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Radnor's Planning Commission Repeats Itself on Villanova Proposal

Also: Patti Barker, Chair of the Garrett Hill Coalition and Rosemont resident, submitted her comments to the Planning Commission to Radnor Patch for publication.

The Radnor Planning Commission on Tuesday "declined to recommend a plan by Villanova University to change the township’s zoning ordinances to facilitate the university’s proposal for a new dorm, performing arts center, retail space and a parking garage on the south side of Lancaster Avenue," reports Main Line Media News.

"The planning commission had previously denied recommendation of the Villanova Comprehensive Integrated College Development ordinance in May. This time they also gave the township Board of Commissioners a list of changes that they would like to see in the proposed Planned Institutional ordinance before they could support it. The ordinance would also affect Cabrini College and Eastern University," the newspaper reports.

Read more from the Dec. 3 meeting here.

Patti Barker, Chair of the Garrett Hill Coalition and Rosemont resident, submitted her comments to the Planning Commission to Radnor Patch for publication:

My message is simple.

Please incorporate the ordinance amendment language submitted to you by the Friends to Preserve Radnor lawyer and planner on November 27th.  This document supports reasoned and reasonable development. Please incorporate the setbacks and standards set forth in that document. There is very good reason to include standards at this juncture. Why? Because the time frame of the Conditional Use process ( 3 and ½ months) is inadequate to deal with a project of this scope.

Additionally I support the incorporation of the suggested language submitted today by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network with regard to Riparian Buffer, Stormwater Management and the Development Impact Statement.

Please continue your careful, thoughtful deliberations with regard to this zoning amendment. You have shown real concern for the potential and irreversible negative impacts of what would be the largest zoning exception ever to be considered in the history of Radnor.

The residents support Villanova’s desire and right to develop. All we ask is that due diligence is exercised and that unintended consequences are explored, mitigated and rectified.

Please protect and defend the interests of the residents. I respectfully request that you incorporate the suggested amendment language submitted by the Friends to Preserve Radnor and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

Good zoning and good standards make good neighbors and creates beauty.

Thank you for your service to the residents of Radnor Township.

Tom Dougherty December 06, 2013 at 09:40 AM
I hope that the Garrett Hill Coalition does not find out that Villanova University supports the sun rising in the east. They would immediately hire an attorney to file suit to compel the sun to rise in the west.
John F. Haines December 08, 2013 at 02:37 PM
See it on You Tube 12-03-13 Radnor Planning now on You Tube. 12-03-13 Radnor Township Planning Commission Meeting now on You Tube. http://youtu.be/BQbChc4kfeE (Part 1 of 5) http://youtu.be/lsDZri4Hzj0 (Part 2 of 5) http://youtu.be/nNF4zaJwm9s (Part 3 of 5) http://youtu.be/jKu5toYf7Ls (Part 4 of 5) http://youtu.be/gD1RmEvEVMU (Part 5 of 5) Produced by John F. Haines, Sr. email: jhainessr@gmail.com
Enuf NIMBYs December 08, 2013 at 08:47 PM
This is beyond ridiculous. Radnor is essentially trying to force Villanova to build a development that won't meet it's long-term needs; even after the University presented it's "scaled-down" version, it still wasn't good enough. But Villanova shouldn't take the bait. It should WITHDRAW its proposal until a more favorable composition on both the Radnor Board and the Planning Commission can be achieved. It's already spent too much time and money trying to get the development approved; time to cut its losses and try again later, perhaps with the larger original proposal. I'm not sure if Radnor even realizes that its antics are practically guaranteeing that the Lancaster lot will remain intact for many more years. The lot still serves a purpose for the University so who cares if some locals complain that it's ugly and there's too much storm water run-off? Radnor had the opportunity to replace it with something magnificent but repeatedly chose not to; it should live with the consequences. For Villanova, keeping the parking lot intact could actually work to its advantage if it decides to LIFT ITS CAP ON ENROLLMENT - which is entirely within its rights. If it does, the lot will still be there to handle all the EXTRA CARS from an expanded student body who have to commute to school because the proposed dorms weren't approved. And then it will start all over again but this time with Villanova in the driver's seat.
Lamar Layfield December 08, 2013 at 10:35 PM
" But Villanova shouldn't take the bait. It should WITHDRAW its proposal..." Yup, sounds good to me.
Enuf NIMBYs December 09, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Sure, it might sound good to you now, Lamar, but you're kidding yourself if you think Villanova's not going to build something someday on the Lancaster lot. And when it does, it'll likely be a larger and more dense development than what the school's currently proposing. See if you can follow the logic: all Villanova has to do is lift its self-imposed cap on enrollment and then you locals will be dealing with several thousand extra students living in your neighborhoods and clogging up your roads with their cars. You think you've got "issues" now? Just wait - you'll practically be begging for more on-campus dorms, but this time the whip won't be in your hand. Whether you choose to recognize it or not, you've got a major regional university in your township that has aspirations of becoming a national university. To that end, you should realistically expect that at some point VU will need to increase its enrollment, as its been holding steady at around 12,000 for many years. And when it does, there is NOTHING Radnor will be able to do to stop it. Imagine how much you'll be howling then! Radnor NIMBYs can be so short-sighted. If VU withdraws its proposal today, it will only be in favor of a larger development down the road since that lot isn't going to be there forever. So while you may think you're gaining something in the short-term you're setting yourselves up for a very big loss in the long-term.
Lamar Layfield December 09, 2013 at 06:15 PM
E. Nimby~ Villanova's dreams won't be dashed by Radnor's very accommodating BoC, and that is, in my opinion, a shame. Radnor is a boom town.
Francis Lamont December 19, 2013 at 03:43 PM
I'm one of the neighbors impacted by any VU expansion plans and although I think the parking lot is an eyesore, I too believe the university's priorities are all skewed. For one thing, the last plan I saw had the Performing Arts Center falling off the edge of VU's proposed layout, across from the stadium. What a traffic nightmare? When you drive down Lancaster Ave. you will be overwhelmed by a towering parking garage followed by an architecturally disaster of a theater. Why? If Father Peter, President of the University and former Head of the theater department really wants a proper edifice for his theatrical endeavors, it should be set apart from the sports complex and not upstaging the church on the hill. I'm not against the expansion, just the proposed layout. Can VU start over? They seem to be building on unholy ground.

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