And no, you can't see it yet. That's because it's not a formal plan and it has not even been submitted to the township.
Chesterbrook 300 L.P. is the new owner of the Chesterbrook Shopping Center. The owner's attorney presented a list of about eight proposed changes to the existing Tredyffrin Township zoning ordinance that were designed to make the project as tentatively envisioned a little easier for the developer to accomplish. The proposed changes would not just ipact Chesterbrook, they would impact all of Tredyffrin Township. And that's where things got really sticky for some members of the board and the public.
The board rejected the proposals as presented and are sending the suggestions back to the Tredyffrin Planning Commission to take another look at some of the suggested changes.
Parking space allocation in new developments was the biggest concern expressed by members of the public. Lou Colagreco, the developer's attorney, proposed reducing the number of parking spaces required for each townhouse unit from 2 1/2 to 2 1/4 spaces. Colagreco cited several national studies and research that indicates more and more people are taking public transit and biking to work and to do errands. That assertion did not play well with most of the people who packed Monday night's Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors meeting.
During the public comment portion of the meeting David Miller of Chesterbrook posed a question to the crowd. "Did anybody here walk or bike or have trouble finding parking
here?" Miller asked rhetorically. "I understand the trend but
that’s not the trend here. I’m all
for this place being redeveloped but the parking, I think I would argue we need
One woman suggested that her fellow Chesterbrook residents are "spoiled" by the amount of parking that is allotted for developments like Chesterbrook within Tredyffrin Township.
That's not how Joyce Rudzewick of Chesterbrook sees it. "Parking is a nightmare and I think the issue is not that we’re all
spoiled, but when you build 3 and 4 bedroom townhouses there are children who grow
up and become teens and drive and go off to college and leave their cars." She told the supervisors. "If you have a five-year-old it would (also) not be a crime to have that child play in their own driveway. (meaning parking a car on the street instead of in a driveway). I’m very happy to have the place (Chesterbrook Shopping Center) developed. It has looked awful for years.
To reduce parking spaces I don’t think is realistic in our area."
She, and several other residents pointed out that public transportation into Chesterbrook is limited to one SEPTA bus route and even that bus leaves many residents with a several miles long walk from the bus stop to home.
The other issue of concern to board members was changing regulations concerning decks and impervious ground. Water runoff is always a big concern in several parts of the township. The proposal would have reduced restrictions on decks that allow water to run off between planks and down into the ground.
At the end of the nearly two hours of testimony and debate the Board of Supervisors voted to send the proposals back to the Tredyffrin Planning Commission for further review. That will not stop the development process, but may delay it for a month or two.
Colagreco says the fluid nature of the project makes him reluctant to show the draft plan at this stage as it will change depending on the outcome of the process of changing, or not changing the township's zoning ordinance.
Several supervisors urged interested members of the public to attend the Planing Commission's January meeting when the issue will be worked on and a new proposal will be drafted for the supervisors to consider.