Merion Civic Association

News

Includes links to articles in local newspapers:
Main Line Times, Ardmore‑Merion‑Wynnewood Patch, Narberth‑BalaCynwyd Patch, Philadelphia Inquirer

Also see the newsletters.

Top Stories (date updated)

Topics  PECO explains storm response03/30/2013News
Barnes Foundation12/05/2013News
City Avenue Special Services District06/24/2013News
Commerce  03/30/2014News
Green & Environment12/21/2013News
Kohelet Yeshiva High School12/01/2010News
Lower Merion Board of Commissioners & Staff04/04/2014News
Lower Merion Budget & Finance03/18/2014News
Lower Merion Comprehensive Plan11/07/2013News
Lower Merion Conservancy09/10/2012News
Lower Merion Flood Insurance Rate Map Changes02/27/2011News
Lower Merion Historic Heritage06/24/2013News
Lower Merion & Narberth Libraries05/19/2013News
Lower Merion Police & Fire reports.03/30/2014News
Lower Merion Schools03/14/2014News
Lower Merion Streets  03/24/2014News
Lower Merion Sewer & Trash Service03/14/2014News
Lower Merion Zoning & Planning  03/18/2014News
Merion Civic Association06/24/2013News
Merion Post Office07/27/2011News
Montgomery County Governance  12/21/2013News
Pennsylvania Electric Generation Rate Caps12/05/2011News
Pennsylvania Governance  02/09/2014News
Philadelphia Governance03/12/2012News
St. Joseph University "Maguire Campus"03/12/2013News
United States Governance  02/19/2013News
Past Events
Historic Homes and Gardens Walking Tour 201005/23/2010
• Topical Information
This section will contain articles not otherwise classified.


Topics: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (recent first)

03/30/2014 PECO officials meet public to discuss response to ice storm Nika

11/29/2013 A Christmas classic: The Narberth Dickens Festival set to return

10/29/2013 One Lower Merion resident among four lawyers vying for two seats on Montco bench

10/27/2013 SEPTA's 'doomsday scenario' for Cynwyd Line worries LM officials

10/18/2013 Free flu shots for seniors in Lower Merion, Upper Merion

07/03/2013 Letter: HARB raises concerns over Amtrak catenary pole work

05/30/2013 Height of poles, safety are concerns at Amtrak meeting; more sessions scheduled tonight and June 6

04/15/2013 Philadelphia's Main Line is the Next Center of the World of Golf

11/13/2012 Ready for Next Year's Election? Municipal and school board positions are up for grabs

11/05/2012 Local Congressional and State Candidates on the Main Line

11/05/2012 See Which Candidates Are On Your Ballot

11/05/2012 What's Closed on Election Day?

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• Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation expects to open the Philadelphia campus on May 19, 2012. Admission will be $18 for adults. Hours will be Wednesday–Monday 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM.
There will be free public access on May 26 to May 28.

The Friends of the Barnes want to keep the Barnes in Merion.
Follow the link to their website to get more background on this issue.

There will be a meeting with Montgomery Count Orphan's Court Judge Stanley R Ott on March 29 in response to a recently-filed petition.
The Barnes Foundation has launched an Alumni Association.
They hosted an Alumni weekend on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 3-7pm and Sunday, 1-5pm.
Please email or call 215-640-0171 ext 10.
See Barnes Alumni registration form.

Barnes: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (recent first)

12/10/2013 Update: Gillman stepping down as executive director, president of Barnes Foundation

01/18/2013 Architects of New Barnes Foundation Building Win Award

07/05/2012 Updated: Ex-Barnes Foundation CEO's blog post reignites legal saga

07/02/2012 Barnes ex-boss: "We never said we were 'bankrupt'" Really?

05/20/2012 Relocated Barnes opens on Philly's Parkway

05/20/2012 As the new Barnes opens, court appeal plays out

05/17/2012 A Museum, Reborn, Remains True to Its Old Self, Only Better

05/17/2012 Merion's Barnes Foundation Grounds To Reopen Late Summer

05/17/2012 Photos: Barnes On The Parkway

05/05/2012 PA Attorney General makes appeal to get cash from groups who fought Barnes move

05/05/2012 The Barnes: A ravishing building, but cut off from the city

02/12/2012 Judge affirms sanctions against Barnes move opponents

02/01/2012 New Barnes sets admission hours and prices

01/31/2012 Groundhog Day: It's back to court for the Barnes fight Feb. 2

11/18/2011 Barnes Foundation and Violette de Mazia Foundation announce joint education agreement

10/09/2011 Updated: Latest Barnes appeal rejected, plaintiffs ordered to pay

09/15/2011 Barnes announces parkway opening date

06/07/2011 UPDATED: Barnes Foundation hosts Community Day and promises money towards Merion campus

03/29/2011 Video: Judge sets briefing schedule in new Barnes-move challenge

03/27/2011 Motion filed to dismiss challenge of Barnes art move

03/18/2011 Taking the Barnes back to Judge Ott's courtroom

02/27/2011 Judge rules on Barnes petition

01/06/2011 Barnes 'Friends' vow to continue fight

09/30/2010 Barnes galleries will be closing

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• City Avenue Special Services District.
On November 15, 2012, there was a "Transportation Connectivity" workshop to discuss a study of potential improvements to transit, bicycle, and pedestrian connections to support redevelopment in the City Avenue Special Services District.
See Presentation from the workshop (PDF 2.8 mb).
See Lower Merion page on City Avenue Special Services District.

On December 14, 2011, the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners voted to adopt the City Avenue Special Services District Zoning Ordinance. This was done despite knowledge that NONE of the Civic Associations in the township supported the measure in its current form. Since the idea is to coordinate the new ordinance with an Official Map, which has not yet been prepared, the effective date of the ordinance was set to April 30, 2012. The Bala Cynwyd Neighborhood Club gave five specific changes which would enable them to support the measure, but these were NOT adopted on December 14th, because doing so would have delayed the adoption vote. However, there was some indication that the commissioners intend to amend the ordinance before the effective date.

See Media News for media coverage of this issue.

See Draft City Ave Spec Svcs District ordinance(11/2/2011 1.2MB PDF)
See Response to Mont County Plng Commission Review Letter(8/5/2011)
See Traffic Impact Fee Ordinance (Draft)(7/29/2011)

On November 10, 2011, the LM Planning Commission held a hearing with many citizens speaking. The Planning Commission then voted to recommend passage of the Zoning Ordinance, but with the condition that a "Master Plan Map" must be approved before the zoning ordinance becomes effective. The idea was that the zoning ordinance would be changed to require adherence to designated public space or green pathways as a precondition to getting incentives. Note that the LM Board of Commissioners are NOT required to follow the recommendation.

On September 14, the LM commissioners voted to adopt an ordinance creating the Transportation Services Area for the City Avenue area. This was to permit the township to enact a traffic impact fee for new development.

On June 23, 2011, there was a hearing by the Transportation Service Area Advisory Commission regarding the Transportation Capital Improvement Plan. This was held AFTER the Lower Merion Township workshop on the Lower Merion Township Capital Improvement Program, which was the prior day.

On the LM Township site there are related documents.
ContentsPDF MB
Roadway Sufficiency Analysis &
Transportation Capital Improvements Plan
18.4
Appendices
ATransportation Service Area Advisory Committee (TSAAC) Meeting Minutes4.4 MB
BBoard of Commissioners' Resolution approving the Land Use Assumptions Report6.2
CManual Turning Movement Count Data1.6
DAutomatic Traffic Recorder Count Data1.9
E
F
Level of Service Methodology
Existing (2010) Capacity/Level-of-Service Analysis Worksheets
5.6
G

H
Anticipated Development Trip Generation for Surrounding Municipalities
Future Pass-Through (2030) Capacity/Level-of-Service Analysis Worksheets
5.6
IFuture Development (2030) Capacity/Level-of-Service Analysis Worksheets6.0
JConcept Plans11.5
K
L
Cost Estimates
Improvements & Cost Summary
0.75

On June 15, 2011, the motion to publish and enact the ordinance on July 27 was tabled. Reacting to strong response from the civic associations, there will be more hearings.

On June 8, 2011, the Lower Merion Building & Planning Committee held another discussion on the proposed zoning ordinance. They announced that the ordinance was being revised based on meetings with the Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd. Some of those revisions have now been applied and made available on the township web site.
However, residents in the rest of the township have largely been excluded from the process. There has not been a public hearing on the zoning ordinance since 3/29/2011, three public hearings scheduled after that date have been cancelled. Representatives from Merion and other civic associations in the township question why they have been excluded from this recent process, and question the urgency expressed by the Board of Commissioners to enact this by July.

The Lower Merion Board of Commissioners have approved a recommended traffic level of service of "D" for intersections in the City Avenue district. This is being fast-tracked so that businesses can be assessed traffic impact fees. It has not been made clear how needed traffic improvements to achieve even that level will be funded.

At this time, the zoning ordinance adoption date has been tentatively been moved back to July. The next hearing to determine an adoption date is June 8.

For adoption on May 25 Zoning Ordinance draft 4-6-11 (PDF 2.9MB).
Also see Proposed zoning map & descriptions (PDF 2.7MB).
April 6, 2011, Bob Duncan, LM Building & Planning Department sent a new schedule for the hearings. These are now reflected in our Calendar.
March 29, 2011, in a note from Bob Duncan, LM Building & Planning Department: "We are planning to separate the Bala Village District ordinance from the Regional Center and Retail District Ordinance. We will be announcing a list of meeting dates to complete the review of the current Regional Center/Retail District ordinance and a different set of meeting dates to discuss the Bala Village District ordinance.

See 2/9/2011 meeting notes of City Avenue Transportation Services Area Advisory Committee.

The Board of Commissioners on August 4 accepted the Traffic Report (which recommends performing a Traffic Study) and Land Use Assumptions Report.
The Building & Planning Committee Aug 4 agenda links to the Roadway Sufficiency Recommendation and Land Use Assumptions Report.
  August 4 B&P (Special) Agenda.

Hearings and Workshops
These will be adjusted based on progress in prior hearings.

ALL events shown below start with
a. Summarize approval process & current status of ordinance.

09/20/2010 Public Hearing.
b. Review suggested amendments to Sections 155-217A & 217B(1-4).
c. Review multiple use standards to Sections 155-217 B(3).
d. Discuss petitions to remove Bala Village District from consideration.

09/27/2010 Workshop.
b. Dimensional & density increase standards in the Regional Center District (Sect 155-217C(1-11) & 217E(1-4))

10/25/2010 Public Hearing.
b. Dimensional & density increase standards in the Regional Center District (Sect 155-217C(1-11)
c. Review 10/21/2010 Draft of ordinance, (23 pages 1.2MB PDF). b. Review parking & loading requirements in Section 155-217D(1-8)
c. Review development design standards in Section 155-217F(1-4)
d. Review sign standards in Section 155-217G(1-12)
e. Review utility standards in Section 155-217H

11/30/2010 Public Hearing. See New Draft Ordinance (30 pg 1.2MB PDF)
a. Dimensional Standards (155-217 C (1-8)
    Ordinance amendments resulting from public comment (page #8)
b. Floor Area Ratio standards in the Regional Center District
    Section 155- 217 C (9) (page #15)
c. Density Increase standards in the Regional Center District
    Section 155-217 E (page #28)


The commissioners have said that this may be the single most important zoning decision they will make as commissioners. This will have profound effects on the local and township communities for years to come.

They particularly ask that residents read the materials provided, express their concerns, and suggest alternatives.

Concerned residents are encouraged to participate in the decision process.

To receive Lower Merion notifications, sign up for E-Subscription by providing your E-mail address and checking City Ave Spec Srvcs Dist in the News section of that page.

