Developer Not the Bad Guy in Lower Merion's First Baptist Saga

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carla's picture
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I have said little publicly for me about the drama unfolding over First Baptist in Ardmore, but an opinion piece today I find unfair among other things has prompted me to say something as well. I am going to say some things that will undoubtedly piss people off. I am sorry for that.

I will state for the record that I know both the developer and attorney of record for this project. I have never denied it. Both are men who are individuals who have not only contributed a lot to their individuals communities, but who do good solid work.

Yes me of all people, defending a developer. But ironic aside, right is right, and wrong is wrong. Wally Smerconish is not the bad guy in this drama. He is as much of a victim in this as is the community who doesn't want to lose this structure.

I hear a lot of people feel the Zoning Hearing Board could have made allowances for that plan, but chose instead to send a message to the Board of Commissioners at the expense of an applicant and neighborhood? There you not only had a an adaptive reuse that the residents loved, heck even the reporters reporting on it couldn't believe there was *finally* a plan in Ardmore no one argued about as being just simply awful. But now, what is the neighborhood faced with? Easy, it's called demolition. Will that happen in the end? I hope not for the neighborhood's sake.

But while Rome burns, Lower Merion executives fiddle. And it is wrong to portray the developer as the sole and solitary villain in this play.

So with that I am calling out Kate Galer of Ardmore on her blame laden rally the troops blog post in Ardmore Patch.

I will be the first one to admit that I have written blog posts like this myself over the years. But I would like to think I thought my positions through a little better.

Kate was by her own account reacting to what is going on in her neighborhood and what she read on Ardmore Patch the other day. You can't blame her for that.

Here is what Kate says in part:


Kate Galer:
The Demolition of An Old Church: Smerconish's Bad Intentions Leave a Bad Taste

Posted on July 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Well, Mr. Smerconish, you have done a good job of sounding like a threatening bully to the people who actually care about preserving the character of our little pocket of the world.

By basically saying that the Township Zoning Hearing Board is forcing you to demolish First Baptist Church - a beautiful, 90 year old, stone structure that fits perfectly on the corner of St. Paul's and Athens in Ardmore - you place the blame for your bad decisions on the government. Perhaps before going under contract to purchase the property you should have had your "people" (isn't your lawyer former Commissioner Lance Rogers?) let you know that conversion to a multi-family dwelling wouldn't be a permissible use under the current zoning.

You have now helped further the "stereotype" of developer. Is it no wonder we all get our back up when someone comes in from somewhere else and wants to fundamentally change the way our neighborhood looks?

Just a few, short years ago a developer wanted to build four houses on a one-acre parking lot within spitting distance of the Baptist Church. That developer ended up making a cool million when he sold it to the Township, who bought it with already designated open space funds and neighborhood fundraising efforts, to build beautiful Linwood Park.

While there is certainly no expectation of the Township stepping in on the Baptist purchase, there is an expectation by the neighborhood for the devolper to uphold the character of Ardmore.

When people move to Ardmore or choose to stay after being brought up here, they enter into a tacit agreement with their neighbors that we like living in houses like this, with people like this, with a streetscape like this. We can always improve things a bit by planting some more trees or fixing up our house a little, but it is generally OK by us. Some of the way we feel about Ardmore is intangible and hard to define and conflicted, but it seems to be a collective way of feeling.

Demolishing a building that has been a part of our neighborhood for longer than most of us have been alive is just plain wrong....And it is eligible to be on the Historic Inventory, which is probably where it should've been before all this started.

I just wish Mr. Smerconish hadn't alienated the neighbors by applying for a demolition permit because there might be some relief in Township ordinances and codes coming soon.

