Spring Mill study pushing for more development along North Lane

The agenda for the meeting of Whitemarsh Township’s Board of Supervisors on May 5th includes a series of department reports. One report involves the Spring Mill Multi-Modal and Land Use Study that Whitemarsh Township has been conducting for the past several months.

While the study included the entire Spring Mill area, which includes properties pretty well developed or with a plan for development, the study recommended that two areas that are described as “underutilized” be targeted for transit-oriented development due to their proximity to the Spring Mill Train Station.

From the April 29th status report on the study from Charlie Guttenplan, director of planning and zoning:

These are parcels on either of North Lane at the northern edge of the study area, one is a 5+ acre parcel currently a parking lot owned by Spring Mill Corporate Center, and the other, a pair of parcels compromising 10 acres on the opposite side of the street. The latter are zoned light industrial but are currently used for a handful of dwellings in a few nonconforming buildings. All of these underutilized parcels have been recommended in the Spring Mill Study for some form of “transit-oriented” (or what I prefer to call “transit-friendly”) use, with a number of use options provided.

The two areas mentioned in the preceding quoted paragraph are shown in orange in the above slide taken from a presentation on the study given in April.

The orange area on the left consists mostly of a parking lot utilized by the Spring Mill Corporate Center. On the right are residential dwellings. Note that the property containing the dwellings consists of the orange and green areas. The back of the property is recommended for a park or open space and would be adjacent to a possible trail that would follow the power lines down from Butler Pike to East Hector Street.

If you are asking yourself where will people who work at the corporate center park, also included in the plan is a proposal to build a parking garage on a portion of the Spring Mill Fire Company parking lot (see page 56 of presentation).

The township doesn’t own either property and the recommendation is to rezone this area in hopes that the rezoning encourages redevelopment by the current or a future owner. Two examples shown in the study as types of transit-oriented development are the Courts at Spring Mill Train Station, which is adjacent to the train station, and a townhouse community in Willow Grove (Abington Township).

Please note that this study involved much more than what was recommended for North Lane. You can view the entire presentation here.

We highlighted this aspect of the study because of the response we received from readers when we reported on Montgomery County’s push for more density and transit-orient development.

In addition to being presented to Whitemarsh’s Board of Supervisors, there will also be an eventual presentation before Conshohocken’s Borough Council (since there is a shared riverfront that is impacted).