See Drafts of Proposed Ordinances to download "City Avenue Special Services District Amendment."
See City Avenue Special Services District website.
See LM Township: City Avenue Special Services District
 This page now links to the Draft Ordinance 9/17/2010 (6.0MB Word)
 This page has links to multiple PDF files, dating back to 6/10/2008 about the proposed zoning.  The "Land Use Assumption Report" is in a PDF file of 14.7MB.
From City Avenue Corridor Zoning Recommendations (PDF 6.5MB):
Some items within the plan for the new Regional Center:
 Maximum building height 120' (10-12 stories)
 Exceptions:
  • 65' building height within 50' of Belmont Ave, St. Ashaphs Road west of Belmont, and within 100' of Righters Ferry Rd (residential buffer area)
  • 200' building height east of Belmont and west of Presidential Blvd between St. Asaps and Stout Road
  • 300' building height within 300'-450' of City Ave east of Kings Grant
City Avenue rezoning: Main Line Times, Patch.com, Inquirer: (recent first)

06/24/2013 Update: Terms set for Lower Merion/BMW land swap

06/16/2013 Lower Merion considering land swap in BMW expansion on Bala Avenue

05/05/2013 Streetscape Improvements Coming to Bala Avenue

03/24/2013 A tale of two apartment plans in Lower Merion

03/07/2013 New Bala Cynwyd apartments: the right plan to start City Avenue redevelopment, commissioners say

03/07/2013 Lower Merion planners OK high-rise apartment project, a first under new City Avenue zoning

02/26/2013 First project under City Avenue rezoning before Lower Merion planners March 4

07/25/2012 Lower Merion board: "No leg to stand on" to keep development limit on Bala parcel

04/26/2012 Rezoning to transform City Avenue corridor will take effect April 30

04/15/2012 LM planners recommend approval of O'Neill project, "less-restrictive" City Avenue zoning

03/22/2012 UPDATE: Last City Avenue workshop before rezoning

02/29/2012 Traffic still a roadblock in City Avenue talks

01/31/2012 Traffic, entertainment uses still issues in City Avenue talks

01/30/2012 Field trip gives new perspective on City Avenue rezoning; another workshop tonight in Lower Merion

01/18/2012 City Avenue zoning talks rise to new heights Jan. 21

12/15/2011 With Much Dissent, L.M. Commissioners Approve City Avenue Rezoning

12/15/2011 Lower Merion adopts new City Avenue zoning amid community protest

11/18/2011 City Avenue rezoning up for hearing, possible adoption in December

11/17/2011 City Avenue Rezoning: Public Hearing, Adoption Vote Set for Dec. 14

11/11/2011 Lower Merion planners move City Avenue rezoning forward

11/11/2011 Planning Commission and Lower Merion residents talk timeliness of City Avenue changes

10/26/2011 City Avenue rezoning debate continues

10/26/2011 Planning Commission Weighs in on City Avenue Rezoning

10/26/2011 The new look of City Avenue? Rezoning under fire

09/30/2011 Casino report, other issues add to City Avenue controversy

09/27/2011 Residents Take City Avenue Zoning Conversation in a New Direction

09/20/2011 State Report Envisions City Avenue As Lucrative Casino Location

09/17/2011 City Avenue rezoning plan: Another township failure

09/15/2011 Update: Developers will pay share of future City Avenue road costs

07/22/2011 City Avenue talks break for summer; no rezoning decision before November

07/18/2011 Updated: Lower Merion commissioners move on City Ave. transit area

07/15/2011 Changing Skyline: Vision of walker-friendly City Ave

06/27/2011 City Avenue's future a topic in Lower Merion, day and night

06/25/2011 Ending the City Avenue kabuki

06/18/2011 Lower Merion commissioners table City Ave. plans

06/18/2011 City Ave.: Lower Merion civics push back

06/16/2011 Commissioners Grant Residents’ Request for More Time on City Avenue Rezoning Proposal

06/15/2011 Lower Merion considers traffic-impact fee in City Ave. rezoning.

06/14/2011 Readers' response: It's time for a time-out on City Avenue

06/14/2011 Lower Merion considers traffic-impact fee in City Ave. rezoning

06/12/2011 Opinion: Readers respond to proposed City Ave. rezoning

06/12/2011 LM board action on City Avenue rezoning still a moving target; debate tabled until June 15

06/09/2011 Public Hearing on City Avenue Rezoning Delayed a Second Time

06/07/2011 City Ave. rezoning talks continue

05/30/2011 City Ave rezoning put on hold

04/22/2011 On City Avenue rezoning and the unfinished comprehensive plan

04/14/2011 City Avenue rezoning and the unfinished Comprehensive Plan: What's the rush?

04/14/2011 The latest in the City Ave. rezoning saga

04/02/2011 City Ave. traffic study's first results are mixed

03/30/2011 Traffic Study: Congestion Varies Among City Avenue Intersections

03/08/2011 Building height and traffic divisive issues for City Avenue

01/06/2011 Planners, residents hash out visions for City Avenue rezoning

01/05/2011 Open Talks Continue on City Avenue Rezoning

12/01/2010 Residents wary of height, retail loss

10/27/2010 Building height among concerns as City Avenue rezoning talk continues

09/29/2010 Workshop sessions focus on City Avenue rezoning

09/27/2010 Controversy over Bala Avenue rezoning heats up

09/06/2010 Clarifying concerns about Bala Avenue

08/14/2010 Board OKs RFPs for City Ave. traffic study.

08/11/2010 Don't pull Bala Cynwyd into City Avenue plans

07/28/2010 San Jose's Santana Row could be model for Bala's Upper Regional Center

07/28/2010 Two sketch plans OK'd for BC Shopping Center

07/20/2010 Public's input invited on City Avenue discussions

07/17/2010 Traffic impact major piece in City Ave redevelopment puzzle

06/30/2010 Traffic impacts on City Avenue to be studied

06/30/2010 Public's input invited on City Avenue discussions

06/09/2010 Vision for City Avenue topic of LM Workshops

06/03/2010 City Avenue zoning to get comprehensive look

06/02/2010 on Brian Gordon's letter

05/26/2010 Brian Gordon Letter on City Ave Development

04/28/2010 Discussion planned May 12 for City Avenue corridor revitalization

04/14/2010 Public Hearing on City Avenue Corridor

03/04/2010 Neighborhood Club reacts to Bala Cynwyd Shopping proposals

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• Commerce
This section will feature stories about local businesses.

The people behind the new kosher restaurant in Merion (see news below) addressed Merion Residents at our March 27 meeting.

Symphony Square (assisted living).
The first residents have arrived.

Construction has begun on the property. Opening planned for Fall 2011.
The LM Board of Commissioners and its committees rule on the Development of an Assisted Living Facility at 27-33 Old Lancaster Road, Bala Cynwyd. The preliminary plan involves the demolition of two existing residential buildings and construction of a three-story assisted living facility with a 15,948 square foot print, 50 units and an underground parking garage with 50 spaces and six surface parking spaces to be held in reserve.

Commerce: Main Line Times, Patch.com: (recent first)

03/30/2014 Trader Joe's expansion, parking garage planned for Suburban Square

03/18/2014 Ardmore's Viking Pastries will be featured Wednesday on Food Network's 'Save My Bakery'

01/14/2014 DSW, Mad Mex restaurant confirmed to share former Wynnewood Borders building

11/24/2013 Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30: Don't forget to shop local

10/29/2013 Victorian-style tea room and ice cream parlor coming to restored Cynwyd Train Station

09/07/2013 Philly's hot brunch spot Sabrina's Cafe coming to Wynnewood Shopping Center

07/28/2013 Lankenau Heart Pavilion unveiled

07/28/2013 Lower Merion approves plans for new, larger Whole Foods Market in Wynnewood

07/21/2013 From the Editor: Introducing The Guide to the Main Line iPhone app

05/19/2013 Luxury condo plan for Ardmore YMCA site moving forward

05/06/2013 Plate is cleared from Suburban Square

04/29/2013 Yosl's Frozen Yogurt Opens in Bala Cynwyd

04/25/2013 Cook and Solomonov out of Citron & Rose

03/18/2013 Luxury condominium building to replace Main Line YMCA location in Ardmore

03/18/2013 'A milestone day for Bryn Mawr:' Bryn Mawr Film Institute breaks ground for two-theater addition

11/13/2012 Jacques Ferber Furs moving from Ardmore to Eagle Village in Wayne

09/29/2012 New Wynnewood Whole Foods targeted to open in 2015

08/23/2012 Lower Merion placed near top of CNN Money's Top-Earning Communities in America

08/02/2012 New Whole Foods store to transform Wynnewood Road corner

07/30/2012 Lankenau Hospital Ranked Among Philly's Best by U.S. News

07/26/2012 Wynnewood Whole Foods To Get Bigger Store, More Parking

07/25/2012 SEPTA Maps Local Farmers Markets

07/15/2012 New Wynnewood GIANT opens Sunday

07/05/2012 Bank or restaurant, fitness club planned for Wynnewood Shopping Center

06/21/2012 Wynnewood Genuardi's Closes July 5, Reopens as Giant July 15

06/21/2012 Dates set for Genuardi's stores' conversion to GIANT brand

06/10/2012 Joe's Crab Shack opens on City Avenue(with video)

06/08/2012 Aqua PA Bills to Go Up $2 Per Month

05/31/2012 Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard film in Merion

05/31/2012 U.S. cracks down on Chinatown bus operations; Philly firm targeted

04/24/2012 Main Line Restaurant Week: Pescatore, Saffron and More

04/19/2012 Lankenau Hospital Named One of Top 100 Hospitals

04/13/2012 Recycle Electronics for Free at Staples

03/29/2012 Upscale Kosher Eatery to Hit the Main Line

03/20/2012 Suburban Square restaurant dispute heats up

03/16/2012 Parents Magazine: Wolf Performing Arts Center

03/16/2012 Zahav team opening kosher restaurant in Merion

01/30/2012 Annie Sez in Penn Valley Closing at End of February

01/06/2012 Wynnewood, St. Davids' Genuardi's to become GIANT supermarkets

09/16/2009 More issues with assisted-living plans

09/09/2009 Neighbors appeal OK of assisted living facility

07/29/2009 Home for aged OK’d by LM board

06/17/2009 LM zoners wrap assisted-living plan hearings

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• Green & Environmental
This section will feature green & environmental issues.
See Lower Merion Environmental Advisory Council.

Green: Jewish Exponent, Main Line Times: (recent first)

12/21/2013 LM Planner Chris Leswing to receive Outstanding Volunteers Award

07/28/2013 At Haverford College, goats eat the invasives

06/24/2013 National mosquito control awareness week: take precautions to clear away mosquito breeding areas

05/28/2013 Lower Merion salutes 2013 Go for the Green award-winners; Robb Fox honored for lifetime achievement

04/20/2013 Do you know where your food comes from?

04/15/2013 Do you know where your food comes from?

04/15/2013 Honoring Those Who 'Go for the Green' in Lower Merion

04/15/2013 Lower Merion aiming to become an even greener school district

02/27/2013 Lower Merion: One of the State's Greenest Districts?

01/20/2013 Electronics: Bad for Kids or Good Learning Tools?

01/05/2013 Whole Foods Offers Free Electronics Recycling, Jan. 26

10/14/2012 Cynwyd Heritage Trail wins county enhancement award

10/05/2012 Deer culling in Lower Merion Township to resume in November

09/30/2012 Oh, deer: Be careful on area roadways (interactive map)

08/26/2012 MIKE WEILBACHER: A small defense of weeds

08/16/2012 MontCo: West Nile Risk Remains Strong

08/05/2012 Hurricane Preparedness Gets Hip With New App [Red Cross]

08/01/2012 PLACES WE LOVE: Restored streams in Lower Merion

07/24/2012 DEP: West Nile Virus Spreads in MontCo, 10 Communities Affected

05/08/2012 Last Chance: Rain Barrel, Composting Workshop

04/24/2012 How To Recycle Drugs on the Main Line

04/20/2012 How To Recycle Batteries on the Main Line

04/19/2012 How To Recycle House Waste on the Main Line

04/18/2012 How to Recycle a Cell Phone on the Main Line

04/17/2012 How to Recycle a Television on the Main Line

04/16/2012 How to Recycle a Computer on the Main Line

04/06/2012 Go Take a Walk, Says Main Line Doc

03/22/2012 Township to Contribute $250,000 Toward Manayunk Bridge Trail

03/21/2012 Montco Issues West Nile Virus Warning

03/15/2012 Cyclists Urge Lower Merion, Montco to Fund Manayunk Bridge Project

03/09/2012 Lower Merion eyes funding for Cynwyd/Manayunk trail link

02/26/2012 Public hearing on Marcellus air emissions bill Monday in Bryn Mawr

02/01/2012 Wynnewood neighbors buy up meadow - preserving history and wildlife.

10/14/2011 Cynwyd Heritage Trail Fall Festival

09/17/2011 Storm damage impacts Cynwyd trail

07/24/2011 It's bamboo gone wild

07/07/2011 The rush to artificial turf raises real concerns

06/15/2011 Act on a Marcellus Shale tax

06/08/2011 What's that tree? The Smithsonian has an app for that

06/06/2011 Bryn Mawr's Michael Krancer takes the hot seat in Harrisburg

05/11/2011 Too many green groups in Lower Merion?

