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Packed House Hear Proposed Lower Salford Zoning Changes
Written by Esther Mack, Correspondent

            Lower Salford's Board of Supervisors Aug. 1 public meeting was met with an overflow audience. Every single seat in the meeting room was filled and people lined up around the perimeter of the meeting room to try and accommodate for the limited amount of space.

            The most pressing matter of the night was in regards to an ordinance that would amend the Office Limited Commercial Zoning District to a High Density Mixed Swelling Zoning District within the township. There would be a Metropolitan Development on Oak Drive. The southeast corner of Oak Drive and Maple Drive was also requested to change to a Medium High Mixed Density.

            Currently, Nationwide Insurance owns two large cornfield plots next to Oak Drive and leases the land to a local farmer in the township. Nationwide also has ownership over some of Maple Drive's area. Other open spaces around these particular drives include a few parks and some residential homes.

            However, a new idea has been brought to Nationwide's attention. Instead of leasing the land out to the farmer, the company may sell it to a construction business. The plots would be flattened out and new homes would be created in its place. This was suggested for Maple Avenue's open area too. Nationwide has considered this possibility and has filed a request to see if they can alter the zoning area.

            Many residents are concerned about this potential housing plan being approved for numerous reasons. First, if more houses are constructed, that will ultimately lead to more families living in the area. The more families, the heavier the traffic will become. The increase in traffic is concerning since Oak Drive is already a narrow road and more cars would only congest the streets. In previous supervisor meetings truck traffic was already a concern that was brought up.

            New schools might also have to be built in order to accommodate the increase in children in the area. This frustrates some of the residents since taxes would go up and old schools were already torn down since they were not being used.

            Residents were also worried about the future possibility of eminent domain occurring, which is when the government takes back some private property for the usage of the public. That would only occur if Oak Drive was found too narrow for public usage and would need to expand onto some private property.

            An online petition has been circulated, and so far there has been approximately 1,100 signatures. "The applicant has come forward with a petition to say we think there may be another way to develop this ground than what the current zoning ordinance" says one resident.

            The meeting acted as a hearing for the board of supervisors so that the public could freely express how they felt and why. "We love this town and that's why we are going to fight for it now," said a resident.

            Further results will be confirmed at the September 5 meeting.





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