December 2021 e-Newsletter
Lower Gwynedd Township Upcoming Meetings & Events:
General News

Curbside leaf collection will be provided by Republic Services on the following Saturdays:
  • December 4th & 18th
Toys for Tots

Lower Gwynedd Township is a drop-off location for the Toys for Tots program. You can drop off your new unwrapped gifts in the boxes located in the lobby vestibule of the Township building for the first two weeks of December. You can also donate electronically through this Toys For Tots link.
Citizen Request Portal To Launch!
Lower Gwynedd Township is launching a new Citizen's Request Portal (CRP)! Lower Gwynedd's CRP is a new tool available on our website where citizens can report issues they may encounter within the Township. Once reported in the portal, the information will be synced with our internal data management system and a work order will be generated. This work order will be routed to the appropriate department for proper handling. The citizen will be able to check the status of their submission through to completion. The portal will allow for the uploading of photos and is operational from your mobile device. For more information on this new feature click here. Please be aware, this portal is for Township issues only, it is not to be used to report emergencies or police related issues.
Township Awarded Grant for Flood Mitigation Study
Lower Gwynedd Township has been awarded a grant in the amount of $42,200.00 through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Flood Mitigation Program for the Brookside Avenue Flood Study. The grant will fund the survey and HEC-RAS Flood Study of a portion of the Houston Creek, a tributary to the Wissahickon Creek, and an existing dam on the Wissahickon School District Property.

The Flood Study will be used to determine the baseline flooding conditions of the neighborhood adjacent to the Wissahickon School District property and the drainage area of the existing dam. The project area is located on the border of Lower Gwynedd Township, Ambler Borough and Whitpain Township between the Wissahickon School District property and the Ambler Yards Business Campus.

The goal of this study is to evaluate possible modifications to the dam or grading improvements that could be made to effectively reduce the rate and volume of water reaching the neighborhood to the south of Knight Road and the Ambler Yards Business Campus. The Township intends on beginning this study in 2022.

Holiday Lights
  • Drop off your non-working holiday lights
  • Look for the green & red recycling bin & deposit your lights to be recycled

Christmas Trees
  • Christmas trees, free from all decorations/tinsel can be dropped off at Ingersoll Park following the holidays
  • Curbside Christmas tree recycling will be January 8th & January 15th, 2022

EAC Green Tip of the Month
Keep recycling in mind this holiday season!

If your gift list this month includes new electronics that are replacing old ones, keep in mind that it is illegal to put electronic equipment in the trash in Pennsylvania. Many electronic devices contain toxic chemicals that can leak from the landfill and contaminate groundwater and soil. The simple rule to remember is -- if it's got a plug, it's got no place being near your trash can. So what to do with your used, broken, or no longer wanted electronics? Here's what - take them to be recycled - for free - at either Best Buy or Staples, both located in Montgomeryville. Best Buy accepts electronics (including TVS), appliances, and fitness equipment, 3 items/household. In addition, Best Buy offers a 15% off coupon in exchange for your recycling certain categories of items (e.g., networking devices, some storage devices). Click here for more information. Staples also recycles, for free, most electronics (no TVs or big kitchen appliances such as dishwashers), up to 6 items/customer. Click here for more information. We also have recycling options for your broken Christmas lights and tree right here in Lower Gwynedd.
Boards & Committee Updates
The Lower Gwynedd BOS held their regular meetings on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 and Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021. At their first meeting, the BOS authorized the public advertisement of the 2022 Proposed Budget and Fiscal Plan. The budget was then revised and authorized for re-advertisement on November 23rd, to include a new revenue line item reflecting the ARPA recovery funds from the Federal Government. The budget is on display and available for public review until December 13th, 2021. The BOS approved a conditional use application of the Cedar Hill Development Group. The approval permits the applicant to develop under the cluster option provided for in the Lower Gwynedd code with certain conditions. The cluster option permits smaller lot sizes in exchange for the preservation of additional open space. The project can now continue through the land development process. The BOS also discussed requested waivers for the 776 Johns Lane Subdivision (#21-02SUBD). Items such as tree removal/replacement and stormwater management were discussed in detail. The project was discussed again at the November 23rd meeting. Concerns over the proposed three-way stop sign, impacts on neighboring properties, and pedestrian safety were discussed. The project proposes four new residential building lots along Johns Lane. The project received conditional preliminary/final approval by a 3-2 vote of the BOS. In other business, McMahon Associates presented a new citizen reporter tool. This application will be added to the Township website and residents will be able to report issues they may encounter within the Township. Once reported in the portal, the information will be synced with our internal data management system and a work order will be generated. This work order will be routed to the appropriate department for proper handling. The portal is not to be used for emergency purposes. The board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
The EAC held their regular meeting in November. The EAC organized a Christmas light recycling program that they will implement this month. Beginning December 1st, residents can recycle old Christmas lights at Ingersoll Park. There will be a designated bin to discard your old lights. Look for the red and green recycling bin. The Township submitted a Tree City USA application on behalf of the EAC in November. The application will be reviewed by the Arbor Day Organization. If the Township meets the necessary requirements, they could officially become a designated Tree City. The EAC will hold its final meeting of the year on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021.
The ZHB will meet on December 9th, 2021 to hear the following applications:

December Hearings
801 Norristown Rd: A-1 Residential District; Applicant seeks variances for relief from the required lot area, lot width, and front and rear yard setbacks, and any other relief deemed necessary to facilitate the construction of a single-family dwelling on this parcel.

