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Ridge Pike Rezoning Takes Step Forward

Lewis Road project to begin Monday, supervisors send letter supporting airport expansion

Limerick Township's massive  moved forward again at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, with a decision to proceed with developing a plan to create new zoning districts.

The township's staff has created the beginnings of a redistricting plan. Solicitor Joseph McGrory and township manager Dan Kerr said they just needed some direction from the board on whether they preferred the district or the overlay plan.

"If you go with the district," McGrory told the board, "the plan will just need adjusting [as the project develops]. Doing an overlay means a total rewrite."

Supervisors Thomas Neafcy, Joseph St. Pedro and Elaine DeWan all said they supported the zoning district plan.

Supervisor Ken Sperring, who said at the last meeting that he supported doing an overlay, agreed that the zoning district plan is the right one.

Sperring said he had been contacted by several people, but once the districting plan was explained at the last meeting, Sperring said people realized it was going to go from a few [property] uses to about 28 allowed uses.

"It benefits them, it's a broader number of uses," Sperring said. "[The explanation] seemed to ease a lot of people's minds."

An overlay would have added allowed uses to the current list, while redistricting allows the township to redefine conforming and nonconforming uses.

Spring-Ford Chamber of Commerce member and local business owner Gail Wellington said that the feedback has been positive since the last meeting, where the plan was explained.

"I think a lot of people didn't understand it before the last meeting," St. Pedro said.

Neafcy agreed.

"It [the meeting] alleviated a lot of small business owners' fears," Neafcy said. "They see it will offer the community more opportunities."

Sperring said several business owners who had expressed concerns at the last meeting had already come in to talk to the township staff and "felt confident that the board would work with them."

McGrory said the plan is still a three- to four-month process and nothing is final.

The board also voted to approve an agreement with PECO to move utility poles on Lewis Road. Construction on Lewis Road will begin on March 26. The work will continue through the construction season and end in late-October or early-November 2012. 

The board also voted to send a letter supporting Heritage Field Airport's efforts to work through some issues they are having with the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Board Chairperson Kara Shuler, reading the letter, said that improving the airport would bring more than 40 jobs and $2.9 million in income to the area.

The previous owners of the airport received grant money to purchase a small piece of land to expand the airport, but a lien was placed on the property by the FAA due to issues with the grant. The current owners' efforts to expand are being blocked by this existing lien, and the board is requesting via the letter that the FAA do everything they can to work the problems out.

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