Malvern Borough will host a transit-oriented development workshop Tuesday afternoon to discuss plans for the area surrounding the Septa station.
The workshop will be held in the borough building from 4 to 7 p.m., with presentations at 4:15, 5:15 and 6:15 p.m. Full details are available in the flyer attached to this article as a PDF.
In 2011, the borough was awarded a $64,000 grant to to develop a transit development plan for the area within a quarter mile of the Malvern regional rail train station.
In a column in Main Line Media News, former borough council president Henry Briggs examined the impetus behind the workshops:
The idea is to stop urban sprawl and environmental threats to open space. DVRPC, with SEPTA's endorsement, wants to steer population growth the towns with transit centers. Malvern is a perfect example.
The pitch was music to [current council president Woody] Van Sciver. "Malvern evolved from train growth", he says. He feels added density around the SEPTA station is a natural evolution for the town; it offers a smart and environmentally sound alternative to, for example, the Great Valley expansion around Route 202 and 29 and the resulting growth in traffic and sprawl there.
But not everyone is convinced development of the area is a good idea:
Among others, ex-Borough Council President and 10-year Borough Manager Pat McGuigan questions the idea of making Malvern more dense.
"It ain't broke; don't fix it. " he says. "This kind of development will fundamentally change the town. Malvern is unique in that it's a traditional village, the last one in the area. Other towns have become compact and contiguous. You can start at Overbrook and drive all the way to Exton on Rt 30 and it feels like you're in one extended town.