City Avenue Should Be Topic A for Tomorrow's Election
The rezoning of the City Avenue corridor should be on people's mind when they go to the polls tomorrow. The proponents are tired of waiting any longer and plan to enact the new ordinance into law on December 14; they have just been marking time until the election is over. Requests for land use planning to underlay the ordinance and guide the redevelopment that will be allowed and enabled under the new law have been consistently rebuffed. Requests for comprehensive planning that would take into account the relationship of possible new development along City Avenue, Presidential Boulevard, St. Asaph's Road, and Righters Ferry Road, to the new development the Township is encouraging at the bottom of Righters Ferry Road and Rock Hill Road have also been rebuffed.
Few people disagree with the proposition that the current zoning along City Avenue does not do a good job. But many disagree with the ordinance that will be enacted on December 14, believing its implications have not been fully analyzed and that it has not been well prepared for. Traffic issues remain of paramount concern, of course, but they aren't the only ones. The lack of realism about what presently exists in the corridor and what the market will provide is troubling. A vision of a people friendly environment to live, work and play in is a pleasant one, but can this new zoning, as presently conceived, possibly lead to its realization? Somehow, the vision of City Avenue as Lower Merion's Champs Elysee seems pretty ludicrous.
Previous development initiatives don't provide much comfort. These also were rolled out using the throw-it-up-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks methodology: Ardmore MUST, Rock Hill Road Overlay District, the M District (written specifically for Brian O'Neill and resulting in a lawsuit by O'Neill against the Township). The results are not pretty.
In this connecton, what's up with the Main Line Times website? They have a box for the "most discussed" articles, the ones with the most comments. But they have removed the City Avenue rezoning debate from the front of their site and what is actually the "most discussed" article has disappeared. You have to hunt for it to bring it up: