 2018 to the Building and Planning committee of the LMBOC. The meeting starts at 6 pm in the 2d floor board room at the Lower Merion Township Administration Building located at 75 East Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore. The public is welcome to attend.

The next day, Wednesday, March 1st, DPZ will be holding a public workshop at the NoBA Workspace at 210 Bala Avenue in Bala Cynwyd. The public is invited to attend that meeting too and to provide comments on the work done by DPZ to date with respect to concepts put forth about institutional zoning.

Here is the agenda sent by the township for both meetings:

2/28 Presentation to Building & Planning Committee

1. Timeline Update
2. Public Meeting Schedule of Code preparation for presentation and review
3. Proposed Code Structure
4. Process Analysis
a. HFA/DPZ’s presentation of existing processes analysis
b. Specific questions for BoC
5. Institutional Zoning
a. J. Lombard’s Presentation of Institutional Zoning Precedents
b. DPZ’s recommendation / proposition for discussion, to include:
(i) Definitions/Classifications of Specific Types of Institutional Uses, including possible standalone zones or overlays
(ii) Permitted uses associated with each type of institutional use
(iii) Recommended standards by stand-alone zones or overlay
(iv) Map locations for each type of institutional use

03/01 B&P Staff/DPZ Follow Up Workshop (9am – 1pm Open to Public)

1. Institutional Zoning
a. Summary Introduction of Institutions presentation
b. Summary presentation of DPZ’s assessment & proposition(s)
c. Additional staff/public comments on zoning details presented

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.