Despite public opposition and calls for clarification, the Easttown Township Board of Supervisors voted to adopt a new zoning and development plan for Berwyn at its meeting on Monday.
The measure, which was approved by a vote of 3-2, was the result of a year-long process to reduce the village's zoning structure from six classifications to three. The new zoning areas under the approved plan are Village Business, Village Transition and Village Residential.
The new plan was the result of several different reviews by a special zoning committee formed for this plan, consisting of both residents and government participants, according to Lisa Thomas, the principal planner for the project.
"[This plan aims] to encourage economic development, protect existing neighborhoods, promote walkability, and ensure that new construction matches with the surrounding community."
The plan also establishes uniform requirements for building heights, setbacks from the street and cosmetic additions like street lamps, benches and planters.
Dozens attended the meeting to hear about the new proposed zoning plan. Residents expressed concerns about the new plan, especially in the newly-formed "Village Transition" area, in which buildings would be zoned for commercial and residential mixed use, saying that this designation would require them to "get permission" to make changes that wouldn't have required much governmental oversight under the old zoning designation.
Commissionr Christopher Polites, one of the two "nay" votes agains adopting the new plan, said that he favored putting off the vote based on the public response at the meeting.
"It seems like people here weren't really properly informed," he said. "I don't see an urgency to act. If there are this many people here now, I can imagine how many more there are out in the village."
Commissioner James Oram was in favor of passing the ordinance on Monday.
"No ordinance is perfect," he said. "If things are not working, we can go back and change it.