Morning Headlines: Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place Gets Township Committee Approval

The residential/retail project got a key approval after a contentious meeting.

Carl Dranoff’s various Ardmore plans, first proposed more than a decade ago, have caused controversy for almost as long. So it wasn’t surprising that discussion of the residential/retail proposal for Ardmore at last night’s Lower Merion Township Building and Planning Committee meeting was “raucous,” as the Inquirer‘s Carolyn Davis put it. Things devolved into personal sniping, with words like “boorish” and “venomous” being thrown around. (Davis writes that things started getting ugly last week with a string of emails — which, alas, no one leaked to us.) The meeting didn’t end until after 1 a.m.

What’s known among Main Line residents as the “Cricket Lot” project — real name: One Ardmore Place — involves an apartment building with 121 units and roughly 8,000 square feet of street-level retail space fronting Cricket Avenue. Carolyn Davis boils down years of debate:

Critics say the project is too big for its site and neighborhood. Proponents claim it would boost downtown Ardmore by drawing young residents to live in a transit-friendly building near the train station.

Proponents won, with committee voting 10-3 to approve the preliminary land development plan and send it along to the Board of Commissioners review. Which is the same things as saying yes. Davis:

While the project still would have to go through other township reviews, get permits, and meet more conditions if it is signed off on next week, the remaining actions would require only administrative approval from township staff.

Wednesday’s meeting was “the end of the public review and approval process,” said Elizabeth S. Rogan, president of the board.

Ardmore development moves closer to approval [Inquirer]

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