PRESENT – Chairman McMenamin, Vice Chair Kline, Member Farnen, Member Hegele, Member Shay, Borough Manager Hegele, Engineer Goff, Borough Planner Kennedy, County Planner Mohr, and Secretary Bollendorf were present.
CALL TO ORDER – Chairman McMenamin called the June 7, 2022, Planning Commission Meeting to order at 7:12 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Chairman McMenamin led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF MAY 10, 2022, MEETING MINUTES – Member Farnen made a motion to approve the May 10, 2022, Meeting Minutes. Motion was seconded by Member Shay, all ayes. Motion carried 4-0 with 1 abstention as Member Hegele was not present for the May 10th meeting.
CVS ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT –
Chairman McMenamin stated that the purpose is to do what serves in the best interest for the Borough and the Planning Commission will continue to work together towards a zoning text amendment that will be mutually beneficial and meet the Borough’s goals for the business district.
County Planner Mohr stated we received a third proposed zoning amendment from the applicant for 24 -28 S. York Road (also known as former CVS) and her current comments carry over from comments on previous review letters and that most items were addressed, and it is less complicated but there are still a few that need to be addressed such as density and parking. She also stated that it is improved from the applicant’s previous draft.
Borough Planner Kennedy stated that he did not do another written review as he received a second request from another developer for 21-37 N. York Road in which the applicant’s attorney is present tonight. He stated that they would like to do the same, apartments with commercial on the first floor and he was tasked with drafting an amendment that works for both applicants as well as serving in the best interest of the Borough. He also stated he agrees with Chole and the amendment drafted by the developer is too specific with the language. He stated he is prepared for questions regarding his text amendment draft.
Mr. Gundlach, attorney for the applicant at 24-28 S. York Road, stated they have revised the draft ordinance several times and have gotten comments and feedback regarding the revisions and are pleased with the comments from the Montgomery County Planning Commission. He also stated that this revision is based on comments that were made previously from the Borough and that is why some of the language is stated the way it is. Mr. Gundlach addressed the comments made in the County’s letter dated 6/7/22.
Chairman McMenamin stated he preferred they review and discuss Planner Kennedy’s proposed draft text amendment first as both cannot be passed. Mr. Gundlach stated that both could and then be amended and he feels they took two steps back and want to keep both applications separate as their application does not work for them and wants them to be treated separately.
Chairman McMenamin stated they can be reviewed, discussed, and voted on separately but he wants to make sure both are heard and discussed before a decision is made. Mr. Gundlach stated that he doesn’t feel that Planner Kennedy’s proposed amendment fits their plan and Chairman McMenamin stated that is why he wants to review and discuss both proposed text amendments and that Planner Kennedy’s draft is not for any specific project but for all current and future projects.
Manager Hegele stated she wanted to clarify that Mr. Garrity is the attorney for the applicant for 21-37 N. York Road and he saw the draft at the same time as Mr. Gundlach and that the ordinance is Planner Kennedy’s not the second applicants as Mr. Gundlach believed.
Planner Kennedy stated that he reviewed both applicants proposed amendments but did not write a review letter on Mr. Garrity’s and Council stated to him they wanted to see an amendment that fit both projects as well as any future ones and clarified his draft was not for any specific project.
Planner Kennedy stated his draft is a text amendment to the RC-2 district and the Petrucci property (21-37 N. York Road) is not currently zoned RC-2 but is zoned HB and that part of their request is to rezone the property from HB to RC-2 which is not a part of this but will be looked at in the future. He stated this would create a new option in the RC-2 district which would be called the town center mixed use option and would be open to a limited number of properties along York Road and there are certain standards to be adhered to before this option can be used. He stated it focuses on the central core of main street which is frontage on York Road between Byberry and Montgomery Avenues. He stated a major part of this which is most important to the Borough is there is a mandated mixture of uses meaning while residential use is allowed, there must be nonresidential use on the property with the frontage on York Road. He also stated there are a couple on numbers in his draft that he would like feedback on from the Planning Commission.
Planner Kennedy also stated that he has added building height bonus featured which he has used in other communities and has worked well and if a developer wants to exceed the height or density, the Borough should get something in return. He stated the bonuses are to fit individual communities and the Planning Commission can make recommendations if they choose to do so.
Mr. Gundlach addressed some of the height bonuses and asked how he can get the density bonus and Planner Kennedy stated if you agree to one of the bonuses and go above three stories, you are entitled to the density bonus up to a maximum number of what is agreed upon if you comply with parking.
Mr. Gundlach stated they would have to put together some of the bonuses that could work for them and seek separate guidance for some of them to get the extra 20 feet. Planner Kennedy stated that the parking would be the Solicitor’s decision regarding the parking easement interpretation and that the goal is to make their project work.
The Planning Commission agreed the maximum permitted density shall be 35 units per gross acre (with adequate parking) measured across the entire site and may be increased when a height bonus is approved by Borough Council and in no cased shall the maximum density be greater than 75 dwelling units per acre.
Manager Hegele stated that parking is being addressed and worked on regarding 24-28 S. York Road.
Mr. Gundlach stated they will send their comments to Planner Kennedy, and they would like to move forward with their proposed ordinance but will work with the Borough.
Planner Kennedy stated once he receives comments from both developers, he will consider and revise the draft and we can continue next month. All members agreed.
PUBLIC COMMENT – There was no public comment.
OLD BUSINESS – There was no old business.
ADJOURNMENT – Chairman McMenamin adjourned the June 7, 2022, Planning Commission Meeting at 8:43 P.M.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Diane C. Hegele, Borough Manager
Transcribed by Cindy Bollendorf