05/06/2011 Lower Merion's Go for the Green winners champion good stewardship

04/05/2011 Canada geese cause a flap at area office parks

03/29/2011 Newly proposed EPA environmental rules discussed at LMHS

02/15/2011 Re-Vitali-izing severance tax for Marcellus shale

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• Kohelet Yeshiva High School
The former Stern Hebrew High School has been renamed the Kohelet Yeshiva High School at the Martha & Harry Stern Campus.
Classes at the new location started in September, 2010.
The LM Zoning Hearing Board granted a special exception for the construction of a sanctuary addition and additional parking spaces. at 223 N Highland Avenue, Merion Station (former Akiba site).
See 6/16/2010 Building & Planning Committee, item 4.

Kohelet: Jewish Exponent, Main Line Times: (recent first)

12/01/2010 Kohelet Yeshiva High School opens at ex-Akiba

09/09/2009 Teens Rave Over New School Digs, Relishing In the Sizable Space

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• Lower Merion Board of Commissioners & Staff
On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, the Commissioners will hold a public hearing on revisions to the township code on Sound and Lighting. See Draft ordinance (PDF 30KB).

See 11/06/2011 article below for profiles of the 2011 candidates.
Two 11/04/2011 articles discuss Montgomery County candidates. Note that some Merion residents are in Ward 9, and there is an article on the candidates there.

Lower Merion Township is governed by a fourteen member Board of Commissioners. The board appoints the Township Manager who oversees the day-to-day operation of the township.
In January 2011, the President and Vice-President of the board both resigned from the Board of Commissioners.

LM Commissioners: Main Line Times and Patch.com (recent first)

04/04/2014 Lower Merion board committee: new township manager contract 'competitive and appropriate'

03/30/2014 Lower Merion board to consider manager contract this week

01/18/2014 Lower Merion Commissioners honor outgoing Township Manager Douglas Cleland

01/15/2014 Lower Merion Building and Planning director to be recommended as interim acting township manager

12/21/2013 Final Lower Merion meeting of 2013 implodes over Cricket Lot funding

12/21/2013 LM Planner Chris Leswing to receive Outstanding Volunteers Award

12/17/2013 Appointment of Lower Merion Township treasurer raises questions

11/24/2013 On second look, Lower Merion's deferred compensation perk to be slightly reduced

11/07/2013 Lower Merion Township compensation up for discussion

09/12/2013 Lower Merion Board President Rogan: Search for new manager will go national

09/07/2013 Update: Lower Merion Township Manager Douglas Cleland announces retirement

05/19/2013 With half of board seats up, no contested primary races for Lower Merion Commissioner

02/26/2013 Lower Merion Commissioner Dellheim will not seek re-election

02/24/2013 Updated: Lower Merion Assistant Township manager is stepping down

01/20/2013 Hundreds honor retiring Lower Merion Secretary

01/20/2013 Salary for Lower Merion's new Township Secretary disclosed

01/16/2013 New Lower Merion Township Secretary sworn in

11/20/2012 Lower Merion Township honored for open government

11/13/2012 New Technology Officer appointed in Lower Merion

10/28/2012 Hurricane preparations in high gear: Lower Merion Township closed

10/10/2012 Some old controversies revived as Lower Merion board considers new appointment policy

10/08/2012 Lower Merion board "not there yet" on older church conversions

09/29/2012 Updated: 'Budget Saturday' in Lower Merion

09/16/2012 Church conversion measure in Lower Merion draws varied response; action now at least two months away

08/13/2012 Eileen Trainer, Lower Merion Township Secretary, retiring after 31 years

07/25/2012 Walsh appointed as Lower Merion PIO amid debate

07/19/2012 After Debate, Commissioners Approve New Public Information Officer

07/15/2012 Lower Merion's vote on Cleland contract: Anatomy of an agonizing decision

07/15/2012 Lower Merion Township considers ways to save old churches and clubs for easier reuse

07/15/2012 New public information officer to be appointed in LM

05/10/2012 O'Neill riverfront project denied in fiery meeting in Lower Merion [& Palmer Seminary conversion approved]

04/23/2012 No contract yet for LM Manager Cleland

04/23/2012 Former Lower Merion commissioners statement on manager's contract

04/17/2012 Lower Merion's Brenda Viola leaving after decade as township spokeswoman

03/21/2012 Vote on a new contract for Lower Merion's township manager has been postponed
[Discusses LM BOC agenda for 3/21/2012]

01/20/2012 Lower Merion board spars over manager's contract vote

01/03/2012 Rogan re-elected as LM board president

11/10/2011 Democratic incumbents fend off Republican challenge, hold 10-4 majority on LM board

11/09/2011 Election Results: Lower Merion, Narberth, County, State Elections .

11/06/2011 Lower Merion commissioner candidates' information

11/04/2011 Election Primer (Part 2): More Montgomery County Jobs Up for Grabs

11/04/2011 Three Questions: Shapiro & Richards

11/04/2011 Who Gets Your Vote in Ward 9: Richard Kaufman or George Manos?

10/28/2011 Candidates in Lower Merion's ward 9 and 13 clash over City Avenue, township spending

05/11/2011 Lower Merion primaries for commissioner

04/25/2011 Lower Merion commissioners nix parliamentarian

04/07/2011 Panel Recommends Parliamentary Consultant for Lower Merion Government

03/11/2011 Candidates file for May primary in Lower Merion and Narberth

03/09/2011 Lower Merion's Open-or-Shut Case Won't Go Away

03/08/2011 Open-meetings debate in LM erupts again

02/24/2011 Township Meeting Minutes Now Available Online

02/22/2011 Sitting down with LM's new board president

01/22/2011 Taylor stepping down from LM Board

01/22/2011 McGuire elected commissioner, Rogan new LM president

01/21/2011 Township Board of Commissioners Vice President Taylor Resigns.

01/19/2011 Brian McGuire Appointed as Lower Merion Commissioner, Rogan Elected President.

01/13/2011 Reed reflects on time as commissioner

01/13/2011 Bruce Reed's retirement speech

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• Lower Merion Budget.
On January 25, 2012, there will be a LM Finance Workshop to discuss how to deal with the unanticipated business tax income.

Between the first and second public hearings on the 2012 budget, the township received $6.9 million dollars of unanticipated business tax income. This will require the budget to be adjusted.

The LM Board of Commissioners held Public Hearings on the 2011 Budget.
See 2011 Proposed Budget
The budget is scheduled to be finalized by December 15, 2010.

LM Budget: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (recent first)

03/18/2014 Lower Merion Township scores record low interest rate in bond refinancing

01/18/2014 Lower Merion board votes to pursue refunding of older bonds, weighing options for 2014

12/21/2013 No tax increase does not equal no debate as Lower Merion board adopts 2014 budget

12/21/2013 Lower Merion extends contract with non-police union

12/17/2013 Final tweaks made to Lower Merion budget before adoption Dec. 18

12/13/2013 Lower Merion OK's Workers Association contract extension

12/10/2013 Deputy chief vacancy draws questions at latest budget hearing

12/10/2013 Lower Merion Township and Workers Association ratify tentative accord for contract reopener

11/14/2013 UPDATED: Proposed 2014 Budget finds Lower Merion Township on sound financial footing, recommends no tax increase

02/25/2013 Lower Merion Township 2013 bond issue termed "a tremendous success"

12/08/2012 Commissioners Debate Bonuses, Longevity Pay For Management

11/05/2012 Lower Merion Manager Cleland releases $57.9 million 2013 Proposed Budget

.07/05/2012 Lower Merion board discusses capital project priorities

04/12/2012 Lower Merion Mulls $180K Cut in Federal Grants

04/05/2012 Lower Merion Decides Tax Windfall Will Prevent 2013 Rate Hike

04/05/2012 18% Higher Sewer Rate Proposed

03/28/2012 Lower Merion Township's top bond rating affirmed

03/23/2012 Lawyers Tell Lower Merion Deferred-Compensation Plan Is OK

03/22/2012 Manager lists his picks for use of Lower Merion's tax windfall

03/22/2012 LM attorneys: Township contribution to deferred pay plan "permissible"

03/17/2012 Lower Merion official's pay raising eyebrows

03/15/2012 Legality, Procedure of Lower Merion's Deferred Compensation Questioned

03/15/2012 Legality of Lower Merion's deferred pay benefit questioned

02/26/2012 Tax windfall talk continues in Lower Merion Township

02/26/2012 Deferred pay new source of debate in Lower Merion

01/30/2012 What to do with $7 million? Lower Merion Township eyes options for 2011 tax windfall

01/24/2012 Lower Merion receives financial reporting award

12/11/2011 Tax windfall won't go back to Lower Merion taxpayers.

12/05/2011 'Unexpected' $6.9 Million Changes Lower Merion's Budget Outlook

12/05/2011 Update: Lower Merion Township sees "unexpected" $6.9 million revenue boost; considering budget options

11/17/2011 Lower Merion Budget Met With Criticism

11/10/2011 Lower Merion’s 2012 Tax Rate, Budget Will Be Decided Next Month

07/18/2011 Lower Merion finance discussion

06/30/2011 Lower Merion budget forecast: No increase is 'reasonably feasible'

06/25/2011 Updated: Lower Merion commissioners take first look at capital improvements

06/23/2011 No Resident Input on City Avenue at Lower Merion's Capital-Improvements Meeting

04/12/2011 Lower Merion Township manager's budget report

01/01/2011 Highlights of the 2011 budget

01/01/2011 It's a done deal: LM property-tax hike now 10.8%

12/21/2010 LM adopts 2011 budget with 10.8% tax hike

12/16/2010 Hours of Debate Spur Little Change, Lower Merion Ratifies 10.8% Municipal Tax Increase.

12/12/2010 Residents air LM budget concerns at town-hall meeting

12/12/2010 Commissioners chip at 12.7% budget hike

12/12/2010 Employee pay, benefits eyed for savings

12/10/2010 Memo Gives Commissioners Tax Cut Options.

12/09/2010 Capital Project Plan Moves Forward Despite Lengthy Debate.

12/07/2010 New Budget Q&A On Township Website Says Tax Increase Reduced, At Least, to 10.9%.

12/04/2010 Tax-weary crowd fired up at recent budget hearing

12/04/2010 Only five of 21 budget motions OK'd

12/02/2010 Commissioners Grapple With Budgetary Challenges, Reduce Proposed Tax Increase.

12/02/2010 Comments Heated at Second Public Budget Hearing.

12/01/2010 Second Budget Hearing.

11/28/2010 Speakers' comments range from support to outrage over budget

11/24/2010 Township's Budget Q&A Posted Online.

11/18/2010 Commissioners' Majority Strikes Down Spending Cut Proposals.

11/13/2010 LM budget talk gets under way; next hearing Nov. 17

11/10/2010 Can an EIT fly in LM?

11/06/2010 LM proposes 12.7% tax hike

11/03/2010 LM releases proposed CIP; budget release set for Friday

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• Lower Merion Comprehensive Plan.
Please see LM Comprehensive Plan for more information.

Draft materials distributed prior to the Land Use Element Committee meeting of 6/21/2012:
See Community Development Objectives PDF (229KB).
See Institutional Land Use - Goals & Objectives PDF (264KB).
See Institutional Land Use - Preliminary recommendations PDF (113KB).

The Federation of Civic Associations has issued an alert about the proposed draft for institutional land use:


The Land Use Committee for the Township's new comprehensive plan is planning to complete work on the Institutional Land Use component soon, before moving on to the Residential Land Use and Commercial Land Use components. It appears that the committee’s recommendation will be for the adoption of an “institutional overlay” in the Township’s zoning code. The motivation for this is a perceived need for the institutions located in the Township, primarily non-profit entities such as schools, colleges, and churches located within residential zones, to be able to grow in ways that the underlying residential zoning does not permit. In other words, it is believed that institutions must be able to build with more density, relaxed parking requirements, and more height – 65 feet perhaps -- than all other users in the zone so that they can expand their facilities, increase their enrollments, provide more services etc., and they should be able to do this as a matter of right. As a tradeoff, it is suggested that wider buffers from the surrounding residential neighborhoods be required than the underlying zoning requires for other properties.

