On the agenda for the Wednesday, May 17th meeting of Conshohocken’s Borough Council is the proposal to create a new special zoning district, SP-4 (read the full text), between West Elm and West First Avenue, between Fayette Street and Robinson Alley. This proposal includes a hotel (in the grass area at the corner of West Elm and Fayette), two larger office buildings to replace the existing ones, a larger parking garage to replace the existing one and a public square. The proposal calls for a mix of uses to include office space, the hotel, residential, retail and restaurants.
This proposal was tabled a few months back when Borough Council and the developer, Keystone Property Group, butted heads over parking. It sound like that issue has been resolved. Jane Flanagan, who represents Ward 5 on Borough Council, said as much when answering the question about SP-4 we poised to the candidates in today’s primary. She stated, “This Council has hammered out an equitable plan that will address current and future traffic flow. We negotiated for 150 public parking spaces to be added to the block.”
On Wednesday there will be two hearings, one that involves amending the Borough’s zoning code to create the SP-4 and then one involving a conditional use for parking. After the hearings, under Unfinished Business, Borough Council could decide to continue the hearings, vote to approve, vote to deny or do nothing. However the agenda reads:
- Consider adopting Ordinance No. 2017 – 05 SP-4 Specially Planned Zoning District 2.
- Consider approving the SORA West conditional use application 3.
- Consider approving the Keystone Property Group Extension of the Agreement of Sale and Development Agreement
The third bullet has to do with a timeline that was set in place to begin the redevelopment project. It has been extended at least twice before.
Ray Weinman, who was the original developer of the site back in the 1980’s, has a website that provides a vast amount of information on the history of redevelopment in the Conshohockens. He has a page dedicated to this proposal, where he compares what the current zoning allows and what would be allowed in the SP-4. The text of the SP-4 has a lot of technical language. He has lots of diagrams that visually show what it means. Please note that we didn’t verify each diagram.
More to come.