Bala Village Q&A‎ > ‎

Bala Village Answers

Contents

  1. 1 Traffic/Transit
    1. 1.1 What percentage of apartment residents use mass transit?
    2. 1.2 What are the assumptions behind the traffic studies? 1. How many residents are anticipated to live in all the buildings? 2. How many cars are they anticipated to have? 3. How many of the residents work? 4. What percentage of the residents will work in Center City? 5. What percentage of the residents are anticipated to use public transportation? 6. How many employees will the new retail locations have? 7. How is parking for these employees included considered in the traffic survey? 8. What safety improvements will be necessary to protect children going to and from the playground? 9. How will traffic be effected by the coming (2021-2023) rebuilding of the City Avenue bridge by the Bala Station?
  2. 2 Public Space
    1. 2.1 What is the story with the Bala Gym? Will it remain as is? For how long?
  3. 3 Parking/Development
    1. 3.1 how is the 1 cynwyd road building plan show 74 apts, 74 spots and 7000 sq feet of retail- even with shared parking and times when folks are away and so on it isn't enough and to say this is judged on its own merit is disingenuous- also the 12/4 planning commission agenda shows the proposal has 64 spots not 74....if the plan is to use spots from 10 union with its 171 spots than having people cross that bridge is unsafe and negligent
    2. 3.2 The 1 Cynwyd plan shows 74 Apt and 74 parking spots. Is that correct multiplier? The lot also has 7000 ft of retail, will they need no parking?
    3. 3.3 The Class D building of Bala Ave are not acceptable for our needs. But we can't committ to expensive long term leases.
    4. 3.4 What is the story with the two hotels planned on Righters Ferry Road?
    5. 3.5 What is planned for 8 Cynwyd Road?
  4. 4 Taxes/Financial
    1. 4.1 If we add more apartments how will this affect the schools, how can we effectively tax these people to share the burden w/residential families? Is the population of Merion/Ardmore/Narberth declining similar to Bala?
    2. 4.2 Where are the children from these apartments going to go to school?
    3. 4.3 How are more 1 bedroom apartments going to keep the 24 storefronts on Bala?
    4. 4.4 How does the property loss in Bala Cynwyd equate to national regional averages? 97-2010 was a market downturn
  5. 5 Health
    1. 5.1 Is there a plan to increase EMS? What is Narberth EMS capacity?
  6. 6 Building
    1. 6.1 New buildings are too tall and out of scale, shoe horned into spaces not appropriate and overwhelming the area. Residents don't want 60/40 split. Why do we have to have this forced on us? The architectural asthetic is too modern, it should mesh better with the historic nature of Bala Cynwyd
  7. 7 Was aging infrastructure the only reason that businesses left Bala for Radnor, etc.? How do apartment buildings add value to township?

Traffic/Transit

What percentage of apartment residents use mass transit?

As of 2010, esimates were 18% region-wide. Near mass transit stops, a higher percentage are expected to use mass transit. Will try to find data on that.

What are the assumptions behind the traffic studies? 1. How many residents are anticipated to live in all the buildings? 2. How many cars are they anticipated to have? 3. How many of the residents work? 4. What percentage of the residents will work in Center City? 5. What percentage of the residents are anticipated to use public transportation? 6. How many employees will the new retail locations have? 7. How is parking for these employees included considered in the traffic survey? 8. What safety improvements will be necessary to protect children going to and from the playground? 9. How will traffic be effected by the coming (2021-2023) rebuilding of the City Avenue bridge by the Bala Station?

This question has two parts - 1) The way parking is calculated, and 2) How and when vehicles associated with the project are used. 1) Parking is calculated based on regional averages, the nature of the use, history of parking usage in the Township for like projects, and input from multi-family project owners. 2) The way those parked vehicles are used is estimated based on criteria published by the Institute of Traffic Engineers ("ITE"). Those criteria take into account all the questions posed by the questioner and are used by traffic engineers and the Township's traffic engineer to calculate trips and trip generation fees that are payable by the applicant. Post-development traffic studies are required as conditions of approval and are used to gauge the accuracy of the estimates. The estimates have been shown to be conservative, as is the case with the BMW dealership. It generates less traffic than estimated, resulting in reimbursement by the Township of a portion of the fees paid by the dealership.