There is an amendment to an ordinance that has been in the works and is being proposed by the Lower Merion Township Building and Planning Department. The amendment specifically addresses the conversion of religious institutions and clubs or lodges to permissible multi-family dwellings...the residents of Ardmore need to do a few things to stop Smerconish from being able to turn to rubble a part of our neighborhood....Contact Wally Smerconish and/or his lawyer, Lance Rogers, and let them know this is not an okay way to deal with our neighborhood (sneaky and underhanded!). Contact Duffy Realty (610-667-6655) in Narberth, who is representing the sellers, and have them convey a message to the sellers that they should not be selling to a buyer with bad intentions.

Use our Civics - ArdWood and Ardmore Progressive - to let everyone know we want to keep the Baptist Church standing and converted to a mutually accepted use.

Property owners have certain legal rights to do what they want with their own property and that is good - most of us want the government out of our houses - but we also have ethical obligations to be good neighbors.

If Smerconish doesn't want to be that good neighbor, he doesn't need to be in Ardmore

Tacit agreement? "When people move to Ardmore or choose to stay after being brought up here, they enter into a tacit agreement with their neighbors that we like living in houses like this, with people like this, with a streetscape like this"? Huh? Is Ardmore a commune? A giant condo development? It's a nice thought, but hearts and flowers aside, where is the legal obligation to do so?

I will say at the onset that Kate Galer has a right to her opinion. Just as I have a right to mine. But I would like to know if she is saying this as Kate the Ardmore resident responding? Or Kate the girlfriend of Lower Merion Township Employee Chris Leswing speaking? Or Kate the rumored candidate for commissioner speaking? Just because there is an ordinance or zoning amendment in the works, it does not mean it is a one size fits all.

Has Kate ever sat down with Wally Smerconish? Love them or hate them, are developers supposed to be victims of Lower Merion's bad planning any more than residents?

I have this mostly alone, because truthfully I admire Kate Galer's passion for her community. I think her heart and soul are in the right place at the end of the day. But I can't sit idly by while she asserts things that simply are not true.

Wally Smerconish doesn't want to demolish the church. But money doesn't grow on trees. If he can't do things reasonably in a reasonable time frame, who can blame him for wanting out? Is he supposed to lose money because Lower Merion Township doesn't have it's act together? Not all developers are willing to perform these for king and country feats of valor. And let is get real, who wants this structure which is not part of any historic district? Not many. Except for half a minute another martial arts place, and a commercial use at this location would be disasterous.

Wally Smerconish had an idea that has worked in many other communities from state to state. Adaptive reuse of unusualstructures like churches can be really really cool. Wally Smerconish (in my opinion) got caught up in the system much like residents often do. As a matter of fact people told him he was nuts for wanting to do this project in Lower Merion, let alone wade into the mess known as Ardmore development. Adaptive reuse is a great thing. But getting there in Lower Merion shouldn't be so difficult.

Kate is right to rally the troops to save the building. But not at the expense of Wally Smerconish's reputation or Lance Rogers' either. They did not cause this issue, Lower Merion did.

If Kate has a buyer for the church since she seems hell bent on placing blame and riding Wally out of Lower Merion on a proverbial rail, by all means speak up.

But otherwise, her blog post in my opinion, fans the flame of community divisiveness, and that, dear Kate, will not accomplish anything. And are you fanning the flames for the community in which you live or because the township looks once again foolish? Where are your ideas to get this resolved? Other than putting forth what the township wants or wanted to happen?

Again, passion is a great thing. But let's get real? Lower Merion needs to present corrective zoning that is appealing and can be more uniformly applied. Making affordable housing and historic preservation seem like a punishment to those who wish to invest in the community is not a good call. I say this as a fan and proponent of both affordable housing an historic preservation. And affordable in Lower Merion given the taxes is subjective anyway and what good is affordable housing if people can't afford to live in a community?

Lower Merion has not had a comprehensive plan since 1979. Every once in a while we hear about updates in the works, but the proof is in the pudding: it doesn't exist. Lower Merion is not abiding by what the Municipalities Planning Code of PA says should be: updates every couple of years. Lower Merion is a hodge podge of bad planning, zoning overlays that contradict things, inadequate yet punitive preservation.

