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Borough Council Workshop Meeting, April 7th, 2011

Apr 07

Borough Council Workshop Meeting, April 7th, 2011

Here’s what was discussed at the Workshop Meeting on April 7th, 2011:

Planning Commission losing control of signage

Michael Kinsley, resident and vice-chairman of the Planning Commission, presented a letter at the beginning of the meeting which outlined their objection to Borough Council taking away their power to review signage in Media. He summarized the points in their letter (attached here):

  • The Planning Commission has a duty to uphold Media’s Comprehensive Plan which includes “preserving small town character“, “differentiating Media from other places“, and “controlling signage clutter
  • The Planning Commission, comprised of residents, reflects Media’s democratic spirit and giving this power to a sole individual of the Code Enforcement officer is unwise
  • The Planning Commission’s review of signage helps educates applicants, in addition to helping them get the best signage possible for their business

Borough President Pete Alyanakian stated that he was still in favor of stripping the Planning Commission of this power to help expedite signage approvals. The impetus was to ease the burden on businesses who wish to change their signs, removing any legal counsel they would need in the sometimes complex process.

Councilman Peter Wiliamson stated that he had changed his position and would be against taking the power away from the Planning Commission, based on the response from the Planning Commission. Councilman Jim Cunningham took the opportunity to highlight the fact that Mr. Williamson had changed his position on the issue.

Ironically, later in the meeting President Alyanakian requested spending $2,700 for two signs to be posted on two faces of the parking structure at Olive St. and Baltimore Pike. He presented a rendering of the signs, intended to educate drivers as to the presence of State Street businesses.

The signs were criticized by both Monica Simpson and Peter Williamson, who tactfully outlined that the signs were inelegant, didn’t reflect Media’s color scheme, didn’t reflect a high standard of quality, and that it hadn’t been reviewed by the Planning Commission. In addition, they stated that one of the signs would likely be seen by very few people.¬†Mr. Alyanakian only requested a single bid for the project. Mr. Alyanakian stated that he would return to his committee with their feedback.

The Hampton Inn

Developers from the Hampton Inn presentated their final design based on the requests from the Borough, and outlined a series of waivers they were requesting. They will be seeking preliminary approval from the Borough for their design, marking the last phase in which the Borough can request changes to the design. Of interest:

  • Homes abutting the property will have 18′ directional lights and will be protected with 15′ trees, meaning neighboring properties will not, in all liklihood, be subject to the parking lot lights.
  • The Hampton Inn has set aside money to add a sidewalk on the Western side of Providence Rd between Pennock Place and E. Jefferson St. for residents to walk into town

1 West State Street (Old Borough Hall)

Monica Simpson led a lengthy discussion of 1 West State Street, which can be summarized by:

  • Easements will protect the facade, the windows, and eventually, Veteran’s Memorial
  • Challenging the easements will be extremely difficult, and unlikely
  • The building will produce $18,200 in tax revenue for the area, of which $1,800 will go to the Media Borough
  • Pete Alyanakian stated that the offer for $1M in 2005 from Dan Brodeur was a legal contract for the property, but did not contain any conservation easements

For the entire discussions, in detail read “1 West State Street Easements and Discussion.”

New Recycling Vendor

Mascaro Recycling will take over recycling collection in Media, and they will accept all plastics from #1 through #7 plastic recycling.

Apparently, Mascaro wishes to pick up the entire town’s reycling on a single day, but Borough Council can dictate how they would like it to be picked up. Some council members were recommending Wednesday to avoid confusion of having recycling picked up accidentally with trash pickup.

At the end of the meeting, Kent Davidson (Media, PA News) indicated that as the individual who takes trash and recycling to the curb, it is far simpler to do this one day a week as opposed to two, and the argument can be made that it eases the burden on all residents to have recycling pickup coincide with trash pickup to avoid having to drag trash cans to the curb two days a week.

Other business

  • The Halloween Parade Mass Gathering Permit will be issued with the contingency that no throwing candy be allowed. The concern for small children running in the right of way at intersections was cited as the reason.
  • Discussion of converting Radnor St. to a 1-way street in the souther direction was discussed with the addition of Cocco’s Pizza at the end of that street. Based on the lack of any traffic issues which have occurred, this will likely not go forward.
  • The Technology Committee presented their proposal from Aha Consulting, Inc. to redesign the web site of the Media Borough.
  • Several other mass gathering permits were presented (Bastille Day, MBA CAC Art Show, Town Talk’s Fall Super Sunday) with no discussion
  • Monika Rehoric presented a preliminary brochure designed by Brandywine Visitors Center which would be distributed around Delaware county to attract outsiders to Media.

The meeting ended at approximately 10 PM.

This meeting was also covered in Media’s Town Talk.