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Updated: What's Behind the Zoning Change on East King?

The zoning could change from office professional to town center, according to public notices posted in the Willistown portion of the development site.

Update 10/22/2012 11:30 p.m.: After a strong showing from residents who live in or near the affected area, the Willistown Board of Supervisors decided not to vote on the zoning change at its Monday night meeting.

The residents expressed concerns about an increase in traffic, noise and other negative effects that might come from a Town Center zoning designation, which allows for retail and shopping.

More information on the meeting will come in a separate article.

Original story continues below

A reader emailed to ask:

Do you know what is behind the proposed change in zoning on E. King St? ... I understand there are notices on E. King in front of Malvern auto and again down by Arlington Ave. My understanding is changing zoning from R1 to Town Center or something like that. [See correction below --ed.] Although many neighbors in the area are in favor of sidewalks they do not want this zoning change. 

According to Rita Reves, Planning Director for Willistown, the reasons for the proposed change from Residential to Town Center will be discussed at the township meeting tonight.

Reves wrote via email:

John Gaadt, AICP (the Township's Planning Consultant) will be giving a power point presentation at the Board of Supervisor's meeting [Monday] evening.  He will give the background of and the rationale for the amendment.  You are correct that it is related to the [Eli] Kahn development in Malvern Borough since part of the tract on which he is developing spills over into Willistown Township.

The Willistown Township Board of Supervisors meeting is Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at the township offices on Lloyd Road.

The meeting agenda includes the relevant public hearing announcement:

Consideration of an ordinance pursuant to Article VI, Section 609 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, amending article XXXII, Section 139-186.H. of the Willistown Township Zoning Ordinance pertaining to residential uses within the TCD Town Center District and amending Article III, Section 139-8, Zoning Map by reclassifying certain lands along East King Street from O-P Office Professional Districts to TCD Town Center District.

Edited 10/22/12 11:15 p.m. to correct the existing zoning. The proposed change is from Office-Professional Districs (not residential, as was previously written) to Town Center Districts.

Kristin Thomas October 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM
An extension of the town center makes more sense as that is what is being developed within the borough and this section of Willistown, even though in a different township, feels like it's a part of town. As well, it's a nice compliment to the walkable nature of the borough and the "greentree" neighborhood of Willistown. Being able to walk from Malvern to Paoli someday, safely on sidewalks, would be fantastic. The town center offers more possibilities, with retail, living AND office options.
AlternativestoCars October 23, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Is there any plan for bike trails/lanes that would allow those commuting from (or living near) the new King Street Development safe access to bike to work since Great Valley and Chesterbrook Corporate Centers may have many commuters from the area but the only safe way to get to either of those corporate centers is by car.
Jared October 23, 2012 at 04:01 PM
There is a proposed "Patriots Path" that is eventually supposed to connect the Chester Valley trail to Paoli battlefield. I have not been able to find any timeline for it though. I did see that there is discussion to finish sidewalks from the corner of Broad and Old Lincoln down to Old Lancaster. The sidewalks would then continue to the General Warren Inn. There is an old underpass next to the inn that would be cleared out. This would bring the trail out directly behind the building on Rt. 30 at the Rt. 29 intersection. I believe the path would then cross Rt. 30 and continue on the right side of Rt. 29 to the wegmans area of the Chester Valley Trail. If anyone knows a timeline that would be GREAT!
guest12 October 23, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Will this mean more traffic on Warren Avenue through Willistown neighborhoods. While this is a great project, the roads are insufficent to support more retail at that site
Kristin Thomas October 23, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Another way out of Willistown and Malvern needs to be developed. Everyone funneling onto Bridge St and Old Lincoln to get down to Rt 30 is not going to work. I know they looked into extending Malin Road at one time. Could Grubb cut across King and go under the tracks to come out near the hospital intersection?
Regina DiLabbio Klugh King October 23, 2012 at 07:50 PM
That sound you're hearing is eminating from me: ROTFLMBFAO! Under tracks? Over tracks? Sidewalks to Paoli? How about to Frazer? Pretty soon we'll be able to hoof it to Suburban Square in Ardmore via eastbound sidewalks! Over hill, over dale we will hit the CONGESTED trail . . . Suddenly everyone's concerned about traffic? Not a residential area/now a professional area? Ranks right up there with the debate on whether to wear panties over or under your pantyhose (or not at all!)
flower girl October 23, 2012 at 11:17 PM
I can't wait for something like whole foods to come to town...that's all they are talking about adding, right? Malvern is a town center and it makes sense to have that use on King in Willistown. It will also bring more tax moneys into Willistown.
Tom Fox May 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Looked at Trader Joe's web site. They list their upcoming locations. Malvern, PA is not one of them. Is that store out the window too?

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