There is always a LOT of breast beating on the part of township officials and others when something could be torn down, yet nothing ever substantively significant changes.

If you don't want to lose the church Kate, then don't blame and castigate the one guy who actually had a viable idea of saving it.

And if First Baptist does end up getting torn down, Lower Merion can only blame itself. If they wanted to, the commissioners and township could work with a developer (even this one) to get an adaptive reuse through on First Baptist. But that doesn't mean strong arming a developer who hasn't done anything wrong.

Generally speaking, I am not considered the developer's friend. But we have to be fair here. Or at keast show all sides to the issue.

I have said what I have to say. If this plan falls by the wayside and doesn't come to fruition it will indeed be a shame.

Advocating for a community comes with responsibilities. I feel I am living up to my responsibility by showing the other side to the issue.

Ardmore's largest problem is probably that the Township of Lower Merion will never get the town that households their administration building. This of course, encompasses bad planning. I hope Ardmore residents can step back and look at this and other issues objectively.

If you want to lead Kate, by all means, do so. But do so fairly. The township is not lily white in this, nor is the issue as simplistic as you would like people to believe.

That's all

Here is what Patch wrote about before:

First Baptist Church Developer Applies For Demolition Permit

Developer Wally Smerconish's previous plans for the site were denied by the Zoning Hearing Board on June 14.

By Amanda Mahnke
Email the author
July 6, 2012

Updated 7/6/12 at 1:30 p.m. Comments from Wally Smerconish have been added.

Developer Wally Smerconish, the contract buyer of First Baptist Church of Ardmore, applied for a demolition permit for the property this week, according to Bob Duncan, Lower Merion Building and Planning Director.

The Lower Merion Zoning Hearing Board's decision to deny a use variance requested by Smerconish "effectively directed me to demolish this church," Smerconish told Patch on Friday.

First Baptist Church, located at E Athens Ave and St. Pauls Road, has been up for sale since last July since its small congregation cannot support it.

Smerconish, the president of Main Street Abstract Company, had previously presented to the Lower Merion Zoning Hearing Board plans to convert the 1928 greystone building and its parsonage into five condominium units. Those plans would have kept the building intact, aside from small changes like adding dormer windows to the church's roof, Smerconish told the Zoning Hearing Board on May 17....On June 14, the Zoning Hearing Board denied the variances requested by Smerconish, reasoning that Smerconish "failed to meet the heavy burden of proving unnecessary hardship for a use variance."

"I was very confident that the Zoning Hearing Board would recognize the merits of this case and grant the use variance, and they did not," Smerconish told Patch on Friday. "I was shocked. I am now committed to the purchase of this building, and the Zoning Hearing Board and their decision effectively directed me to demolish this church."

Smerconish applied for a demolition permit this week, but he will also be appealing the Zoning Hearing Board's decision in court. Smerconish said that on Monday, he will be filing an appeal in court for the reconsideration of the board's decision.

Smerconish recognized that the community will not support demolition of the property, and said he wanted to avoid that outcome as well.

"We can settle this in accordance with what community wants, or not—and if we don't, then demolition is a very real possibility," Smerconish said, noting that he has already solicited bids from contractors for the property's demolition.

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Hugh Gordon's picture
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What does she want Smerconish to do?  Be the founding father of a new church?

The proposed new ordinance is a one-size-fits-all "solution" that might not fit other places all that well.  There are about 60 other locations that it could potentially affect.  It needs careful consideration, not being rushed through on an emergency basis.   It also has some provisions that very few property owners would be able to accept.