As representatives of civic associations whose primary constituencies are the residential neighborhoods, we need to take a hard look at the proposed recommendation because it raises concerns for neighborhood protection that may not be receiving appropriate attention from the committee. Institutional growth in residential zones imposes externalities on the surrounding neighborhoods that our zoning code does not address, except for the vague criteria of health, safety and welfare – traffic, overflow parking on neighborhood streets, noise emanating from HVAC equipment, from people coming to and leaving from events, sometimes in the later hours; light pollution from parking lots and from taller buildings.

Experience with institutional behavior over many years shows that some institutions are model neighbors whereas some have no care for any but their own interests. Parking on neighborhood streets and inconsiderate behavior of students/patrons cannot be controlled after approval has been given and the use has been expanded.

The call to action is for representatives of the Civic Associations to appear at the next meeting of the Land Use Committee, Thursday, June 21, at 6:00 p.m. in the Second Floor Board Room of the Township Administration Building, to hear the discussion of the committee, and to decide if more intervention is needed for the sake of neighborhood protection. On June 25, the committees will be delivering their quarterly reports to the Planning Commission. That will provide an opportunity to comment.

Please contact me if you have any questions about this. Thanks. Hugh B. Gordon 111 Llanfair Road Ardmore, PA 19003 610 649-1349


The Committee Meeting Dates are now available on the township website indicated above.
The new Comprehensive Plan committees have been formed and the kick-off meeting was be on March 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm. The Merion community is well represented.

On February 7, the Planning Commission had a special meeting to assign volunteers to Committees and to discuss the Comprehensive Plan. After the committees have been approved by the Board of Directors, there will be a kick-off meeting on February 27 March 5.

The deadline to submit applications has been extended to Tuesday, January 31, 2012.

The Lower Merion Planning Commission and the Lower Merion Building & Planning Department staff is actively recruiting help with the new schedule to complete the Comprehensive plan by the end of 2012. See the Main Line Times article below, dated Dec 1. Potential volunteers need to apply by December 30.

Special Planning Commission Public Workshops were been scheduled for public review of the Issues Report as follows
Note that many meetings spent time on the Vision Statement.
This information is reformatted from the township website to indicate the topics covered in the workshops.
DateTopicSlidesNotesAgenda
09/21/2010Overview5.1 MB50 KBAgenda
10/18/2010Circulation8.0 MB45 KBAgenda
11/22/2010Energy Conservation
& Water Resource
6.0 MB60 KBAgenda
12/13/2010Energy Conservation
& Water Resource
4.5 MB52 KBAgenda
01/31/2011Overview6.1 MB48 KBAgenda
03/21/2011Residential Land Use5.9 MB55 KBAgenda
05/23/2011Institutional Land Use2.8 MB75 KBAgenda
06/21/2011Commercial Land Use9.9 MB54 KBAgenda
07/19/2011Public Land Use &
Community Facilities
13.1 MB99 KBAgenda
10/11/2011Historic Preservation5.4 MB63 KBAgenda

Report on Issues Relating to the Preparation of a Comprehensive Preservation, Infill and Redevelopment Plan for Lower Merion Township
The LM Building and Planning Department has announced the report is now available for public review.
This is referenced as the "Issues Report" on the LM website.

This project is to fulfill the requirements of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.

The Lower Merion Planning Commission (appointed by the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners) will hold a series of public hearings, then prepare the Comprehensive Plan, probably in sections, and this will require many months. Print copies of the Issues Report are available for inspection at the LM Township Building, at local libraries and each local civic association has received a copy.


To receive Lower Merion notifications, sign up for E-Subscription by providing your E-mail address and checking Comprehensive Plan in the Event Calendar section of that page.

Lower Merion Township website:

08/20/2010 News: Issues Report 1 page.

08/20/2010 Reports and Archives 1 page.
Expand "Building and Planning", then "Comprehensive Plan", then "Issues Report"

Section         PagesPDF size
Section 1–Table of Contents8530KB
Section 2–Introduction8643KB
Section 3–Background222.64MB
Section 4–Analysis; Introduction8947KB
Section 4a–ZHB (Zoning Hearing Board)142.3MB
Section 4b–PC (Planning Commission)307.09MB
Section 4c–HARB; HC
  Historical Architecture Review Board
  Historical Commission
142MB
Section 4d–Planning Studies265.5MB
Section 4e–Identified Issues683.1MB
Section 5–Recommendations363.9MB
Appendix A–Community Profile561.8MB
Appendix B–Planning Studies50369KB
Appendix C–HP Best Practices
  Historic Preservation
24251KB
Appendix D–Issues & Themes34587KB

LM Comprehensive: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (recent first)

11/07/2013 Lower Merion's long-awaited Comprehensive Plan sees some progress

05/19/2013 Lower Merion committee considers new zoning for institutions

02/26/2012 55 appointed to Lower Merion Comprehensive Plan committees

12/01/2011 Citizens can help finish Lower Merion's new Comprehensive Plan

10/13/2011 Lower Merion planning workshop: 'This is our chance' for new Comprehensive Plan

06/25/2011 Updated: LM Planning Commission,cash cow vs community needs

06/25/2011 Updated: LM Planning Commission,cash cow vs community needs

06/22/2011 City Ave. Discussion Derails Planning Commission Workshop

05/30/2011 Lower Merion Comprehensive Plan discussion

03/27/2011 Lower Merion zoning: Still trying to find "lessons learned"

10/20/2010 Traffic circulation among topics at LM Comprehensive Plan workshop

09/29/2010 LM Comprehensive Plan makes public debut.

09/22/2010 Push For Affordable Housing First 'Issue' Reported in Comprehensive Plan Revision Process.

08/20/2010 New LM report lays out roadmap to future.

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• Lower Merion Conservancy.
Online voting results for Lower Merion Conservancy Architectural Hall of Fame.
Online voting closed at 3:00 PM on October 7, 2010. Four additions were made, marked below with asterisks.
  • Bala Theatre, Bala Cynwyd
  • Barnes Foundation, Merion **
  • Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr
  • English Village, Wynnewood **
  • Gladwyne Neutra House, Gladwyne
  • Gerhard Building, Bryn Mawr
  • Merion Tribute House, Merion
  • Rathalla, Rosemont **
  • St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood
  • West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd **

See Conservancy—Hall of Fame 2010 Nominees PDF 2.3MB, 2 pages.

See Merion Civic—Tribute House Architect's Notes PDF 140KB, 5 pages.


LM Conservancy: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (recent first)

09/10/2012 New conservation director Patrick Gardner on call at Lower Merion Conservancy.

07/25/2012 Moving on, Lower Merion Conservancy's Salganicoff reflects on eventful five years in historic preservation.

02/14/2012 Lower Merion Conservancy releases 2012 Preservation Watch List.

02/01/2012 Wynnewood neighbors buy up meadow - preserving history and wildlife.

02/24/2011 Barnes Building, Wynnewood Relic on Conservancy’s New Watch List.

02/23/2011 Video: LM Conservancy most endangered list.

10/03/2010 Online voting for the Architectural Hall of Fame.

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• Lower Merion Flood Insurance Rate Map Changes.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have issued new floodplain maps.
This can affect resident's need for flood insurance.
See LM Township Changes to the Flood Insurance Rate Map

LM Flood Ins: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (recent first)

01/17/2011 LM residents have questions at flood map workshop

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• Lower Merion Library News
The Bala Library has reopened on May 19, 2013.

One Book One Lower Merion 2012
Lower Merion is kicking off its One Book program next month with a rip-roaring story of the old West - DOC, the story of Doc Holliday, the subject of more fiction than any other Old West gunfighter. And it's written by Mary Doria Russell, a terrific writer who has brought the story to life in a "deeply sympathetic, aggressively researched and wonderfully entertaining story." (The Washington Post) Many people know Russell from her previous books (THE SPARROW, A THREAD OF GRACE) and will be delighted to learn that she is even better here.

GORE, GUMS and GLITZ is our opening event at the newly renovated Ludington Library on November 1st at 7 p.m. We'll have Dr. Robert D. Hicks of the Mutter Museum to supply the gore, not so surprising when you realize that dental work was often done by blacksmiths at the time - not only by the real dentist, Doc Holliday. Dr. Oren Friedman, a maxillofacial surgeon at HUP, will talk about his experiences operating on children with cleft palates (like Doc had) in the Far East. And the glitz will be supplied by Andrew Douglas, the educational director of the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, who will bring new insights to Hollywood westerns. By the way, parking is available at the Municipal Parking Lot on Lancaster Avenue, as well as at the library's lot, and guests can enter from either the new Lancaster Ave. doorway or Bryn Mawr Avenue.

Ruth Anolik, Professor of English at Villanova, is returning for another marvelous book review on Thursday, November 8th at 11 am in the 104 Ardmore Avenue building, directly across the parking lot from the Ardmore Library. Ruth's insights and ideas have always provoked lively discussions.

The Bryn Mawr Film Institute will be showing TOMBSTONE, with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, on Wednesday, November 14th at 7 pm. This is a favorite depiction of Doc and Wyatt, and is one of the best Hollywood westerns ever made. Showing your library card will get you a half-price admission.

Finally, our most popular event will certainly be the appearance of best-selling author Mary Doria Russell at Thomas Great Hall of Bryn Mawr College at 2 pm on November 18th. As usual, there is free parking in the lot on New Gulph Road (driving away from Montgomery Ave, make a left from Morris Avenue); there will be signs and people directing you across the campus to Thomas Great Hall. Mary will discuss her writing, answer questions and sign books. Bryn Mawr's bookstore will have all of her books available for sale.

p.s. As you'll know from reading the book, Doc Holliday's cleft palate had an enormous influence on his life. SMILE TRAIN provides free cleft palate surgery for children around the world. Mary Doria Russell believes so passionately in this cause that she is willing to forego her speaking fee in return for a donation to SMILE TRAIN. Boxes will be available for your donations, and we do hope you'll be generous.

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE (except movie) and no registration is needed. Check lmls.org for updates.


April 6, 2011, the LM BOC Library Committee, then the full Board of Commissioners (at a Special Meeting), will "Consider for recommendation to the Board that the Township proceed to solicit competitive bids for the full Bala Cynwyd Library Renovation Project, as designed by the VITETTA Group, Inc." The measure was approved.

The LM Board of Commissioners is considering the purchase of an RFID system, which will improve security and librarian productivity.
On Wednesday, March 9, 2011, the RFID purchase was discussed, but no decision has been made. The discussion about next major maintenance project at the Bala Cynwyd Library was deferred until a special meeting of the Library Committee on March 16 before the monthly Board of Commissioner's meeting.
See the 3/11/2011 news article below.

Ludington Library was closed for 12-14 months during renovations.
After ground-breaking on Jan 22nd, the main building will be closed from Jan 24, 2010 until Spring 2011. A small temporary branch (Ludington "Lite") will be available in the current Ludington parking lot.

LM Library: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (recent first)

04/24/2013 Bala Cynwyd Library Grand Opening is set for May 19

04/24/2013 First look: Inside the new Bala Cynwyd Library

04/15/2013 Ardmore Free Library Eighth Annual Kitchen Tour on April 28, 2013

01/06/2013 Lower Merion library projects update: Bala Cynwyd branch to reopen in April

11/16/2012 Ardmore Library to close Nov. 24 for repairs; project could take five months

09/10/2012 Ludington re-opening is welcomed by the community (With Video)

07/25/2012 A first look inside the new, larger Ludington Library (with slideshow)

07/19/2012 In close vote, Lower Merion board moves Gladwyne, Ardmore library projects forward

06/10/2012 More library projects, closings discussed in Lower Merion

06/10/2012 Settlement proposed in Narberth School dispute

05/09/2012 Ludington Library reopening pushed back to late summer

03/20/2012 Narberth Community Library sees surge in use while Lower Merion branches closed

03/02/2012 Library Staff Report Progress on Bala Cynwyd Renovation

02/20/2012 Lower Merion terminates Ludington plumber

01/30/2012 Ludington Library Won't Open Until at Least April

01/16/2012 Owner's representative hired for Bala Cynwyd Library upgrade

01/12/2012 Township Hires Bala Cynwyd Library Construction Overseer

01/01/2012 Calendar Flips to 2012, a Year Without the Bala Cynwyd Library

12/19/2011 Bala Cynwyd Library could close by Dec. 31

12/19/2011 Ludington Library parking lot paving this week

11/18/2011 Lower Merion Libraries: Bala advances, Ludington in trouble

11/10/2011 Lower Merion votes to move ahead on Bala Cynwyd Library

05/05/2011 Lower Merion Library Director Gains More Time to Consider Bids for Security and Self-Checkout System

04/07/2011 LM votes to proceed on Bala library expansion

04/06/2011 Bala Cynwyd Library project vote on agenda April 6

03/17/2011 Bala Cynwyd Library vote postponed to April

03/11/2011 LM library discussion stalled

03/09/2011 Cost Estimate Shrinks For Bala Cynwyd Library Renovation

02/01/2011 'Don't judge a book by its cover'

12/10/2010 Township Seeking Applicants for Open Library Board Position

12/04/2010 Libraries prepare for merger with MCLINC

12/03/2010 New Online Foreign Language Learning Program Offered Through Lower Merion Libraries

11/30/2010 Libraries Prepare for Merger with County Network, Closing on Dec. 5

10/05/2010 Lower Merion Library System Earns Star Ranking, Top 5% of All Libraries

09/25/2010 Video: Ludington celebrates topping out

09/25/2010 Geothermal system could be option for BC Library

07/16/2010 LM libraries facing lean times in 2011

03/17/2010 Reader's Response: Resident wonders why LM Township has so many libraries

03/10/2010 Debates continue with B.C. Library project

01/10/2010 Ludington Library groundbreaking Jan. 22

See LM Library Renovation Projects.

