Just like Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford, a small neighborhood in Gladwyne finds itself at the epicenter of unwelcome, unnecessary, and potentially ugly neighborhood destroying development.
This project needs to be stopped.
This is one of the things up tonight at the Zoning Hearing Board at 7:15 p.m. ( www.lowermerion.org under "Township Meetings"):
Appeal No. 4063
Applicant: Rightcor LP
Property: 254 Righters Mill Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035
R 5 Residence District
Election District #1
The applicant seeks a special exception under §155-99 B to expand the nonconforming apartment house use by 25%, to demolish a detached garage, remove and replace an accessory building and erect an addition to the three-unit apartment house. The applicant also seeks a variance from §155-35 to permit the accessory building to be used as a dwelling unit without the restriction that it be occupied by a member of one of the families residing in the apartment house.
When will Lower Merion seek a moritorium on development? When will the zoning codes be changed to provide more protection? Why is this even being considered with regard to a Class 1 Historic Property? And if Class One historic properties can be targeted like this, how are any of us safe???? Would this developer put this proposed project on his own exclusive Gladwyne street????
Main Line Times: Gladwyne neighbors irked over more historic district development
By Rich Ilgenfritz 11/09/2006
GLADWYNE - A developer in Gladwyne is presenting a plan this week to change an historic building and apartments into a row of apartments.
Neighbors say the project will bring more traffic to their tranquil, residential street. The developer disagrees, arguing that the same number of people will continue to live on the site.
In July, Gary Gevurtz purchased the property at 254 Righters Mill Road in Gladwyne for $800,000. The house, which was constructed in 1880, is listed as a class one historic property under Lower Merion Township codes.
According to township records, Gevurtz has taken two potential plans to the township. His first option, or plan A, is to renovate the historic house, demolish a cottage house, and construct three new buildings on the property. The new structures would be linked to the main house and a driveway would run behind the houses.
But, Gevurtz also has another plan, which might be much more difficult for the township to approve. In his plan B plan, he would demolish the existing house, build a new road through the middle of the property and construct five new houses along this new cul-de-sac.
...Gevurtz, who is also a Gladwyne resident and lives less than a mile from the site, added that he wouldn't want to do anything if he thought it would harm the neighborhood.
Still, residents living in the area say they would have liked it if Gevurtz had come to them to discuss his ideas regarding the property.
"We would love to have a dialogue [with Gevurtz]," Doran added.
Gevurtz did not want to discuss his plan B. Instead, he would only say that if he receives the approvals for his initial plan, he wouldn't need to turn to plan B.
Since the main house is a class one structure, it could be difficult to get approval from the Board of Commissioners to demolish the building.
Lower Merion Commissioner Mark Taylor, who represents the neighborhood where the house is located, declined comment on the project when asked about it on Tuesday. Earlier that morning, Taylor saw the plan for the first time.
SAC Note: This property changed hands as per www.montcopa.org on 31-MAY-06. It was purchased for $800,000. Further and to the point, if the township paid closer attention, this property would not have been in such sorry shape, and might not even be considered as a target for gross development and/or demolition.
It is a shame that Commissioner Taylor inherited this issue from his pro-development predecessor, isn't it???