You can see the list of properties at the last page of this: 

http://lowermerion.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7310

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Thank you. It's not like he went into Ardmore with bad intentions. And how are he or Lance Rogers being sneaky or underhanded? Unfortunately, in her piece I not only see lobbying for the township (which in the end did not work so well for some in Ardmore as far as "Ardmore redevelopment" goes), but a definite political bias. And I hate to say that, but I can't escape the feeling. What she will now accomplish is to alienate the developer, his lawyer, and undoubtedly some of her neighbors. Now she might not care, it all might just be one wavy wall of concrete in Linwood Park and no dogs allowed, but she should care. The range of emotions over Linwood Park that I have seen here and elsewhere should have been a learning tool.

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Carla defending a developer...

...dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria!

 

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carla's picture
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LOL Doug, it is just right is right and wrong is wrong. And Kate is wrong.

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When I lived in Lower Merion some decided I should not comment on anything. One of those people was Francie McComb. She cropped up on Ardmore Patch about this topic in this post. While also entitled to her opinion, Francie never loses an opportunity to take a shot at me. I am giggling because this time one of her big arguments is I no longer live in Lower Merion. Yes, that is true, but I did live in LMT for over 30 years and still have friends there and volunteer and what not. Of course when I did live in Lower Merion she would criticize and say I shouldn't comment for other reasons.

http://ardmore.patch.com/blog_posts/the-demolition-of-an-old-church-smerconishs-bad-intentions-leave-a-bad-taste#comments

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Seems more and more people are interested in this every day:

Posted: Wed, Jul. 11, 2012, 4:26 PM
Gothic-revival Ardmore church faces demolition
By Anna Strong
Philly.com

After 89 years, the First Baptist Church in Ardmore may have to come down. And the community that supports it is finding it hard to let go.

The Lower Merion Township Zoning and Hearing Board has denied developer Wally Smerconish's request to turn the church into condos, which would keep the building intact. Smerconish, a real-estate developer whose brother is the nationally syndicated radio host and Inquirer columnist Michael Smerconish, has been forced to apply for a demolition permit....Smerconish, who is from Haverford, proposed turning the interior of the church into five single-family condominiums while preserving the exterior facade as much as possible.

"It's a brilliant idea," said Ardmore resident and shop owner Sherry Tillman, before . "I know people feel they want to keep the fabric of the neighborhood the same, and this is a way to do that."

Tillman, who lives close to the church, felt strongly about the preservation aspect of Smerconish's plan...."It's a regrettable decision, because I really went out of my way to try and preserve it and work with it," Smerconish said. "But at this point, I've had to apply for a demolition permit," which he did this week.

"It's a shame because the zoning board had an opportunity to do something great for the community, and it didn't work out," Smerconish said.

Teri Simon, a former member of the Lower Merion Planning Commission and the current president of the Wynnewood Civic Association, said the township needed to upadate its comprehensive plan to help it revise zoning ordinances. Lower Merion Township has not revised its comprehensive plan since 1979.

"As a township, we haven't been up to date on this, and as a result the church may have to be demolished," Simon said. "And that's just a shame."

Simon added that community support for Smerconish's project made the ruling all the more upsetting

(I am surprised that Fancy Francie did not check the reporter's passport before she entered Lower Merion to see if she was a resident or not before she reported it.)

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I am uncomfortable with Wally Smerconich's actions to date because Wally's words and actions don't match.

He waxed to the neighborhood about saving a beautiful building, yet has applied to demolish it before he even owns it.

He said that six single houses could be built on the lot (making 5 condos including the parsonage look much better) yet only 3 max actually can.

He said demolishing and building new homes was financially unworkable so why didn't he make purchase contingent on zoning variance?  Why is he proceeding with a sale despite not getting that variance that was 'critical'? Is it now financially feasable to raze and rebuild? What changed to make it so?

He was told in a public meeting that variances for impervious surface could be given with historic preservation and that this was very important yet he refuses to agree to preserve even with variances?

How does an experienced developer with an attorney who is a former Township Commissioner not know zoning laws, to make a purchase contingent on variance grant if the projectis otherwise "unfeasable", or how many houses really would fit on the lot in question? It looks to me like Wally really thought that he can make money either way - either condos or three nice sized single homes. Bonus, he can make the Township look bad for being "inflexible".

