Author: Michelle Carroll

Borough Council – September Special Meeting Announced

NOTICE IS GIVEN that on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. at Narberth Borough Hall, 100 Conway Ave. Narberth, PA, Narberth Borough Council shall hold a public meeting to consider, and may take action upon, an appointment to fill a vacant seat on Borough Council; a resolution to call an election for obtaining the electors’ assent to increase the Borough’s debt; and any other business that may come before Council. Meeting details are available at www.narberthpa.gov. If you require assistance to attend the meeting, please contact the Borough Office at least 24 hours in advance at (610) 664-2840.

September Council Meeting Rescheduled


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Narberth Borough Council has rescheduled its September 15th meeting to take place on September 22nd at 7:30pm.


Narberth Borough Finance and Administration Committee has rescheduled its September 15th meeting to take place on September 22nd at 6:00pm.


Narberth Borough Council shall meet at the Narberth Borough Municipal Building, located at 100 Conway Avenue, Narberth, PA. Meeting details are available at www.narberthpa.gov. If you require assistance in attending a meeting, please contact the Borough Office at least 24 hours in advance at (610) 664-2840.

Climate Action Plan and EV Charging Stations – Press Release

For Immediate Release

Electric Vehicle Chargers Part of Narberth Borough Initiatives to Combat Climate Change

Narberth, PA, August 25, 2021 – The Borough of Narberth, Pennsylvania announced it will hold a ribbon cutting for its electric vehicle chargers on September 10 at 5:00PM near Narberth Park.  These chargers are part of a slate of ambitious new actions to reduce global warming pollution with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040.  The Montgomery County municipality will be taking significant steps to support households and businesses in mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as reducing emissions from municipal operations, including installing LED streetlights, purchasing renewable electricity, and installing multimodal transportation options among many others.

FLO, a leading EV charging network and solutions provider in North America, sees this as an integral step towards transportation electrification and the increasing need to use clean energy in most life aspects, especially on the road.  “We are pleased to be chosen by Narberth to install the borough’s first EV chargers and to have the opportunity to be part of this important journey towards reduced emissions in the region,” said Louis Tremblay, FLO President and CEO. Our chargers will bring a dependable source of power to current and future EV drivers and lay the foundation for the emerging charging infrastructure in the region.”

“Some of my neighbors are reluctant to get an electric vehicle because they don’t know how they would charge it,” said resident Amy Tecosky-Feldman. “We raised this issue to the Borough and they were receptive.” The Borough is taking advantage of funding from Pennsylvania’s Volkswagen settlement made available by the Department of Environmental Protection to improve EV charging infrastructure in the Commonwealth. Narberth has installed 4 plugs for public use, two at Narberth Park, and two at Essex Ave. The plugs will also enable the Borough to begin transitioning its modest vehicle fleet to plug-ins over time.

The Borough has also committed to switching its purchased electricity to 100 per cent renewable sources, so that the electricity used by the streetlights and other Borough operations will come without global-warming emissions. “It’s great to see the Borough take a leadership role,” said Environmental Advisory Council member, Miriam Shakow.  “Some of my neighbors have made the switch to renewables, and hopefully when others see our local government stepping up, they’ll be inspired to do the same.”

Narberth Borough has developed of a Climate Action Plan that was accepted by Narberth’s Borough Council in September 2020. The plan details the steps Narberth will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, utilities, and municipal waste. Narberth was part of a cohort of 20 municipalities selected by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection to work with the international group ICLEI to develop plans to help local communities mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and plan for long-term adaptations that climate change will require in Pennsylvania.

“Even while clean energy jobs are growing faster than fossil fuel jobs, Pennsylvania still accounts for 1% of the world’s carbon footprint,” said Jesse Lytle, chair of Narberth’s Environmental Advisory Council. “Narberth wants to do its part to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy,” he said.

A group of Narberth residents worked hard over recent years to convince their elected Borough officials to pledge to transition to 100% renewable energy, community-wide, by 2040— one of the most ambitious goals in the state. Many nearby communities in southeastern Pennsylvania have made similar pledges in recent years through the “Ready for 100%” community campaign led by the Sierra Club. “This happened because our citizens gave us a mandate, one that I think my Council colleagues and I were happy to receive,” said Rob McGreevey, a member of Narberth Borough Council since 2018. “If we can make these changes responsibly in Narberth maybe other communities will see they can do it too.”