Meetings Next LM Library System Board of Directors meetings.

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• Lower Merion Police & Fire Reports.
See News articles below for more current reports.
Police Report from November 8, 2010:

How a neighbor was able to prevent a crime in Bala Cynwyd.
ARREST: On Monday, 11-8, at about 5:30 p.m., police responded to Kent Rd. in Bala Cynwyd on the report of a suspicious person selling security systems. The subject was stopped and the investigation revealed that the subject did not possess a permit to solicit and was wanted in Kansas for robbery and aggravated assault. The warrant was confirmed and Kansas authorities stated that they would extradite the man; therefore he was placed under arrest and is awaiting extradition.

This is an excellent example of reporting a suspicious activity. As is often repeated by LM police, would-be burglars knock on doors to see if anyone is at home. If someone answers the door, the culprit makes some excuse as to why he or she knocked ("does Mrs. Smith live here?" or "is this 555 East____ Road?"). In this case the excuse was particularly brazen, if not also appealing (selling security systems), but even so the resident suspected something was not right, and acted. Some residents have asked what their children should do if they hear a knock at the door. The LMT police have told us that if for some reason the parent is not there or can not answer the knock, the child should ascertain who is at the door ("Who is there?"). If the child does not know the person, the child should not open the door, but should call the police and state "someone who I do not know just knocked at the door" and let the police take it from there. The number to call is (610) 642-4200. Potential burglars use the knock to determine if anyone is home, so it is suggested that responding through a locked door can be a powerful deterrent. The police assert, with few exceptions, burglars do not want to encounter a resident and will almost always avoid doing so.

On November 1, 2010 at 10:00 p.m., a jogger was approached and threatened near the Merion Botanical Park.
On October 30 at 7:19 p.m., there was a robbery at gunpoint on Bala Avenue, where the victim was punched in the face.

"The Lower Merion Township Police Department would like to remind pedestrians to avoid walking alone, stay in a well lighted area, be constantly aware of your surroundings and have with you an operable cellular telephone."

Anyone with information about any of the robberies is encouraged to contact the Lower Merion Police at 610-649-1000. Residents should also immediately report any suspicious person(s), vehicle(s) or circumstances to the Lower Merion Police by dialing 9-1-1.

Since October 2009 through November 2010, there have been daytime residential burglaries. Residents are reminded to secure their homes and to report suspicious persons, vehicles or activity to Police by calling 9-1-1.
At a public meeting on June 29, 2010, police recommended the following:
1. Keep your home and car secured (lock the doors). Do not leave valuables visible within cars.
2. Do NOT keep valuables in the master bedroom, since that is the first place burglars will look.
3. Report suspicious persons to the police, using 9-1-1.
4. If you think your house has been entered, call 9-1-1 and wait for the police to check the premises.
See the LM Police Crime Prevention Unit for more tips.
Sign up for police bulletins on Nixle. Do NOT use "Merion" or 19066.
 Specify "Lower Merion, Pennsylvania".
 You can also sign up to receive text messages or Email from Nixle.
Consider Lower Merion Community Watch.

LM Police: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (recent first)

03/30/2014 Updated: Fire damages ambulance, emergency vehicles at Narberth EMS in Ardmore.

02/09/2014 Burglaries on the rise in Lower Merion but so is community watch (infographic).

02/09/2014 Lower Merion Police Reports: Alleged burglar opens bedroom window, finds sleeping homeowner.

01/18/2014 Chief Fire Officer Chas McGarvey recognized.

01/18/2014 Lower Merion police report Merion burglary through an unlocked door.

12/17/2013 VIDEO: Firefighters rescue person from vehicle in Merion creek.

12/13/2013 Philadelphia man sentence to state prison for 2012 armed robbery of Hymie's deli.

11/17/2013 With burglaries on the rise, Lower Merion police address some 200 residents at town meeting.

11/17/2013 Lower Merion Police Reports: Merion resident finds home ransacked.

10/29/2013 Lower Merion sets date for community meeting on recent burglaries in township.

10/18/2013 Lower Merion Police Reports: More burglaries.

10/18/2013 Lower Merion police talk with Bala Cynwyd residents about rash of burglaries.

10/10/2013 Main Line police respond to recent burglaries, uptick in Lower Merion.

09/07/2013 Lower Merion Township is putting the brakes on red light cameras.

09/07/2013 Lower Merion police aim to curb aggressive driving on City Avenue.

09/07/2013 Lower Merion Police: St. Joe's freshman cited for public intoxication; thefts, burglaries reported.

06/10/2013 Lower Merion police June 10 - Attempted burglary frightens home alone child [Merion see last 2].

05/06/2013 Homeowner fires shots during home invasion, no injuries reported (with video) [Merion].

03/05/2013 Lower Merion police March 4 - $20,000 stained glass windows stolen [Merion].

01/20/2013 Lower Merion, Villanova still dealing with problems caused by student drinking.

11/28/2012 Sobriety Checkpoints, Speed Traps Planned For Holiday Season.

11/23/2012 Man Fatally Hit by Train in Merion on Thanksgiving Night.

11/13/2012 Narberth Ambulance has new executive director.

11/13/2012 No new Free Parking Saturdays for Lower Merion downtowns.

10/05/2012 Red light cameras for Lower Merion Township? Officials want to learn more.

10/05/2012 Two More Suspects Arrested In Hymie's Robbery.

10/05/2012 Lower Merion police make additional arrests in Hymie's robbery.

08/23/2012 Second suspect apprehended in Hymie's armed robbery.

08/13/2012 Man arrested in Hymie's robbery says 'I'm innocent'; judge advances all charges for trial.

08/13/2012 Report: Red light cameras will not cover costs in the suburbs.

08/05/2012 Scammers, Solicitors at the Door: LMPD's Advice.

08/02/2012 Free-parking Saturdays? Lower Merion commissioner wants to boost local businesses.

08/02/2012 Lower Merion to fill new round of police vacancies by fall.

07/26/2012 Lower Merion OKs More Police Hiring.

07/25/2012 Counselors Allegedly Discharge Airsoft Pistol on 12-Year-Old Campers.

07/18/2012 Police Studying Security Footage from Hymie’s Robbery.

07/15/2012 Updated: Armed robbery at Hymie's Delicatessen in Merion.

07/15/2012 Updated: New law could see red light cameras come to Lower Merion.

05/30/2012 Video: House destroyed by fire in Merion.

05/24/2012 Neighborhood Watch Faces Challenges in Lower Merion.

05/21/2012 Bala Cynwyd CVS Robbed at Gunpoint: Cops

01/18/2012 Lower Merion police officer resigns for medical reasons rather than get fired.

01/17/2012 Facing Termination, Lower Merion Police Officer Resigns.

01/11/2012 Men With Hammers Rob Bala Cynwyd Jeweler.

01/10/2012 Two Women Sexually Assaulted on Montgomery Avenue, Police Say .

01/05/2012 Lower Merion Police Committee Discusses Recent Burglaries.

01/03/2012 Three teenagers nabbed in New Year's Day armed robbery in Merion.

12/20/2011 See Where and When Lower Merion's Burglaries Happened in 2011.

11/18/2011 Lower Merion burglars suspects offering to do yard work are robbing homes.

05/03/2011 Lower Merion Police: Lankenau Thefts Continue.

05/02/2011 Armed Burglars Detain Couple at Merion Home.

05/02/2011 Merion family held by armed men in home invasion.

01/06/2011 LM citizens fighting back against crime wave.

12/21/2010 Police Arrest Ardmore Burglary Suspect.

12/21/2010 Police arrest suspect in Ardmore burglaries.

12/20/2010 Another Ardmore Burglary on Cricket Avenue.

12/16/2010 Reporting Suspicious Activity Key to Ending Burglary Spree.

12/03/2010 Deadline to Register New Security Systems is Dec. 20.

11/29/2010 Two-Week Burglary Spree Hits 14 Homes.

11/12/2010 LM police arrest burglary suspect.

11/12/2010 Police Arrest Suspected Merion Burglar.

11/09/2010 Police Arrest Two Near St. Joe's, One Near Merion Elementary, on Public Drunkenness Charges.

11/08/2010 Police: Jogger Disarms Attacker in Attempted Merion Robbery.

11/08/2010 Burglary Arrests Hinge on Resident Involvement.

11/05/2010 Man punched, robbed in Bala Cynwyd.

11/02/2010 Merion Resident Threatened With Blunt Object in Street Robbery.

09/28/2010 Beware of Vandalism, Forced-Entry Thefts from Cars.

09/18/2010 Two Stop Signs Planned For Rockland Ave in Merion.

08/14/2010 LM Police urges residents to report suspicious activity.

08/06/2010 LM Police issues alert after increase of thefts.

03/23/2010 Residents meet to discuss recent burglaries.

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• Lower Merion Schools News.
See Planning for Growing Enrollment
The above link contains several items related to this current issue. (Sept 2013)

Superintendent Dr. Christopher McGinley met with the Merion Community at the Merion Tribute House on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm.

See 3/11/2011 article, listing School Board Candidates.
Beginning process for budgeting 2011-2012 school year.
Article of 2/10/2011, is about a proposed Pennsylvania bill to support school vouchers which might affect Lower Merion.

LM Schools: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (newest first)

03/14/2014 Sleep and the teenage brain discussion planned at Lower Merion High School

02/22/2014 Lower Merion School District has a plan to replace Superintendent McGinley

02/18/2014 Lower Merion Superintendent McGinley stepping down from position; Marseille to be named acting superintendent

02/09/2014 Haverford, Lower Merion School District updates its school year academic calendar to reflect snow days

02/02/2014 Lower Merion proposes 4.11 percent tax hike in latest school district budget

01/18/2014 Lower Merion School District to implement pilot extended kindergarten program

01/18/2014 Lower Merion School Board goes on record opposing charter school bill; asks other districts to do the same

11/20/2013 New Orthodox High School for Boys In the Works

11/14/2013 Is a radically different Lower Merion School District about to begin taking shape?

10/27/2013 Players, fans push for Friday night lights at Lower Merion's Arnold Field

10/18/2013 Residents get the opportunity to voice views on Lower Merion, Harriton high schools choice debate

09/26/2013 2 elementary school construction bids in over budget

09/26/2013 Lower Merion High School enrollment debate: Where to add new classrooms to the high schools

08/22/2013 Who is Lower Merion School District's new assistant superintendent?

07/19/2013 Lower Merion board updated on school renovation projects, purchases new buses

06/16/2013 Lower Merion School Board approves 2013-14 budget with tax, lunch price hike

06/15/2013 Lower Merion School Board expels 2 students for not living in the district

05/19/2013 Photos: Artwork at Lower Merion High School's Arts & Music Fest

05/19/2013 Lower Merion School District delays making changes to high school choice zone

04/20/2013 Lower Merion School District officials lower final tax hike to 3.82 percent

04/20/2013 Lower Merion School District officials approves changes to its policy on the assignment of students

04/15/2013 Lower Merion aiming to become an even greener school district

03/04/2013 Lower Merion School Distrct's Project CHANGE celebrates 17 years of environmental learning

02/27/2013 Lower Merion: One of the State's Greenest Districts?

