LM Property Committee approves two property land swaps with developers
By Richard Ilgenfritz firstname.lastname@example.org @rpilgenfritz on Twitter
Township land that most people never realized was township land is about to undergo changes as at the Property Committee of the Board of Commissioners Wednesday night recommended approval of two land swaps with two developers. The two sites include one in Bryn Mawr where a homeowner has proposed dividing his property into four lots. The other site is at the end of Righters Ferry Road and could give residents access to new trails.
In the Bryn Mawr property issue, the township would swap land it owns at 700 Black Rock Road in Bryn Mawr with the owner of a property at 660 Williamson Road.
In May the board approved a tentative sketch plan to divide the 13.3-acre lot into four parcels for the construction of three new homes.
“With the swap, the township would actually have a slightly larger piece of land than we currently own,” said Bob Duncan, assistant township manager. “This would create a better developable area for the property.”
According to Duncan, the new section would be more environmentally sensitive since there is a stream running through it. It also creates the possibility for a future trail connection with an adjoining property.
The township would acquire 45,575 square feet of land and give up 43,950 square feet of land under the land swap.
Commissioner Liz Rogan asked about a Bridlewild Trail that is on the property currently owned by Lower Merion and whether access to it would be lost.
“I think what we would have to do is revisit that in the preliminary plan stage to make sure any connections lost on the trail we’d pick it up in the preliminary plan,” Duncan said.
In the end, Commissioner Phil Rosenzweig recommended an amendment to the motion that the land swap would be approved subject to the condition that it does not create a break or disruption in the continuity of the trail.
The second land swap area is at 605 Righters Ferry Road in Bala Cynwyd. Lower Merion would transfer 2,000 square feet of property to Bridgehead Footbridge, the owners of the surrounding site. In return, Lower Merion would gain access for the right to use a proposed river trail and six trailhead parking spaces. The site sits between the newly developed Royal Athena and the fitness center. Hotels are planned for the site.
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