Public Space

What is the story with the Bala Gym? Will it remain as is? For how long?

The Bala Gym will remain indefinitely.

Parking/Development

how is the 1 cynwyd road building plan show 74 apts, 74 spots and 7000 sq feet of retail- even with shared parking and times when folks are away and so on it isn't enough and to say this is judged on its own merit is disingenuous- also the 12/4 planning commission agenda shows the proposal has 64 spots not 74....if the plan is to use spots from 10 union with its 171 spots than having people cross that bridge is unsafe and negligent

There is a stautory formula for shared parking in the zoning code to which the application currently conforms. It is based on current planning standards and in general has borne up under testing. It is under review here. Testimony by the LMPD during the Nov 28 meeting established that sight lines for vehicular traffic met safety standards.

The 1 Cynwyd plan shows 74 Apt and 74 parking spots. Is that correct multiplier? The lot also has 7000 ft of retail, will they need no parking?

Parking is proposed to be provided as follows: 64 spaces on site, plus 11 on-street spaces, plus 44 designated spaces on the Bala Gym lot for a total of 119 spaces. This includes parking for retail.

The Class D building of Bala Ave are not acceptable for our needs. But we can't committ to expensive long term leases.

This is a commercial market matter over which the Township has little, if any, influence.

What is the story with the two hotels planned on Righters Ferry Road?

One (of a possible two) is in the early stages of approval and could be under construction in 2018.

What is planned for 8 Cynwyd Road?

No plans have been submitted to the Township for 8 Cynwyd Road.

Taxes/Financial

If we add more apartments how will this affect the schools, how can we effectively tax these people to share the burden w/residential families? Is the population of Merion/Ardmore/Narberth declining similar to Bala?

According to LMSD data, approximately 78% of the projected increase in school enrollment is attributable to turnover of single family homes - from empty nesters to families with children. 22% of the increase, comprising 2.3% of total enrollment, is projected to be attributable to multi-family projects. Property, school, and business taxes are levied on the property, which taxes in turn are passed on to renters or condo owners in the form of rent or fees. The decline in population is Township-wide.

Where are the children from these apartments going to go to school?

This is up to the LMSD.

How are more 1 bedroom apartments going to keep the 24 storefronts on Bala?

By themselves, they won't.

How does the property loss in Bala Cynwyd equate to national regional averages? 97-2010 was a market downturn

Lower Merion and Bala Cynwyd retained higher market value than many municipalities in the 5-county region. The downturn did not affect assessed value. The loss in assessed value was the result of assessment appeals. Will seek data on this and report back.

Health

Is there a plan to increase EMS? What is Narberth EMS capacity?

EMS coverage is established by the EMS organizations. The Township does not play a role in this.

Building

New buildings are too tall and out of scale, shoe horned into spaces not appropriate and overwhelming the area. Residents don't want 60/40 split. Why do we have to have this forced on us? The architectural asthetic is too modern, it should mesh better with the historic nature of Bala Cynwyd

The definition of what is appropriate in terms of aesthetics varies from individual to individual. It has been found to be impossible to satisfy everyone in that regard. Discussing this could by itself entail years without resolution. Crafting legislation that regulates appearance is a challenge because of this, so most decisions are left to planners and architects, who are professionals in the field.

Was aging infrastructure the only reason that businesses left Bala for Radnor, etc.? How do apartment buildings add value to township?

Aging buildings with aging infrastructure within them (elctrical power, lighting, digital systems, vemtilation, elevators, heating and air conditioning systems, and the like) were the cause of the outmigration of businesses. New construction that is well-designed adds value whether residential or commercial, as long as the uses that occupy it are appropriate. It is the role of zoning to accomplish that.