West Conshohocken’s Planning Commission voted to recommend vision plan to the borough council

During an April 6th meeting, the West Conshohocken Planning Commission voted 3-0 to recommend a vision plan to the borough council. The borough council will now consider during its April 11th meeting (agenda) whether to adopt the plan.

The purpose of the plan is to act as a guide for possible redevelopment within the borough, which focuses on creating a town center with commercial and public space. You can find the vision plan as recommended on the borough’s website.

The vision plan is not something that is set in stone. It can be adopted and then altered or ignored if, for example, priorities change.

The vision plan outlines where the potential redevelopment could happen and describes how the zoning code could be altered or expanded to implement it. From the plan:

Many of the concepts recommended by the Vision Plan require amended zoning and / or subdivision and land development regulations that will allow these concepts to move forward. These might include
revisions to existing ordinances, creation of new overlay zoning ordinances, new definitions, and possible changes to the Borough’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinances (SALDO).

Please note that an “overlay” zoning district is one that adds to or “lays over” a locations existing zoning. The overlay, in essence, gives the land owner additional options of how their land might be used. The
“right” to use and overlay zoning might be triggered by a minimum lot area (to encourage parcel assembly) or other criteria that would be determined during writing of the ordinance. Revisions to the SALDO may be appropriate, for example, for an overlay zone, to ensure a higher quality of design for a particular type of use. If the Borough wishes to plan for any of the many Vision Plan recommendations,
it should initiate this work as soon as possible, since the process can easily take 1 to 2 years to complete. The Vision Plan areas / recommendations that could require these types of ordinance revisions include:

• Zoning for St. Gerts / Front St. / Borough Hall Redevelopment
• Overlay Zoning for Union Hill / Balligomingo
• Zoning / Overlay Zoning for Landfill Site

So for example, any overlay along Front Street could impact the value of the property that falls within the overlay. Should a Front Street overlay include the properties between Front Street and Powers Avenue or go from Front Street to Merion Avenue? Decisions such as this example will be decided by the elected officials on the borough council.

More to come.