About Narberth:

Narberth Borough is a Pennsylvania Municipality of just under 5,000 residents bisected by the SEPTA Regional Rail Paoli Line.  Founded in 1895, Narberth is home to its own SEPTA stop, beloved small businesses, and hosts community events such as the Dickens Festival.  For more information, please visit narberthpa.gov.

About FLO:

FLO is a leading North American electric vehicle charging network operator and a major provider of smart charging software and equipment. Every month, FLO enables hundreds of thousands charging events thanks to over 45,000 high-quality stations deployed on public networks, commercial and residential installations. FLO’s headquarters and network operations centre are based in Quebec City, and its assembly plant is located in Shawinigan (Quebec). The company also has an office in Montreal and regional teams located in Ontario, British Columbia, California, New York and Texas. For more information, visit flo.com.

Appointment Opportunities – Historic Architectural Review Board

Narberth Borough Council will be appointing 5-7 members for the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB).


For functions and duties of the HARB, please visit https://bit.ly/3BamtAC.


Members of the HARB will include:

One (1) member shall be a registered architect;

One (1) member shall be a licensed real estate broker;

One (1) member shall be a building inspector;

One (1) member shall be a planning commission member;

Remaining member(s) shall be person(s) with demonstrated knowledge of and interest in the history, architecture, culture, or heritage of the community and the preservation of Historic Districts.


If you are interested in applying for the HARB, please email your letter of interest and qualifications to appointments@narberthpa.gov.

Proposed Ordinance 1035

NOTICE IS GIVEN that on August 18, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. at Narberth Borough Hall, 100 Conway Ave. Narberth, PA 19072, Narberth Borough Council will consider at the public meeting: AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CONDEMNATION, BY EMINENT DOMAIN, OF PORTIONS OF REAL PROPERTY AT 198 ELMWOOD AVENUE FOR MUNICIPAL PURPOSES.  The proposed ordinance was provided to the Main Line Times, 307 Destine Ave. Lansdale, PA 19446 and the Montgomery County Law Library, Montgomery County Court House, Lower Level, 2 East Airy St. Norristown, PA 19401 for public inspection. Copies of the ordinance are available to the public electronically on the Borough’s website or upon request, and arrangements can be made for copies to be viewed or provided at Narberth Borough Hall, 100 Conway Ave., weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you have questions or require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the hearing or to provide comment, please contact Michelle Carroll at (610) 664-2840.

A copy of the proposed ordinance can be viewed at https://bit.ly/3lGjrQ7.

Narberth Historic District -FAQ

Narberth Historic District
  
Come to a Special Meeting of the Narberth Planning Commission to discuss the proposed Historic District ordinance.
Planning Commission members will be available
to answer questions about the Historic District. Public comment is invited.
 
Monday, July 12, 7 p.m.
Narberth Borough Hall

The meeting will also be accessible via Zoom and viewable on the Narberth Civic Association Youtube page.
For specific information, visit the “Boards and Commissions Meetings” page on the Borough web site:
https://www.narberthpa.gov/information/meeting-materials/boards-commissions-meetings/

Please click below to view the proposed ordinance and map.
Historic District Ordinance Historic District Map
 