I hope these concerns and incongruities can be addressed as they are very, very unsettling.  I love the idea still of condos in that space, I have seen it work well in other areas, but only if that space's exterior can be preserved and protected.  Without those protections changes could be made that would ruin the structure, even tear it down still and build five ugly condo townhomes leaving the neighborhood with a more densely populated and less lovely corner.  

I don't deny that the Township is playing their role.  They can be notoriously difficult to work with, no doubt.  I would say though that Wally has also not done a whole lot to advocate for the church, like, for instance, agreeing to a historic easement to protect the exterior.  That might go a long way towards making some in control willing to pehaps consider making an already dense neighborhood more dense.  

I likewise find it baffling that members of the Save Ardmore Coalition, an organization founded to avoid destruction and redevelopment of our lovely village, would indeed be supporting a developer who wants to do exactly that to this beautuiful old church in very good condition.   You fought for LaRonda.  You fought for the Spanish House. Why not First Baptist Church?

 

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re: historic easement. I am all for historic preservation, but face in Lower Merion a lot of it is lip service. You cannot force someone to do that. IF the building was in a historic district or a proposed historic district or was already a class 1 or class 2 resource, I would agree with you. But none of the above apply, so in this case I don't.

Also, in all fairness to Wally and his attorney Lance Rogers, they should have been able to get this through on the first go round, but Lower Merion is playing games. They are just as much a victim in this play as is your neighborhood and all of your neighbors. To say they do not know the zoning laws is not quite the issue. The issue is a zoning gray area, so you have to get variances. But Lower Merion's Zoning Hearing Board did not want to do that and chose to send a message to the township. So now you have yet another example of a band-aid approach to zoning and they are once again being reactive. In the land of no, I can't blame the developer here. It's a power play.

It is rare I defend a developer, or even say I like anything a developer brings forward, but the reality is all Wally has done since the zoning hearing board played God with your neighborhood is explore his options. He has three: sell it, raze it, get the original plan through. Applying for a demolition permit is not taking it down, it is preserving his rights. He is the contract buyer going to settlement.

I asked him flat out if he wanted to demolish and he said only as a last resort. But face it, it is a crappy economy and he doesn't want to lose his shirt.

It is not a matter of not fighting for First Baptist. It is being realistic. And while lovely, it is not in the same league in my opinion as La Ronda or Spanish House.

If historic preservation had more rewards in this township I might feel differently. If Lower Merion has a completed updated comprehensive plan that had some sort of outline to deal with this, I might feel differently.

But with all due respect, fair is fair. You all loved this guy when he came forward with an awesome adaptive reuse plan for your neighborhood. But because he is trying to protect himself in a bad economy (which I believe anyone would be fair in doing), he is the enemy and so is his lawyer.

That is not fair. Also, with all due respect, while I maintain an affiliate relationship with Save Ardmore Coalition, I had to resign my board seat a year ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My opinion in this case, might be contrary to what people perceive as normal or predictable for me, but I got here after a lot of careful thought.

I would love to see this preserved. But at the end of the day, it may not be simply because the township of Lower Merion is too difficult to deal with unless you are a monster developer and in that case you can throw your weight around and get what you want including zoning overlays.

Y'all want this church saved? Then either urge the township to find a middle ground that all can deal with on this plan, or maybe find another buyer so the current developer can walk away. Or find the developer a tenant that is acceptable to you and the township which would preserve the building in the short term as well as protect his investment.

And get to meetings and urge Lower Merion to actually move towards historic preservation that is meanigful and works. Don't tell me you are disappointed because I see this differently. Go to those commissioners and get them to do their jobs and to think outside the box.

Thanks for the comment, and thanks for the pleasant discourse even if we don't agree.

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This neighbothood has been working for some time to establish a historic district. It's been the Township who's been unwilling to 'entertain' more of these that's been a key roadblock. 

