As MoreThanTheCurve.com has previously reported, The Old Mansion House at 641 Old Elm Street in Conshohocken (Plymouth Township) is seeking to add a deck to the property. The property has been leased to Evan Lambert, who is one of the owners of Savona in Gulph Mills, and he plans to convert the neighborhood bar to a higher-end restaurant.
The February 21st agenda for the Plymouth Township Zoning Hearing Board described the application involving this property as follows:
641 OLD ELM, LLC/MANSION HOUSE HOTEL, INC.: On an application for an appeal from the determination of the Plymouth Township Zoning Officer dated November 18, 2021 that additional off-street parking is required to account for a proposed deck, or in the alternative, Variances from Plymouth Township Zoning Ordinance, No. 342, as amended, Article XVII, Section 1700.D and Section 1700.D.5.
The Variances requested are as follows: To allow 36 parking spaces, 31 spaces on gravel, where a minimum of 66 all-weather paved parking spaces are required.
The property is located at 641 Old Elm Street in a “D” Residential Zoning District.
During the hearing, Lambert offered testimony that described the restaurant having 45 seats inside on the first floor (15 seat bar with 30 table seats). The addition of a 1,000 to 1,500 square deck would create 40 more seats on a seasonal basis. The restaurant will serve regional Italian fare and have a brick oven for pizza.
In regards to parking, Lambert testified that the available parking in the lot was sufficient and would utilize valet parking if needed. Any valeted cars would also be parked in the rear lot.
During public comment, two neighboring property owners expressed concerns over parking and noise.
In the end, the board had to decide whether it would grant an appeal to the determination of the zoning officer’s determination that additional parking was required due to the deck or deny the appeal and consider granting a variance.
The board voted in favor of the applicant’s appeal that additional parking was not required due to the deck, but placed conditions on the granting the appeal. The conditions included defining the individual parking spaces in the gravel lot, installation of lighting that does not shine onto neighboring properties, promotion on website and signage noting where to park in the rear, erection of a privany fence and landscaping buffer around the deck, no music or public address system on the deck.