20 Aug 2014
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Ardmore Transit Center: New Deadline on Talks with Developer, Rail Cos.

Township officials need rail-company assistance.

Ardmore Transit Center: New Deadline on Talks with Developer, Rail Cos.

The Lower Merion Board of Commissioners voted 11-2 Wednesday night to extend by two months the deadline to finalize a development agreement with Dranoff Properties around the Ardmore Transit Center.

Officials had planned to finish a plan by Jan. 31, but more time is needed to negotiate with rail companies, township manager Doug Cleland said. The new deadline is March 31.

The township has gotten $15.5 million in grants and needs the project to go forward to keep them. Officials have reached out to SEPTA and Amtrak for their help in incorporating existing parking lots into the project area and identifying areas for future "expandability," Cleland said.

"The proposed revitalization of Ardmore continues to be an evolving project," Cleland said.

Commissioners differed on the project's prospects, some acknowledging its potential while others lamented how long planning has taken and the limited size of it. All but Jenny Brown and Lew Gould voted in favor.

In other Board of Commissioners business:

  • The board postponed by a week deciding whether to grant a liquor license transfer from a Norristown business to the 2,700-square-foot former CVS on 44 Greenfield Ave. in the Ardmore Shopping Center. Applicant Peter Vitale said the business would be called The Beer Shoppe, selling and sampling microbrews while selling enough food to satisfy the Liquor Control Board's license regulations.
  • The  was postponed, for consideration at the Jan. 18 meeting.
  • Each volunteer fire company was allotted $284,373 for the year, though several commissioners pointed out that sum does not cover the companies' whole budgets, so donations are still welcome.
  • At the suggestion of deputy township manager Pat Ryan, the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners agreed Wednesday night to pay Manheim-based Foreman Program and Construction Managers $146,300 to oversee the renovations of Bala Cynwyd Library and act as liaison among subcontractors and the township.
    Commissioner Lew Gould objected to the cost and considered the job description nebulous, but the appropriation passed, 11-2. Bala Cynwyd Commissioner George Manos defended the job as vital to the project, while before Commissioner Dan Bernheim voted in favor, he remarked, “It may seem unfortunate that we need to hire someone to make sure the people we hire do the job.”
  • The board decided Wednesday night to allow new construction on historic Bryn Mawr land and a public-private land swap in Gladwyne.
    The owners of 1341 Wooded Way in the Harriton Farms section are planning to demolish their pool house and build a new detached home on the property. The land is part of a Bryn Mawr tract that was developed and live on as early as the early 1700s. Officials are trying to preserve as many trees there as possible, and the 1341 Wooded Way application calls for the replanting of 12-foot trees.
    The township will trade about 75,000 square feet in Mill Creek Valley Park for the same amount from the property at 1485 Mill Creek Road, where home additions have encroached into public land.

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