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Planning Commission Invites Business Owners for Ridge Pike Input Meeting

Nearly 200 businesses and adjacent property owners have been invited to participate in the Oct. 24 planning meeting to help determine what Ridge Pike West could look like.

The Lower Providence Planning Commission is seeking public input on the future of Ridge Pike West at its Oct. 24 meeting.

The meeting, which will take place in the Township Building at 7:30 p.m., will feature planning discussions and work sessions for both commission members and the public.

The commission has held two prior meetings about the development, and is expected to keep the Ridge Pike West discussion as an ongoing agenda item.

The first meeting took place at the end of July, where commission members laid out the boundaries for the potential development, namely along the corridor of Ridge Pike that stretches from Evansburg Park to the Perkiomen Creek. Commission members at the first meeting also brainstormed possible commercial and residential developments that would benefit from increased walkability, as well as access to newly installed public water facilities in that part of the township.

The second meeting took place on Sept. 26, when members offered suggestions on traffic flow (how many lanes versus how big sidewalks should be), intensity of development, as well as their take of how new structures could look like along the Ridge Pike Corridor.

The Oct. 24 meeting promises to continue the discussion, but this time with direct input by the residents who would be most impacted by any proposed  developments in that area.

“Public participation is requested for many reasons. We want to be transparent and make sure everyone knows what is occurring in the community, and in this instance, around them,” Randee Elton, Lower Providence director of Community Development, told Patch in an e-mail. “Additionally, we are trying to encourage input from the residences and businesses so this will feel like a community project and place.”

On Oct.  11, the Township and the Montgomery County Planning Commission sent out a letter, inviting businesses and property owners of the upcoming meeting. [See Media Gallery]. According to Elton, the Township sent out the letter to 44 businesses and 155 adjacent property owners.

She added that this portion of Ridge Pike is the first phase of a larger planning project that breaks down Ridge into three sections. The Oct. 24 meeting will address the first section of the project.

“The process will be ongoing, iterative, and open to change as we move ahead,” Sean Metrick, senior planner with the County Planning Commission, said in an e-mail.

Metrick is working with the Township’s Planning Commission on this project, helping members focus their ideas and visions.

He said he will begin the upcoming meeting with a presentation summarizing the work done so far by the commission, which will proceed into a hands-on work session.

“I want use the majority of the meeting time to work in smaller groups on site plans and visual preferences,” Metrick said. “The exercises are meant to illicit groups on discussion to help identify preferred forms of development.”

He explained that the result of such individual group work will reveal a consensus as to how and where development should take place along the Ridge Pike project area.

“It’s an opportunity to put all of the ideas of transportation, land use, green space, and building design together in a plan for the corridor,” Metrick said.

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For more information, contact Sean Metrick at 610-292-4917 or via email at smetrick@montcopa.org or visit www.lowerprovidence.org.

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