From the three times I met Wally, I thought he came across as a generally pleasant guy.  As i said before, I like the idea of the project very much as long as the exterior is protected.  This is not a new position for me. I voiced that concern directly and openly at the first public meeting where Wally presented his idea, as well as to him personally when we met on the street.  Without that protection, all the neighborhood is left with is higher density than it's zoned for and no guarantee that the end result would look remotely like a Gothic Revival Church that happened to have residences inside.  That is not a good situation for the neighborhood to be in.  

I do not think of him as 'the enemy', nor have I ever referred to him in that way.  Life is rarely that black and white.  I am uncomfortable with his actions as compared to his words.  I have no opinion of his lawyer, nor did I express one.  I am simply seeking to understand why words and actions are so divergant and drawing conclusions as best I can. 

I do not agree that Wally is a 'victim'.  A victim is defined as follows:

Noun:
  1. A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
  2. A person who is tricked or duped: "the victim of a hoax".

He was not  tricked or duped, in that very first meeting he knew he would need variances, knew that offering historic preservation would allow some of them to occur, and knew they would be difficult to get.  I was at that first meeting when Chris Leswing told him that openly in front of 50 or so people.  Chris also offered again publicly to help him wherever he could.  

He is anything but without power here.  He is a party, a player, but not a 'victim'.  There are two parties here making "power plays" and he is one of them.   

You assume that people are not urging all concerned - the Township, the Church and the Developer - to find a middle ground here.  That assumption is incorrect.  You also assume other buyers haven't voiced their interest directly. That too would be incorrect.  Wally is not the owner of the property at this time,  so taliking to him is not correct.  

Wally actually has FOUR options here: The one you failed to mention is to simply walk away from the sale.  He doesn't have to buy the property.  He wouldn't lose his shirt by walking away, either.  It may be the least costly way to resolve this, given all his other options and this economic climate.  

Knights who say... NI!remind you that these are my thoughts alone and not representative of any organization I am a member of in any capacity.

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Are you suggesting that someone in this economy should walk away and lose money they invested? Would you do that?

You said:

You assume that people are not urging all concerned - the Township, the Church and the Developer - to find a middle ground here. That assumption is incorrect. You also assume other buyers haven't voiced their interest directly. That too would be incorrect. Wally is not the owner of the property at this time, so taliking to him is not correct.

I assume nothing. Merely proffered an opinion. Wally IS the contract owner going to settlement, so yes indeedy, you should try to talk to him. But you all obviously do not want to, which in this case I believe to be a mistake because by all accounts he is going through with the purchase, unless of course the church breaks the contract on the deal and pays him back what he has already invested in the property.

And bingo! THANK YOU for bringing up that this area has indeed for years been attempting some sort of historic district. Others like your neighbor Kate, don't seem to have mentioned that, or the fact that the township throws up selective road blocks when they don't want to deal.

However, having lived for years in my former neighborhood and was an advocate for the historic district we became, I have to say as much as it troubles me to admit it, I do not know what good the historic ditrict designation has done because we discovered the hard way it not only has few real preservation teeth, it may run contrary to certain zoning. And when the neighborhood got screwed in the development now going up on North Buck, it was in part because of what was lacking in R6A.

So I lived in a neighborhood that suffered through REactive band-aid zoning that has in the end done very little to protect and preserve that neighborhood to date. I also have lived through what it is like to have a developer who doesn't give a crap about anything except what he wants and his wallet, versus one who actually tried to do something with a vision and that was creative and good for the neighborhood.

So everyone can say how horrible I am for having this opinion blah, blah, blah and how I moved blah, blah, blah. I have offered my opinions. For all that I have tried to do as a volunteer in Ardmore over the years, I do not care for how I am being flogged because my opinion differs from many of yours now. It is quite sad, truthfully. So whatever. I shouldn't care so much. I can't and won't ever see it from my window.

Thanks for the reminder.