02/24/2013 Lower Merion officials approve 4.4 percent tax hike in preliminary budget

02/19/2013 Main Line schools: White House launches college scorecard

01/15/2013 School District Expansion Decisions Needed 'Soon'

12/19/2012 Lower Merion officials scale back but move Gladwyne Elementary addition forward

12/19/2012 Lower Merion schools forming security task force

12/05/2012 Lower Merion School Board elects new president, V.P.; approve administrators agreement

11/29/2012 Gladwyne Residents Press for Reasons Behind School-Expansion Plan

11/13/2012 Lower Merion approves new teachers' contract

11/11/2012 What Do Local Private Schools Cost?

10/27/2012 $29.4 Million School Renovation Project Could Begin This Spring

10/11/2012 Lower Merion students back in class after bout with whooping cough

10/10/2012 Parents, community members raise concern with Lower Merion school officials over ongoing achievement-gap issues

10/10/2012 Local Jewish Schools Introduce $850,000 iPad Program

10/09/2012 At School Board Meeting, Concerns About Test-Score Trends

10/06/2012 Negotiations Continue Between LMSD, Staff

10/05/2012 Lower Merion High School has two cases of Whooping Cough

10/03/2012 Philly Mag Ranks Main Line High Schools [LM took 2nd place]

08/23/2012 Glass found mixed in dirt headed for Arnold Field

08/21/2012 LMSD Paying $2.5M for Land in Penn Valley, Board Announces

08/21/2012 Contractless School Union Fills Board Meeting With Black Shirts

08/16/2012 As school gets closer, no contract between Lower Merion and its teachers' union

08/16/2012 Crossing guard to stay at Merion Elementary School

08/03/2012 Back to School: Key Dates on LMSD Calendar

07/31/2012 When's The First Day For Local Private Schools?

07/19/2012 Work complete on Lower Merion School District Administration Building

07/19/2012 Lower Merion School District to purchase former church building

06/18/2012 Lower Merion School District passes 1.99 percent tax hike

06/18/2012 Lower Merion enrollment study shows Harriton to overtake LM as overall district population increases

06/18/2012 Supreme Court denies hearing petition of Doe students in Lower Merion redistricting case

06/10/2012 Lower Merion students go to Haiti to help build a school

06/02/2012 Doe families say district is changing its argument in Lower Merion redistricting case

05/31/2012 Supreme Court Justices to Examine Lower Merion Case

05/23/2012 All Kindergartners Getting iPads in Lower Merion

05/22/2012 3 Schools Need 2012-2013 Principals

05/16/2012 LMSD's $43 Million in Reserve Funds 4th Highest in State

05/11/2012 Lower Merion High School Ranked 16th In State by US News and World Report

05/09/2012 With new high schools, Lower Merion schools still short on sports space

04/23/2012 Lower Merion School Board fires contractor, halves tax hike

04/15/2012 Narberth officials address issues with Rockland Avenue and Merion Elementary School

03/22/2012 LMSD to make $6.4 million on bond refinancing and reiterates a decrease in next year's tax increase

03/20/2012 County Releases New Immunization Requirements, Clinic Dates

03/18/2012 Doe families appeal to Supreme Court in Lower Merion redistricting case

02/26/2012 LMSD expected to halve proposed tax increase due to bond-sale windfall

02/26/2012 Fallout from student drinking, drug video continues for LMSD

02/20/2012 Lower Merion students prepare to travel to Haiti to help in school-construction project

02/20/2012 Lower Merion school officials to consider giving students e-mail and online-storage accounts

01/24/2012 Officials are raising questions over LMSD budget

01/24/2012 Expecting Savings Later, Lower Merion School Board OKs Preliminary Budget

01/18/2012 Schools report on bullying in Lower Merion middle schools

12/21/2011 LMSD budget calls for 3.92-percent tax hike

12/21/2011 Lower Merion school officials approve resolution to support changing the word 'retardation'

11/18/2011 Use of calming rooms in some Lower Merion schools is causing concerns for parents

11/09/2011 Election Results: Lower Merion, Narberth, County, State Elections

10/28/2011 Seven battle it out in LMSD board candidates' forum

10/14/2011 Bringing the 21st century into the classrooms

10/14/2011 Lower Merion School District named as one of America's best for young people

09/16/2011 State of Lower Merion schools' academic achievement

07/24/2011 Board approves a pay hike, bonus for McGinley

06/15/2011 Lower Merion school officials approve a 3.31 percent hike

05/21/2011 New state school immunization requirements effective Aug. 1

05/03/2011 Merion teacher earns Presidential Award

03/31/2011 Lower Merion school officials say voters could begin voting on its budget within two years

03/22/2011 Lower Merion School District May Lose $1.4M From State

03/17/2011 LMSD administrators talk writing and strategic planning at board-committee meeting

03/15/2011 LMSD officials say the state is cutting $1.4 million from its funding

03/11/2011 Candidates file for May primary in Lower Merion and Narberth

02/10/2011 New bill supports voucher system

01/25/2011 LMSD officials propose 3.31 percent tax increase

01/24/2011 School District Proposes 3.31% Tax Increase

01/22/2011 LMSD officials to present preliminary budget Monday night

09/25/2010 LMSD board approves a motion removing nonresidents from the district.

09/20/2010 Photo Tour of the New Lower Merion High School

09/16/2010 New Data Renews Concerns Over 'Achievement Gap' in Lower Merion Schools

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• Lower Merion Streets.
This news entry will now also include information on street & bridges.

Contact to help collect information about street signs as part of a larger effort. The Historical Architecture Review Board (HARB) and Teri Simon of the Wynnewood Civic Association are also active in this effort.

The Federal Highway Administration, and PennDOT have issued requirements to install new street signs.
This has raised some controversy locally by historic-preservation advocates who want to retain the current signs.
The LM Public Works Committee will consider this on March 2.

LM Streets: Main Line Times and Patch.com (newest first)

03/24/2014 Long-term solution remains out of reach for Narberth, Lower Merion officials in Narberth Tunnel debate.

03/14/2014 Narberth parking fees will double, other changes eyed.

02/22/2014 Lower Merion Pothole Hotline now in operation.

02/22/2014 UPDATE: Narberth left-turn ban 'shocks' Lower Merion officials - but is it valid?.

02/21/2014 Signs posted, town hall meeting called on left-turn ban at Narberth tunnel.

10/18/2011 Narberth roundabout bound for another round of debate.

09/20/2011 Lower Merion commissioners change directions on roundabout (Updated).

09/22/2011 Most agree in Narberth, North Wynnewood Avenue intersection needs improvement.

09/07/2011 Roundabout gaining support among Narberth, Lower Merion officials.

11/17/2011 Resolution clears way for Lower Merion's historic street signs to stay.

11/13/2011 The decision is final: The Narberth Ave. Bridge will be repaired.

12/19/2011 Video: Sen. Toomey proposes legislation to save historic street signs in Lower Merion.

12/19/2011 Toomey Proposes Bill to Protect Lower Merion Street Signs.

11/06/2011 Narberth bridge reopens.

10/28/2011 Narberth Bridge repairs begin Oct. 31.

10/25/2011 Narberth Avenue Bridge Repairs Scheduled to Start on Halloween.

10/11/2011 Narberth is ready for bridge repairs, waiting on Amtrak.

10/06/2011 Narberth Bridge Update: Repair Timeline Expected By Weekend.

09/21/2011 Narberth Avenue Bridge closed for "weeks not months".

09/20/2011 Narberth Reopening Bridge Walkway.

09/16/2011 After PennDOT Inspection, Narberth Bridge Closes Indefinitely for Repairs.

06/13/2011 A piece of Merion history is missing

04/22/2011 Update: It's official Lower Merion will keep historic street signs

04/03/2011 Merion's last historic streetlight restored after storm damage

03/14/2011 Lower Merion Not Alone in Opposition to Street-Sign Regulation.

03/08/2011 Lower Merion wants waiver to save its street signs

01/18/2011 Street signs: Pushing forward on preservation

01/14/2011 Lower Merion Township Opposes Federal Street Sign Mandate.

01/08/2011 Is change a sign of the times?

01/06/2011 Lower Merion Prepares For Street Sign Battle.

12/29/2010 The most important column in 13 years

12/15/2010 Video: Feds want LM to replace 95-year-old street signs

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• Lower Merion Sewer & Trash Service.
Lower Merion Township will be making a special bulk pick-up of tree and branch debris left in the wake of this winter's harsh ice and snow storms, from March 24-April 9, 2014.
See Lower Merion Special storm debris pickup schedule

Beginning in January 2010, Lower Merion will implement a new fee schedule and collection options for trash disposal.
See
2010 Solid Waste Fees Flyer for details.
Also see Solid Waste Collection Options for more information.
Submit questions to .
See Main Line Times opinion article 1/26/2011 for a recycling refresher.

LM Sewer & Trash: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (newest first)

03/14/2014 Post-Nika debris worse than Sandy, Lower Merion Township will aid residents in clean-up

09/07/2013 Lower Merion trash fees will rise in 2014

05/19/2013 No increase in Lower Merion sewer rental fee

10/22/2012 Lower Merion raises most trash fees 9 percent, as rear-yard pickup debate flares again

10/05/2012 Free Fall Cleanup This Weekend in Lower Merion

09/16/2012 Trash fee increase not popular but needed in 2013, Lower Merion board says

09/10/2012 In Lower Merion, it may cost more to take out trash in 2013

04/05/2012 18% Higher Sewer Rate Proposed

07/07/2011 Lower Merion announces new recycling trucks are in service

01/26/2011 GREEN LIGHT: Recycling 202: A recycling quiz

11/29/2010 Leaf Collection Reminder: Must Be Placed Curbside

08/06/2010 LM commissioners vote to replace trash trucks & parking meters

08/04/2010 Pay now, save later: LM weighs costly purchases

07/31/2010 Trash talk continues in LM

05/12/2010 Rear-yard pickup worth cost to residents

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• Lower Merion Zoning.
This section convers zoning petitions & Planning Commission items.
Note that the bottom of the Zoning Hearing Board agendas state the the applications may be reviewed at the township building. However, you may obtain electronic copies of the documents from .

On January 5, 2012 there are two items of wider community concertn. See Jan 5 agenda for LM Zoning Hearing. Note the following:
Appeal No. 4256: About netting and use of Haverford School baseball playing field.
Appeal No. 4266: About SJU request for special exception to convert Windrim Hall from a residence to administrative offices. See St. Joseph University "Maguire Campus" for more background.

On October 27, 2011, the hearing regarding a special exception for Adath Israel and Golden Slipper for Seniors had further testimony. The record is extended for one week to enable Golden Slipper to submit descriptions of their programs.
To convert 600 sq ft of unused office space for administrative use of Golden Slipper Center and to operate a senior citizens center providing 2 classes per day, Monday through Thursday for up to 50 members and 1 teacher per class. See 10/27/2011 ZHB Agenda (see 3rd item)

On March 22, 2011, David Blumenfield of Cross Properties was at the Merion Civic Association March 2011 monthly meeting to discuss Palmer Seminary Plans.

The Palmer Theological Seminary plans to move to Eastern University's St. David's Campus. Now a developer wanting to buy the property wants to convert the main hall into an apartment building. In order for this to happen, the LM Board of Commissioners must change the zoning.

