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Bala Cynwyd Riverfront Apartments OK'd

How do you like the idea? Tell us in the comments.

Lower Merion's Board of Commissioners changed course Wednesday night and approved a Bala Cynwyd riverfront apartment complex it had previously rejected.

Developer Righters Ferry Associates (led by prominent local developer Brian O'Neill) slightly reduced the number of apartments (580 to 569) and increased the number of parking spaces in the proposal, which would also entail a connection to hiking and biking trails on both sides of the Schuylkill River.

Several legal steps remain before ground could be broken at the site, which is west of Righters Ferry Road on the riverfront. Commissioners tentatively approved legal settlements Wednesday night with RFA and adjacent land owners (and prospective developers) Bridgehead LP and Footbridge LP, but attorneys for the latter parties said they had not approved those settlements themselves; nor has a judge.

Several commissioners missed the votes on the preliminary development plan and on the two- and three-party legal settlements. The Democratic majority split, and both Republicans in attendance voted yes. Bala Cynwyd commissioners Brian McGuire and George Manos voted no; the project is set to take place in Manos' district.

Manos balked at the prospective density of development. Some others who voted in favor, including Board President Liz Rogan, noted that the newly revised plan could be as low-impact as it would likely ever be, even if the township won an inevitable court battle with the developer.

Patch will continue to follow this story and update readers with any interesting developments.

Eric Campbell June 21, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Jan, do you object to having any children of renters in public school, or just to having more than there are now?
Eric Campbell June 21, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Tara, do you think that'll be an attractive location for people who want to live in apartments?
jeff dobkin June 21, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I think the idea of an apartment complex or condominium is fine, but the density of this is absurd. 569 apartments = over a thousand cars moving through the tiny streets twice a day at minimum. What a huge mess for locals, and especially those living on the trodden path of these tenants. Overcrowding the school system with transient students. This is going to be crushing for local residents. How could this be approved? Unbelievable.
Eric Campbell June 21, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Anyone want to blog about this? http://balacynwyd.patch.com/blog/apply
Tracy Katz June 22, 2012 at 05:16 PM
No objection to children ofrenters at all... However, it is a fact that there is not space in either new high school (or any other grade level) to support student population growth of tis size. There already are not enough seats in cafeterias at LMHS from residents moving from private schools! Factor in a new school or addition to brand new facilities please!

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