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The Haverford Station historic district was completely botched from day one.   Because it was implemented without paying attention to the defects in the underlying zoning, and the standards for what made the district "historic" were never properly thought through and articulated, it was powerless to impede the Cornell Homes townhouse development, which was its main impetus, and now it has imposed burdens on all the other property owners in the district who have to go to HARB any time they want to fix their windows.  

It is doubtful that LM's experiment with historic districts has achieved much at all.  The goal is to preserve the look and feel of neighborhoods.  Form based zoning, which is being implemented in Narberth, looks like a much more promising way to go.

Most property owners who buy into an older established neighborhood so do because its look and feel appeal to them, and the last thing they want to do is to disturb that character.  Yes, occasionally you get a goon who wants to tear down a beautifully constructed 19th C or early 20th C building to put up a stucco hideousness with an atrium and "Palladian" windows; but is the whole elaborate and costly apparatus of the HARB and the Historical Commission worth it really to protect against these occasional lapses?

And they come down really hard on the individual homeowner who doesn't have resources to push back, and then go easy on the big sinners.  Case in point:  The new windows in the Lower Merion School District Administration Building that the Historical Commission allowed are grotesque.  Might as well have ordered them from Anderson.

South Ardmore, which is a gem of a neighborhood, wants to think really carefully before imposing an historic district on itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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xf14ae's picture
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To be clear: I am stating Wally's options.  You stated he has three.  He has four.  In this economy, it may very well be better to walk away from an unfeasable deal than to go forward.  Not knowing the financial details around any of them, I'm not in a position to judge.  He has stated that razing and building is financially unfeasable.  That he has filed to do just that is perplexing, but those are his words, not mine.  No one can 'force' someone else to buy a property.  People can and do walk away when closing is not in their best interest.

To answer your question about what I would do:  When faced with either a) costly continuing petitions to get zoning variances I might never get, b) razing an old and sturdily built structure with 25' deep basements and God-knows what fuel oil and other 'undiscovered' contaminants lie within (as often happens when working with 100 year old buildings) then building what would have to be 3 total near million dollar houses in it's place in a neighborhood whose top sale values consistently hover in the $650K - $750K range - and in that range it takes a while for them to sell - or  c) walking away from a purchase, I would very likely choose C as my least expensive option.    

I have no idea why you feel you are being 'flogged', I am simply offering a viewpoint that is different and asking questions.  Civil discourse is as important, if not more important, than disagreement.  I value it highly.  

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"I hope it will be said we taught them to stand tall & proud, even in the face of history & the future was made new & whole for us all, one child at a time." - Brian Andreas

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Carla is position is well thought out and reasonable. Carlae makes a compelling case for her position.

 

Carla pursuaded me. The unexpected happens.

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dmuth's picture
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Carla is position is well thought out and reasonable. Carlae makes a compelling case for her position.

Carla pursuaded me. The unexpected happens.

Why did so many people downvote this?  Let's try to rate the comments, and not the person leaving the comment, m'kay?

 

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LexoTime5's picture
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Why did so many people downvote this? 

1) Misspellings

2) No explanation or support for statements, no new information or reasoning offered

3) Whiff of pandering

4) Patronizing and disrespect conveyed by implying Carla doesn't often persuade people

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LMT Observer's picture
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Why did so many people downvote this?

Appreciate that Lexo took the time to explain.   Agree.

 

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bobguzzardi's picture
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Something similar is happening in Allegheny County 

" An Allegheny County judge on Monday gave permission to demolish the former St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in the North Side, overturning a Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission decision. Common Pleas Judge Robert Colville ruled in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, saying “a certificate of economic hardship must be issued unless a reasonable use of the property is otherwise available to the applicant.” St. Nicholas Parish in Millvale sought the certificate to help clear the way for demolition. It said it cannot afford to maintain the building and others along East Ohio Street and that it could not sell the property located just steps off Route 28. "

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