Minutes

2017 ANNUAL MEETING  OCTOBER 23  ARDMORE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Those Present:  Board Members: Kelly Beh, Emily Nicholson, Val Hiscock, Linda Katz, Greg Liacouras, Chris Helle, David Petkun, Bonnie Perry, Hilary Martin, Maude Kent, Hugh Gordon, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Anne Oltmanns.

Visitors and Honored Guests:  Jamie Wheeler, Jenette Wheeler, Mariella Canales, Sandy Bove, Fred Bove, Maxine Cook, David Cook, Stanley Lassoff, Natalie Weinstein, Meryl Littman, Gary Littman, Ted Emmett, Mary Emmet, Alex Rolfe, Barbara Levin, Carole Lukoff, Esther Nash, Peter Dustin, Bobbie McElroy, Jim Foley, Alison Graham, Chad Graham, Lisa Petkun, Michael Peretz, Paul Morris, David Richman, Ariel Blumencwejg, Heather Hollis, Larry Margel, Janet Kronfeld, Hugh Reynolds, Heather Reynolds, Chuck Shields, Kathy Shields, Caroline Manogue, Christopher Manogue, Mike Hartung, Ana Eiras, Alan Sigler, Bridget Abraham, Kevin Scanlin, Ed Gerner, Michael Zoler, Jennifer Greenfield, Christine Vilardo, Chris Leswing, Commissioner Cheryl Gelber.

The meeting was brought to order at 7:15pm by our Vice President Bonnie Perry and officers were all mentioned by name.  New NACA President Hugh Gordon applauded Brody Steven’s past work as President.

Christine Vilardo- Introduced as the Director of the Ardmore Initiative.   She pointed out their Directory for us to avail ourselves of.  Also, there exists a new parking map.  There is actually “more parking” than people think.  Funds from the Dept. of Community and Economic Development have made some nice touches in Ardmore.   New planter boxes, tree lights for the Holidays, etc.  There is quite a business explosion- and so many new restaurants – such as Bam Bam soul kitchen, and a  French Pastry Shop, both great. The  PucciManuli gift shop has moved into the corner lot at the intersection of Lancaster and Cricket.  Puns toys has moved to Rittenhouse, after closing their store in Bryn Mawr.  Only 6-7 vacancies exist now in downtown Ardmore.  Chefs from Parc are renovating and will have the “Bercy” where Primavera Pizza kitchen used to be.  Real estate is moving commercially; people are buying the buildings.  A new Vietnamese restaurant will move into Auspicious. The Dranoff project is going along “quietly”.   His project will have parking for renters below ground and then three levels available to the public.  Then above that will be the apartments.  Target:  Known as the Rite Aid lot- will be a Target Express.  This is 3200 sq. ft. of commercial space.  Living units will be above that.  Concern expressed about parking:  she did not have an answer, deferring to Chris L.   Please look out for Cricket Cringle, Dec. 1 & 2:  a Christmas Market.  www.destinationardmore.com has all the info.

35 people showed up for the Alice Dustin Mural Dedication at the Ardmore West WaWa. This was a great success which we applaud.

205 Llanfair – at this point there exists much concern about “taking down the woods”, in order to build another house on the property.  Mr. Gross, the builder who owns it, has revised his initial plan of building two large houses and wrecking the old house.  Now he has submitted a plan that conserves the old house and just builds one new one on St. George’s Rd. The Lower Merion Conservancy is trying to protect the historic house, hopefully succeeding.   But possibly a conservation easement could be employed to save the patch of woods.  TBC.

Chris Leswing- Director of building and Planning for LMT.  He was appreciative of the size of our crowd. (!) This shows “we care”.   10 years ago the township decided to upgrade the Comprehensive Plan. L M is the 8th largest municipality in Pa., and trying to put all the opinions into a narrative, was a challenge.  This is a guide for the whole Township- and it really behooves us to read through this plan.  Lately they are working on a new zoning code document, taking into account the new C. Plan.   Some examples:  turning down the dial of big box architecture~.  For example, we want to make sure that our commercial areas are as high quality as our residential areas.  They are required now to put in awnings.  He had good things to say about MUST.  “We are trying to assure the zoning in residential neighborhoods  stays in favor of less density.  We also don’t want to  expand the footprint of the commercial areas.”   Form based zoning:  How we can make sure that new development looks like what we want it to be- similar mass, scale, and character of what is already there.  We want to take charm back into the equation rather than just be building square footage.  Form based zoning will also apply to institutions.  Answer to question about Target parking:  This will be inside the building, underneath.

Schools-  The Township is trying to reach out to the school district- where will they expand?  The two bodies LMT and LMS District- are trying to work together.  Chris is hoping things would be better between them.

Question who is buying the new development properties?  Lots of large families? Leswing had an upbeat projection about the amount of attendance that will materialize at the schools.   He said one function of increasing your school district is the size of the apartments available.   Promoting more one bedroom apartments or smaller ones causes fewer children.

Walkability is very key in Lower Merion Township and is the trend which everyone is appreciating.   (This not only pertains to schools, but also shopping).

Commissioner Cheryl Gelber- Project proposed for corner of Glenn and Montgomery/they have convinced them to redo the plan/ TBC.

Stormwater management- they are putting together a comprehensive storm water management plan.  Meeting will be Nov. 13th from 7 – 9 pm.

Traffic safety committee is new- we are trying to figure out what traffic safety and calming measures will work within the Township.  Traffic diet- narrowing of certain places-  is just one type of calming option.  The traffic safety committee will evaluate all the options which will present themselves.

Our Fire dept. is still looking for volunteers; we are looking at ways of incentivizing young men and women.  If living here, they could perhaps get tax credits on municipal taxes.  Free parking at meters, a few things.  This is still just being considered and is not yet policy.

Medical Marijuana- we will have at most one dispensary in LM. It’s only sold thru dispensaries and it can’t be sold in drugstores.  We are looking for ONE grower.

Paper shredding Oct. 29th.  Trash fees are going up.   We are realigning refuse and recycling collection.  They will notify us about any changes in days.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00pm.

Emily Nicholson

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Members who would like a copy of other board meeting minutes may obtain them by contacting NACA secretary.