900 North Bethlehem Pk: D-Business District; Applicant seeks variance to permit three signs and a total signage area exceeding 40 square feet; and to permit signage higher than applicable building height limitations and higher than actual building upon which it is located; and any other relief deemed necessary for the signage at a new retail sales and farmers market located on this property.
The following projects are currently under review by the PC. The PC meets the third Wednesday of every month as needed. The PC did not meet in November so there are no updates. The PC is scheduled to meet on December 15th, 2021. Please check the website for the most current agenda.

(#20-04) 301 Norristown Road Land Development (Gwynedd Estates-Acts): Multi-family residential development that includes the addition of a new skilled nursing wing at the NE corner of the site and a reconfiguration of existing parking areas while also adding new parking and subsurface stormwater management facilities. Revisions were submitted and discussed at the October meeting. The applicant will comply with the conditions outlined in the letters. There will be an emergency access off of Tennis Avenue to the site. The applicant continues to work through sewer connection issues with Williams Pipeline. Issues regarding stormwater impacts to the adjacent property owner are under investigation. The applicant and adjacent property owner are working to resolve these issues. Status: Remains under review.

(#21-03) 1612 N. Bethlehem Pike Land Development (Precision Watches & Jewelry): Non-residential commercial development of a 16,329 sq. ft. parcel located at 1612 N. Bethlehem Pike in the D-3 zoning district. The applicant proposes to construct a 2.5 story jewelry store and associated parking and other required improvements. The project was introduced to the PC in October. Revised plans were submitted and reviews are pending. Status: Remains under review. 

(#21-04) Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary Land Development (Gwynedd Mercy University Campus 1325 Sumneytown Pike): This project is a proposed land development of the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary on the GMU campus. The plan proposes the consolidation of two parcels within the campus property and the addition of a new college residence hall with a chapel, new student life center, and a new maintenance building. Future plans for a gym and an additional building are also shown. The plans also provide for associated improvements including the reconfiguration and addition of parking facilities, new access drive, landscaping, and lighting. Two above-ground and one subsurface stormwater management facilities are also proposed. This project has not yet gone before the PC but will be on the agenda in December. Status: Under review, will be introduced to the PC at the December meeting.

Property Maintenance Code: The proposed property maintenance code was circulated to the PC for review and feedback. Status: Remains under review.
The PRB held a successful holiday jazz concert and a movie in the park in November! They are currently compiling the results of the community park survey they conducted earlier this Fall and continue to investigate options for Pickleball within the Township. The PRB does not meet in December. They will reconvene in the new year.
Departmental Round-Up
Lower Gwynedd Township will bid farewell to our Receptionist, Joyce Baker, on December 1st, 2021. Joyce will be retiring after serving the Township for 23 years. Joyce started out as a part-time billing clerk in the Sewer Department and then became a full-time employee in the Building and Zoning Department before taking over the receptionist duties. Joyce was always the smiling face that greeted everyone as they entered the building or the pleasant voice that answered the telephone. She was always helpful to the residents and contractors and did her best to provide direction and guidance to those who needed it. She is looking forward to retiring so that she can spend more time with her grandchildren. We wish her all the best in her retirement.

The proposed budget is available for public review. You can view the budget here. The budget will be before the BOS in December for approval. There are no tax increases or sewer rate increases proposed for 2022. The Township Staff and Officials would like to wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!

Snow is coming! Here are some simple winter maintenance tips from our Public Works Department:

  • Do not drive unless it is absolutely necessary. If a state of emergency is called, please stay off the roadways.
  • When the Township declares a snow emergency, all parked vehicles must be removed from the road when off-street parking is available.
  • Please do not place trash or recycle containers out into the roadway during inclement winter weather.
  • Remove snow, ice, and slush from sidewalks, including handicap ramps, within 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling.
  • Plowing operations do not begin until after there are 2" of accumulated snow on paved surfaces.
  • Place snow from sidewalks and driveways on lawns, not in the street.
  • Please inspect your mailbox before winter. If your mailbox is protruding out into the roadway and is physically struck by the plow, the Township will not be responsible for any damage that may occur.
  • It is strictly prohibited to push snow from private property onto any township, county, or state roadway.
  • As the storm is ending, the Township will begin opening all roadways curb to curb, which allows room in the event of an additional storm. Please refrain from completely clearing your driveway until the plow vehicles make the last pass along the curb.
 Lower Gwynedd Township
1130 North Bethlehem Pike
Spring House, PA 19477
Phone: (215) 646-5302
Next Month
Keep an eye out for our January issue!