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.