Sorry, but these student houses seem to be cropping up all over. People can't just create a student rental because they want to! And the worse the market gets, the more they appear. These illegal houses are also not fair to students, because more often than not they are forced to move.
So anyway, I got a notice of an upcoming zoning hearing board meeting. And on it was an upscale condo from the Haverford Walk Development at 415 E Lancaster Ave in Haverford:
Notice is hereby given that the Zoning Hearing Board of Lower Merion Township will hold a meeting as required by Lower Merion Code Chapter 155, as amended and codified by Ordinance 1802, at the Merion Fire Company of Ardmore, 35 Greenfield Avenue, Ardmore, PA, on Thursday, October 16, 2008, at 7:15 p.m., at which time there will be a hearing on the following cases:
Applicant: Phyllis Robinson
Property: 415 Lancaster Avenue, Unit #10, Haverford, PA 19041
(Election District #4). R 6A Residence District
The applicant seeks a temporary special exception under §155-11 S(5) or alternatively, a temporary variance from §155-11 S(5) to establish a student home for up to three students in this single family dwelling condominium unit to allow student occupancy until May 30, 2009. The applicant also seeks a temporary variance from the following:
§155-95 W to not provide three off-street parking spaces, or alternatively, to allow a visitor parking space to be used as one of three required spaces,
§§155-114 D(1) & D(2) to allow portions of the driveway and parking areas to remain within the required front yard setback and buffer area,
§155-114 D(2) to not provide the required 20' buffer area, and
(if required) §155-11 T & §155-141.3 B to not comply with the separation requirements from other student homes, nonconforming uses or residential uses permitted by special exception under §§155-11 Q, R, & S.
This is a pretty pricey condo, and the property owner lives in Boca Raton Florida as per public property records for Montgomery County, so she can't be hurting that badly that she should be allowed to turn her condo into a dorm.
Look, if she had applied on the up and up to do this, that would be one thing, but I went to the township and asked the Zoning Officer what the deal was and this was part of the response:
"The applicant established a student home at this property without zoning approval. A violation notice from the Lower Merion Housing Officer was sent to the property owners on August 28, 2008..."
And oh, in a neighborhood with chronic parking woes, this won't have enough spaces either....just say no Lower Merion Township Zoning Board, just say NO.
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