LM Zoning: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (newest first)

03/18/2014 Lower Merion board will vote on several development plans Wednesday

03/14/2014 Wynnewood Shopping Center owner granted partial relief of 60-year-old development limits

02/22/2014 St. Charles Seminary eyes development proposals and considers sale of its artwork

02/22/2014 Letter: Preservation can't succeed without overhaul of Lower Merion's zoning code

02/17/2014 Lower Merion commissioners vote 7-4 to approve Wynnewood Road development, bank demolition

02/09/2014 WP Realty official involved in new Whole Foods development to be sentenced for tax evasion charges

01/18/2014 Restriction of certain Lower Merion businesses' hours remains a thorny issue

01/09/2014 Despite lack of state funds, One Ardmore Place proposal moving 'full steam ahead' (letter)

12/21/2013 Dranoff reacts: Developer is confident Ardmore project will get 'back on track'

12/17/2013 Update: State declines Lower Merion's One Ardmore Place RACP grant application

12/13/2013 St. Charles neighbors share latest info on seminary property plans

11/24/2013 Saint Charles Seminary to Lower Merion: no ball field use for now

11/08/2013 Lower Merion residents stepping up in Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary redevelopment

10/15/2013 WP Realty's tentative plan for East Wynnewood Road development moves forward

09/15/2013 Lower Merion clears way for Whole Foods to get liquor license

09/15/2013 MUST amendments get Lower Merion commissers' OK

07/28/2013 Lower Merion approves plans for new, larger Whole Foods Market in Wynnewood

07/21/2013 60-year-old zoning decision new wrinkle in Wynnewood Shopping Center restaurant dispute

05/06/2013 Should Lower Merion restrict business hours? Debate will continue

04/15/2013 Sketch plan for new Wynnewood Whole Foods Market approved

04/15/2013 Wynnewood Shopping Center owner appeals hours restriction on new restaurant

03/24/2013 A tale of two apartment plans in Lower Merion

03/12/2013 Update: Philadelphia Archbishop announces plans to develop or sell land at St. Charles Seminary

03/12/2013 Bryn Mawr student rentals stay for now, SJU can add summer camps, Lower Merion zoners decide

02/24/2013 Hours, outdoor music drove debate in Wynnewood restaurant decision

01/20/2013 New hope for old churches and halls: Lower Merion board adopts conversion measure

12/09/2012 UPDATED: Wynnewood Shopping Center, civics find agreement on LA Fitness proposal

12/05/2012 Lower Merion planners OK Rosemont College field upgrades -- with lights

12/05/2012 Seminary Developer Changes Chapel's Future Use

11/28/2012 Lower Merion confronting student housing violations

11/13/2012 Rosemont College seeking lights for ball field upgrade

09/18/2012 Zoning hearing on Wynnewood LA Fitness proposal postponed

09/16/2012 Church conversion measure in Lower Merion draws varied response; action now at least two months away

08/22/2012 Wynnewood LA Fitness Hearing Continued

08/02/2012 Updated: Waiver withdrawn in Gladwyne tree-clearing; church conversion moved up [September 12]

07/26/2012 Turn Houses of Worship into Houses? Public Hearing Set on Policy

07/25/2012 LA Fitness Hearing Postponed [until August 20]

07/20/2012 Court overturns Lower Merion's OK of O'Neill riverfront project

07/19/2012 "Upscale" LA Fitness club proposed for former Wynnewood Borders

07/13/2012 LA Fitness Eyes Wynnewood Shopping Center For Upscale, 'Signature' Gym

02/20/2012 Lower Merion zoning board hears schools' plans for growth

02/12/2012 Lower Merion planners OK synagogue, Ardmore townhouse and Palmer Seminary projects

01/04/2012 Soccer ball anyone?

05/27/2011 L.M. Historical Commission Considering Redevelopment of Palmer Seminary

04/25/2011 Palmer's buyer seeks rezoning and historic status

04/07/2011 Lower Merion planning commission-two cases

02/10/2011 Palmer Seminary buildings' new owner wants rezoning for refitting into apartments

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• Merion Civic Association
Don Cannon, Lower Merion Director of Public Works, addressed the 11/27/2012 monthly meeting of the Merion Civic Association. He discussed how the Township is becoming involved in the work being done at Idris Road. The Township has stopped the work being done by Amtrak and is working with Amtrak to address the drainage issues at that location.
Residents noted that the screening trees along the tracks have been removed, and that neighbors had not been notified. Mr. Cannon showed a preliminary plan which will address the water issues, and will restore the screening foliage between Idris and the railroad. More planning will be needed, and he promised to keep residents better informed of the process.

The Merion Civic Association announces the speaker for the 2012 Annual Meeting will be F. Graham Lee, PhD, Professor of Political Science at St. Joseph's University. He will speak on Back to the Future: Is 2012 a Repeat of 1980 or 2004?. The lecture will be followed by a question & answer period.
See Annual Meeting Speaker. SJU bio.

The last issue of the Merion Civic Association newsletter had the theme "What we do for Merion". Our civic association has a long history of accomplishments (see the History page), but this issue concentrated on more recent projects. We welcome contributions from the community.

We recently lost two long-term contributors to the Merion Civic Association. Please read their obituaries below.

In October 2011, Philip Bagley, husband of former Merion Civic Association President Ann Bagley, and former webmaster of the Merion Civic Association.
In November 2011, Marty Piltch, former Merion Civic Association President, and community activist.

The Merion Civic Association Website has been updated
See the occasional Alerts on the Home Page. This section tracks MAJOR updates. The site is updated at least weekly.
Updates: (newer ones listed first)
  • 07/24/2011: News added new item for Green & Environmental news
    Minutes: new page containing Board of Director meeting minutes.
  • 05/02/2011: News alphabetize Top Stories (contents) section; Added links to News (media) section of entries, when there is one
  • News add entries for Lower Merion School District, Lower Merion Budget
  • History add Merion Civic Association Tenth Annual Year Book
  • News add entry for Lower Merion Comprehensive Plan; Photos 2010 Flag Day.
Please let us know what you think. Contact .

Merion Civic Assoc: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (newest first)

06/24/2011 Centennial Party marks a major milestone for Merion Civic Association

05/06/2011 Main Line Volunteer of the Week - Scott Kalner

11/28/2011 RIP Marty Piltch: A unique voice is silenced

10/12/2011 Obituary: Philip R. Bagley

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• Lower Merion Historic Heritage
Merion History and efforts to create a Merion Historic District. This will also include Lower Merion Historic preservation.

Rolf Charlston –Merion history tour– Sunday, October 7, 2:00 pm

Let's take a hike -- a tour of architecture and history in Merion, led by Rolf Charlston, classical music radio host on WRTI, former dean of graduate programs at Saint Joseph's University, and a tour guide and lecturer in architecture, literature, and music. Ann Bagley, former President of the MCA, a board member of the Botanical Society of Lower Merion, and a tour guide at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will talk about the Botanical Park and the history of the MCA.

The coming of the railroad spurred the development of Merion and other communities along the Main Line. "Nothing was so holy as the Local to Paoli" (Christopher Morley). We'll walk on the north (outbound) side of the tracks, and examine English-influenced architectural styles, of course, but there's also a touch of gothic, Mediterranean, and modern.

We'll see the houses of significant personages from the past: Edward W. Bok, editor of The Ladies Home Journal and the first president of the MCA, and the Trapp Family, having escaped the Nazis and making sounds of music in Merion.

Meet at the inbound side of the Merion Train Station, Sunday, October 7, 2:00 pm.

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, dedicated to promoting and protecting historic buildings, communities, and landscapes, is the sponsor for this tour and over 50 other tours in the Philadelphia region. $10 for adults, $8 for students, free for children under 10 accompanied by an adult. $5 for Preservation Alliance members (please show your member card). Please arrive 15 minutes prior to 2 pm.

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia has a series of Homeowner Workshops targeted at owners, and aspiring owners of older and historic homes.

Some reference materials:
  National Trust for Historic Preservation
  Preservation Pennsylvania
   Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation Activities PDF 2.8 MB
  Merion Historic District FAQ PDF 327 KB

The January 31, 2012 meeting included presentations by Lori Salganicoff of the Lower Merion Conservancy, and by Scott Kalner, President of HARB (Historic Architecture Review Board). The proposed historic district will include structures built up to 1937. Newer buildings in the district will not carry the same preservation constraints.

There will be a community meeting of those interested in the Historic District on January 31, 2012 at the Tribute House.
See Merion Historic District Survey.

Merion History: Main Line Times and Patch.com: (newest first)

06/24/2013 History: Main Line's automotive past.

05/02/2013 Tour a $3.2M Home Owned by Albert Barnes.

11/17/2012 Resolution clears way for Lower Merion's historic street signs to stay.

10/11/2012 The Making of Downtown Narberth, A Historical Look at the Borough's Commercial Center

08/02/2012 Community groups seeking new homes with Narberth church closing

05/09/2012 Historical board honors preservation pioneer

04/23/2012 Lower Merion Academy building turning 200

04/23/2012 Gala's proceeds fund Cynwyd Station work

04/15/2012 Lower Merion commissioners: 'Permanent' means 'permanent' for historic Wynnewood synagogue

03/28/2012 Palmer Seminary, Ardmore home are historic preservation wins in Lower Merion

12/09/2011 On road to demolition, insides of Merion mansion to be gutted

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• Merion Post Office
07/27/2011 The Merion Station Post Office is NOT on the new list of post offices to be considered for closing.
See USPS Future Network.

We have a new Officer In Charge, Sue Appler.  The sorting operations continue to be done at Merion, and we still have some truck deliveries.
Notice that there are no delivery trucks parked at Merion.
While the retail operations and post boxes remain, dispatching mailmen has been moved to the Bala Cynwyd Post Office.
See Could your post office be closing?
January 2010: the Wynnewood Post Office has merged with the Upper Darby/Havertown Post Office.
May 2010: the Merion Station Post Office no longer has a postmaster and bulk mail will be handled at the Upper Darby/Havertown post office. Merion Post Office: Main Line Times, Patch & Philadelphia Inquirer: (recent first)
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• Montgomery County Governance.
This section will discuss Montgomery County issues with a direct effect on Merion.

Montgomery County Governance: Main Line Times, Patch & Philadelphia Inquirer: (recent first)

12/21/2013 Montgomery County commissioners adopt 2014 budget

11/24/2013 Montgomery County holds line on taxes in 2014

11/24/2013 Residents encouraged to join in Montco 2040: A Shared Vision

10/15/2013 Montgomery County unveils master plans for next 30 years of development

08/23/2013 Montgomery County launches free mobile phone app

08/19/2013 Moody's has downgraded Montgomery County's bond rating to 'negative'

06/19/2013 MontCo Named Among 50 Healthiest Counties for Kids in U.S.

05/19/2013 Montco Republicans sue Shapiro, Richards for 'schemes related to election board'

11/16/2012 Montco commissioners unveil 2013 budget with no property tax increase

10/01/2012 Voter ID easily obtainable for Montco residents, commissioners say

04/25/2012 Montco commissioners adopt 2012 capital budget

01/04/2012 Shapiro named chairman of Montgomery County board, calls for 'civic engagement' (video)

01/03/2012 Turnpike Toll Hike Kicked in Jan. 1

12/19/2011 Montgomery County adopts budget; taxes to rise 17%

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• Pennsylvania Electric Rate Increase.
The Cap on Electric Generation Rates expire on 12/31/2010.
Your electric rates will increase. New PECO price is 9.92¢/kWh.
You can select a different firm to generate your electricity.
It will continue to be delivered by PECO.
Rates shown are either fixed for 1 year or variable by month.
Also notice whether there is an Early Cancellation Fee.
Documents here from Pennsylvania State website. New choice links.
See Expiration of Electric Generation Rate Caps 580 KB PDF.
See Shopping guide overview.
Merion choices, see PECO Energy-Regular.
Merion electric heating choices, see PECO Energy-Heat.

PA Electric Rates: Main Line Times & Philadelphia Inquirer: (recent first)

10/03/2012 PECO customers will see a jump in energy bill

12/21/2010 You've got to shop around for cheap electricity

12/16/2010 Phila Inq: Pa. gives OK to Peco rate increase
Comparison Chart PDF 46KB.

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• Pennsylvania Governance.
This section will discuss Pennsylvania issues with a direct effect on Merion.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues Order on Voter/Photo ID Law
The decision was passed back to the lower court.
Per Curiam Order
Dissenting Statement
Dissenting Statement


The Committee of Seventy of Philadelphia has a FAQ about the new PA Voter ID Law What you need to know
PA Governance: Main Line Times & Philadelphia Inquirer: (recent first)

02/09/2014 Lower Merion/Narberth League of Women Voters forum spotlights redistricting, education funding and health care

01/18/2014 Commonwealth Court strikes down PA voter ID law

11/30/2013 Gov. Tom Corbett signs transportation bill in Montco

02/24/2012 Town hall meeting on PA gun laws set in Lower Merion

10/01/2012 Voter ID easily obtainable for Montco residents, commissioners say

09/18/2012 Pa. Supreme Court orders more review on voter ID law [Philadelphia Inquirer]

09/18/2012 Pa. Voter ID Sent Back to Lower Court

09/18/2012 Pa. high court orders lower court to review Voter ID [see Per Curiam Order above for link to full ruling]

09/16/2012 Pa. high court takes hard look at voter ID law

09/10/2012 Lower Merion's PALM senior center helping older residents 'navigate' new Voter ID Law

09/10/2012 Daley kicks off her campaign for the state house

09/06/2012 New Voter IDs Available at PennDOT Licensing Centers

08/16/2012 Judge declines to overturn voter ID law

08/13/2012 Democrats pick candidate for 148th seat

07/25/2012 Sen. Daylin Leach vows to fight new voter ID bill

07/25/2012 Gerber: Decision to leave politics, "not an easy one"

07/21/2012 Turnpike Tolls to Increase in 2013

07/19/2012 County's Debt Takes Another Hit [Moody's downgrade rating]

05/15/2012 More Than 500 Residents Come Out Against Lower Merion Redistricting Plan

05/14/2012 Take Our Poll: 70 mph Speed Limit on Turnpike?

