Spring/Summer 2013 Update

The Wynnewood Civic Association, through the active volunteer participation of public-spirited Wynnewood residents like you, maintains a constant vigilance on all development plans that could affect our community.  Here are brief descriptions of a few of our recent activities:

The High Schools: With the projected increase of high schools students, the administration of the Lower Merion School District (LMSD) has proposed a plan that would increase the student population of Lower Merion High School to around 1800 students, while the Harriton High School population will be kept at 1400.  This approach goes against the philosophy that was adopted by the school district and the community prior to the construction of two high schools of equal size just a few years ago.  The WCA believes that such a change in direction should be fully evaluated prior to taking any votes by the School Board that would put the district on a path of two high schools with disproportionate student populations. The WCA and the North Ardmore Civic Association held a community meeting with the LMSD Administration and sent a follow-up letter to the School Board outlining the community concerns and questions that need be answered prior to making a decision.  Subsequent to our letter, the School Board decided to defer the issue until the fall, after the administration completes further investigations on the best plan for addressing the projected high school population growth.

The Wynnewood Shopping Center: Some of our most immediate concerns involve the Wynnewood Shopping Center, which aggressively sought township zoning approval for 24/7 operation of a fitness center seeking to open in the building that formerly housed the Borders book store. The WCA and our neighbor civic association, Shortridge, vigorously opposed the proposed 24/7 operation fearing it would open the door to such hours of operation of other businesses in the shopping center and negatively impact the surrounding residential communities. An agreement was reached with Federal Realty that will prohibit the 24/7 operation.  While that development is still pending, Federal Realty subsequently submitted a tentative sketch plan for development of a restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining, contemplating a liquor license with extended hours of operation and outdoor music, at the site of the old Wynnewood Post Office building.  Once again, WCA worked with Shortridge to protect the interests of our residential communities, and the Preliminary  Sketch Plan was approved by the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners with conditions necessary to maintain our quality of life.  Unfortunately, as this post goes to press, Federal Realty has appealed all conditions approved by the Commissioners.

Development along Lancaster Avenue and East Wynnewood Road: You have probably read about Whole Foods’ plans to construct a large new store on this block that now houses a number of small office and commercial buildings that will be torn down. Whole Foods and WP Realty, its development partner in this project, have reached out to WCA in a positive effort to work with us to develop and complete this project in a manner that will enhance our community.

A Victory:  We had a major success last year in our efforts to oppose the placement of a Dunkin’ Donuts in the old gym building at the corner of Penn and Wynnewood Roads, at the end of the block where the new Whole Foods is proposed to be.  The matter took many hours to resolve, and we were fortunate to have internal legal expertise which saved the WCA literally thousands of dollars in legal fees and resulted in the cancellation of this proposed development.

Thank you very much for your continued support!

To become a member of the Wynnewood Civic Association and support your neighbors in maintaining the superior civic conditions in Wynnewood, please visit  https://wynnewoodcivic.com/become-a-member/

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