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Limerick Board Talks Ridge Pike Rezoning

Supervisors hear presentation from consultant on beginnings of streetscaping and beautification projects

Tuesday night's Board of Supervisors meeting saw the reveal of early proposals for rezoning Ridge Pike, presented by consulting architect Peter Simone of Simone Collins Landscape Architecture.

The supervisors want to institute consistent building, landscaping and appearance guidelines along the length of Ridge Pike because it serves as the "main street" for Limerick Township.

Simone's presentation included redrawn zoning districts, including some new zoning areas that will allow for mixed property uses such as residential properties attached to commercial properties.

The new guidelines would allow more flexibility in how properties could be used, while implementing design standards and developing streetscapes that would accomodate multiple types of transportation including cars, bicycles and pedestrian traffic.

Industrial zones (e.g., areas that are classified Office-Light Industrial) will have stricter landscaping requirements. Trees and other buffer requirements will be doubled in these zones to soften the appearance of the buildings.

"We want to replicate something like Bryn Mawr or Ardmore," Simone said.

Supervisor Thomas Neafcy said it's a matter of "quality versus quantity."

"We want to put the community first," Neafcy said.

Simone said that while the proposed ordinances will be difficult for businesses in the short term, "if the township is willing to wait, it will make for a better quality [of appearance] in the long run."

The plans allow for retail centers, commercial properties and residential properties, but will cut back on some types of buildings, such as standalone gas stations.

The board agreed to schedule a special meeting just to discuss the planning ordinance and to also hold a meeting that will include the planning commission and the streetscapes committee. 

In other business, the board approved Phase 1 of a land development plan for that will allow them to begin their church building.

The supervisors also heard from developer Alan Nappen of Nappen and Associates regarding a 55-acre property he owns at 679 Ridge Pike. 

Nappen hopes to build several industrial buildings and possibly a hotel or restaurant at the Ridge Pike location, near Neiffer Road. 

The board agreed to discuss Nappen's proposal further due to the effect that the new streetscape ordinance will have on it. 

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