04/03/2012 Ban on texting while driving in PA takes effect Thursday [April 2, 2012]

03/12/2012 Ban on texting while driving in PA takes effect Thursday

02/07/2012 Corbett unveils $27.1 billion hold-the-line budget, deep education cuts

01/30/2012 Pa. high court throws out legislative redistricting plan

12/19/2011 Lower Merion joins Philadelphia in new redistricting plan

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• Philadelphia Governance
The Philadelphia cell-phone law has been superseded by the new Pennsylvania law banning texting, effective March 8, 2012.
Philadelphia prohibits hand-held cell usage while driving. Effective November 1, 2009, the new law imposes a fine of $75.
See Main Line Times
11/16/2009 No driving while-cell phone chatting in Philly
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• St. Joseph University "Maguire Campus"
Saint Joseph University has just submitted a request for special exception in order to run Summer Camps at the Maguire Campus. The appeals will be heard at the April 5, 2012 meeting of the Lower Merion Zoning Hearing Board.

The appeal by Saint Joseph's University (Landowner) of the October 19, 2009, order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County denying Landowner's appeal of the decisions of the Lower Merion Township Zoning Hearing Board was denied by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on March 9, 2012. See Memorandum Opinion.

The continuation of the zoning hearing for Saint Joseph Maguire Campus was on February 9, 2012.

Maguire Campus Sport Schedules:
SJU Men's Baseball 2012
SJU Women's Softball 2011-2012

On January 5, 2012, Saint Joseph University is requesting a special exception for the conversion of Windrim Hall from residential to administrative use. See SJU appeal PDF 1.8MB.

On March 23, 2011, the Lower Merion Building & Planning Committee of the Board of Commissioners completed work on the Conditions of Approval for the Saint Joseph University Maguire Campus Preliminary Plan. They also granted a waiver, so that work on the Field Hockey field could be started before the Final Plan is approved. See news article below.

At the March 16 meeting, the Building & Planning Committee did not complete discussion on the Conditions of Approval. The next meeting on this will be on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:00 pm. See news articles for more information.

At the March 9 meeting, the Building & Planning Committee had four hours discussion of the Preliminary Plan and suggested Conditions of Approval. The first suggested condition, which states that the University will comply with zoning hearing board conditions, was opposed by the University. The MCC lawyer explained that the university has asked the Commonwealth Court to move ahead with an appeal of the Zoning Hearing Board 2008 decision, that the University had to reapply for a special exception. If that appeal succeeds, all of the November 2010 zoning hearing board decision would be nullified. The decision was deferred to a special meeting of the Building & Planning Committee, at 7:30 pm prior to the monthly Board of Commissioners meeting on March 16.

On March 9, the Building & Planning Committee of the LM Board of Commissioners received and considered the recommendations of the Lower Merion Building & Planning Commission. See March 9 final agenda (PDF 64 KB) which has the revised suggested Conditions of Approval.

On March 7, the Lower Merion Building and Planning Commission considered the St. Joseph Preliminary Plan using the attached Bldg & Planning March 7 Packet (PDF 730 KB), with recommended conditions of approval on pages 12-19.

There were two neighbor's meetings with representatives from the LM Building & Planning Department and St. Joseph University.
02/09/2011 8-10 am: Discussed issues relating to Berwick Road
02/10/2011 8-10 am: Discussed issues relating to Latches Lane

On 1/6/2011, a Preliminary Plan Application, No. 3608, proposing improvements to the athletic fields and other related site improvements on the University's Maguire Campus, was submitted to the Lower Merion Township Building & Planning Department.
See Planning Department Notification (1 page PDF 30 KB)
See Overall Development Plan (1 page 42x30 inch PDF 4.5 MB)
See Preliminary Plan Land Development (44 pages 42x30 inch PDF 70 MB)
Contents from Cover Sheet of the Preliminary Plan Land Development:
Page.Content
  1.  Cover Sheet
  2.  Overall Development Plan
  3.  Notes and Reference Plan
  4.  Conservation Inventory Plan
  5.  Vicinity Plan
  6.  Site Index Plan
  7.  Existing Conditions/Demolition Plan (NW Quadrant)
  8.  Existing Conditions/Demolition Plan (NE Quadrant)
  9.  Existing Conditions/Demolition Plan (SW Quadrant)
  10.  Existing Conditions/Demolition Plan (SE Quadrant)
  11.  Post-Constuction Stormwater Management/Grading & Utility Plan (NW Quadrant)
  12.  Post-Constuction Stormwater Management/Grading & Utility Plan (NE Quadrant)
  13.  Post-Constuction Stormwater Management/Grading & Utility Plan (SW Quadrant)
  14.  Post-Constuction Stormwater Management/Grading & Utility Plan (SE Quadrant)
  15.  Overall Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan
  16.  Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan (NW Quadrant)
  17.  Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan (NE Quadrant)
  18.  Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan (SW Quadrant)
  19.  Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan (SE Quadrant)
  20.  Construction Details [diagrams for signs, concrete details]
  21.  Construction Details
    • [Soils Notes
    • Hydroseeding Specifications
    • Stormwater Management Facility Maintenance Plan
    • Construction Timing and Sequence]
  22.  Construction Details
  23.  Construction Details
    • [Stormwater Management Systems
    • Field Hockey Turf
    • Typical Raingarden Detail]
  24.  Construction Details
    • [Stormwater Management System Intramural Field
    • Stormwater Management System Softball #1
    • Field Turf Baseball/Softball Field]
  25.  Overall Landscape Plan
  26.  Baseball Field Landscape Plan
  27.  Main Academic Parking Landscape Plan
  28.  Softball & Intramural Fields Landscape Plan
  29.  Field Hockey/City Avenue Field & Cardinal Way Landscape Plan
  30.  Landscape Details
  31.  Rain Garden Landscape Plans
  32.  Cardinal Avenue Gateway
  33.  Baseball Field/Softball Field Construction Details
  34.  Baseball Field/Softball Field Construction Details
  35.  Field Hockey Field Construction Details
  36.  Cardinal Avenue Construction Details
  37.  Overall Lighting Plan
  38.  Baseball Field Lighting Plan
  39.  Main Academic Parking Lighting Plan
  40.  Softball and Intramural Fields Lighting Plan
  41.  Field Hockey/City Avenue Field & Cardinal Way Lighting Plan
  42.  Emergency Access Plan
  43.  Baseball Dugout
  44.  Softball Dugout

The zoning hearings have been completed and the Zoning Hearing Board has published their decision.
See Full Document (38 pages PDF 127 KB)
See Order (Summary) (pages 37-38 converted to text PDF 105 KB)
The application of St. Joseph's University for a special exception is GRANTED, but subject to conditions, which include the following (see the full decision for more details):
  • Use of the Maguire Campus is prohibited for outside groups and individuals (another special exception would be required)
  • Public Address systems usage is limited. They may only be used for varsity games.
  • Ball netting will be put up only for the Spring and Fall seasons, and must be taken down at other times
  • Use of Athletic Fields is limited to 24 hours/week for intramurals, and intramurals & tournaments limited to six hours total on weekends
  • Intramurals & tournaments limited to the hours of 9 am to 6 pm (or dusk, whichever is earlier).

See SJU A-56 Offer of conditions to approval (PDF 27 KB)
   SJU New Baseball Field Plan (PDF 1625 KB BIG)
   SJU A-33: Usage of Playing Fields at Maguire Campus(PDF 133KB)

SJU Maguire: Main Lines Times: (recent first)

03/12/2013 Bryn Mawr student rentals stay for now, SJU can add summer camps, Lower Merion zoners decide

02/12/2013 PA Supreme Court declines St. Joseph's University appeal of 2009 Lower Merion zoning order

09/25/2012 St. Joe's fund-campaign chief repays school's faith in him

09/10/2012 Saint Joseph's University set to purchase archdiocese's cardinal's mansion

05/29/2012 Lower Merion approves Saint Joseph's University summer camps

05/09/2012 Maguire Campus: St. Joseph's and neighbors square off again at hearing

03/13/2012 St. Joe's Loses Appeal, Can Still Expand Fields

03/11/2012 Video: St. Joseph's baseball squad opens play on new home field at Maguire Campus

02/22/2012 Lower Merion zoning board hears schools' plans for growth

11/11/2011 Saint Joseph's University Names Gillespie Its 27th President

07/07/2011 The rush to artificial turf raises real concerns

04/25/2011 St. Joe's names interim president

03/27/2011 Saint Joseph's Maguire ball-field plans approved

03/18/2011 SJU fields plan in extra innings again

03/11/2011 Time-out called again on SJU playing-field plan

03/08/2011 Lower Merion board to hear SJU campus plan Wednesday

01/25/2011 St. Joe's updates Merion neighbors on plans

11/18/2010 St. Joe's plan for athletic fields approved

08/14/2010 Attorney: Zoners violated Sunshine Act in LM

08/06/2010 St. Joe's hearing takes another twist; TV dispute delays meeting

07/23/2010 St. Joe's hearing wrap-up revs up again

06/16/2010 Is end in sight for St. Joseph's zoning dispute?,

04/28/2010 St. Joe's wants to step up zoning sessions

03/24/2010 St. Joe's creating temporary walkway

02/03/2010 St. Joe's and Merion neighbors clash again

01/16/2010 St. Joe's hearings resume

12/03/2009 Religion touchy topic of St. Joe's hearing

11/12/2009 Sounding off over St. Joseph's acoustics

10/30/2009 LM resumes St. Joseph's hearings; traffic discussed

10/22/2009 UPDATE: Judge denies St. Joe's appeal

09/15/2009 Despite holiday, dozens attend St. Joseph's meeting

07/24/2009 St. Joes continues its plea

04/23/2009 St. Joe's to appeal LM zoning

The Zoning Hearing Board Apr 22nd Agenda lists the original application items. The last Main Line Times article (of 7/23/2010) lists the changes proposed by St. Joseph's University.
Related Zoning Hearing Board decisions of 3/26/2009:
 St. Joseph Appeal  MCC Appeal.
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• United States Governance.
This section will discuss United States Government issues with a direct effect on Merion.

From 2002 until the end of 2012, Lower Merion was in the 6th Congressional District, represented by Congressman Jim Gerlach. Our part of Lower Merion will now be in the 2nd Congressional District, represented by Congressman Chaka Fattah. We are still represented by Jim Gerlach, district 6. We will participate in the primary and the general election of 2012 for the new district, with the winner representing us starting on the second Tuesday in January 2013.

On Thursday, February 9, 2012, there was a special event "Meet Chaka Fattah" at the Merion Tribute House, sponsored by the following Civic Associations: Ardmore Progressive, ArdWood, Bryn Mawr, Gladwyne, Merion, North Ardmore, Penn Wynne, Shortridge, and Wynnewood.

US Governance: Main Line Times & Philadelphia Inquirer: (recent first)

01/13/2014 Rep. Jim Gerlach talks about why he's leaving Congress

02/19/2013 U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah meets Lower Merion United on prevention of gun violence

02/15/2013 Access Your Social Security Benefits Information Online

10/31/2012 IRS extends deadline for storm-hit taxpayers

09/29/2012 Local mom's letter prompts President Obama's call [to Merion Station]

02/12/2012 Video: Congressman Fattah meets his future constituents - Lower Merion residents

02/10/2012 Fattah meets with possible Lower Merion constituents

12/19/2011 Lower Merion joins Philadelphia in new redistricting plan

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• Historic Homes and Gardens Walking Tour
 Lower Merion Conservancy and Merion Civic Association
On Sunday, May 23, 2010, from 1-4pm, the tour was a great success.
See Flyer (PDF 1.1MB) for more information.
See Historic Preservation Lecture Series for details.
See Main Line Times preview article (05/20/2010).
See Historic Homes & Gardens Tour - Sneak Peek.
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