Narberth Historic District: FAQ 

Why is the Borough considering a Historic District?
Everyone recognizes Narberth’s small-town character. It’s partly because of the people who live here and the activities and organizations we share as a community; it’s partly because our streetscape with houses built roughly a century ago and our lush trees and gardens; and it’s partly because of the stories and traditions that we keep and pass on to new members of the community. It’s a unique combination of time and place.
In recent years, the Borough has seen increasingly rapid change. In particular, many of the homes that are part of this historic fabric have been torn down for speculative new housing. The Historic District will slow that process down by creating a review process before a house is torn down or alterations are made that remove features that are important to the character that we know.
Where would the Historic District be located?
The district would focus on areas of the Borough built before 1945, which is the key era of construction that defines Narberth’s small-town character. That means most of the Borough would be covered. Areas built after 1945 would not be in the district, and some buildings within the district would not be include because they were built after 1945.
What would the Historic District mean to the average homeowner?Narberth’s Historic District would be tailored to Narberth’s specific circumstances, so it would be different from the historic districts in places like Lower Merion Township and Philadelphia. In Narberth, property owners would need to obtain approval to demolish a building, or to remove character-defining features, such as dormers, front porches, turrets, or sleeping porches.
Do I need to get permission to paint my house?
No. Improvements like painting, putting on siding, replacing doors and windows or porch railings, or re-landscaping your front yard would not need approval under the historic district. Nor are there design requirements that have to be met. Over time, as residents have made changes like this, they have added to the patina and character of the town.
However, other Borough codes, such as the building code, zoning code, property maintenance code, stormwater code and street tree / landscaping code would still apply.
What about additions?
No. The ordinance would only require approval of demolitions and removals of character-defining features, not to new additions.
Is my garage or shed considered historic?
In a sense, garages that were built before 1945 are part of the character of our town, because they reflect the history of a place that was built before cars were part of everyday life, and before houses were built with garages within them.
However, most garages and sheds in the Borough would not be included in the district. That is because any building that is not visible from the street, not in the first or second “lot layer” as defined in the zoning code, or built after 1945 would not be included.
What about putting solar panels on my roof, or adding a heat pump outside?
Adding solar panels or heat pumps or other kinds of energy-efficient features would not be covered by the historic district. In addition, the review process for activities that do require approval would have to consider the benefits to sustainability when considering an application.
What is an “advisory review”?
The historic district ordinance includes a provision for an advisory review for modifications that would make significant changes to the appearance of a building, such as additions.
The advisory review requests that property owners meet with a design professional to look at design options that help keep property upgrades and maintenance in character with the Borough’s historic fabric, and potentially even information about “green building” materials and techniques.  It is hoped that this will encourage property owners to consider options that support Borough policies and continue to make Narberth the great place that it is.
The advisory review would be non-binding; that is, property owners are encouraged, but not required, to follow any of the suggestions that are given.
Is this legal?
The Borough’s historic district would be created under authority granted to the Borough under the state’s Historic District Act. The ordinance that the Borough is considering is based on a model ordinance developed by the state’s Museum and Historic Commission. State historic preservation staff have been consulting with the Borough throughout this process. The Borough has also received assistance from its planning consultants at the Montgomery County Planning Commission and the historic preservation consultants at the Lower Merion Conservancy.
Will this cost me anything?
The ordinance provides for Borough Council to establish application fees as it deems appropriate (though none are proposed now), similar to fees for other types of applications and permits.
I just learned about this! Hasn’t this happened quickly?
Narberth’s historic district has been years in the making, with many opportunities for public input along the way.
The process began in 2017, when the Borough asked the State Historic Preservation Office and the Lower Merion Conservancy to create a plan for preserving the historic character of the Borough. The planners worked with a small community advisory committee and held a public workshop in May, 2018, before submitting their report to the Borough in October, 2019.
Roughly at the same time, Narberth created a comprehensive plan, which also involved a community advisory committee and a community survey and open house, and was approved in April, 2019. This plan placed a strong emphasis on the preservation of Narberth’s building stock and recommended that the Borough regularly look at its zoning code and other tools as development conditions evolved.
In January, 2020, the Planning Commission recommended to Council that the Borough explore the creation of a Historic District, and Council authorized the Planning Commission to begin work on that project. Since then, the Planning Commission has discussed the development of the meeting at length in four of its meetings. It has also presented its work to Council at two workshop meetings, and received guidance that shaped the final proposal.

Your input is welcome at the July 12, 2021, meeting as this ordinance is still to be adopted.

Proposed Ordinance – Historic District Ordinance

NOTICE IS GIVEN that on July 21, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. at Narberth Borough Hall, 100 Conway Ave. Narberth, PA 19072, Narberth Borough Council will hold a public hearing, and immediately thereafter will consider at the public meeting: AN ORDINANCE OF NARBERTH BOROUGH AMENDING THE NARBERTH CODE TO CREATE A NEW CHAPTER ENTITLED “HISTORIC DISTRICTS” AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE BOROUGH’S HISTORIC DISTRICT’S CREATION, MAP, AND ABILITY TO  DESIGNATE CONTRIBUTING AND NON-CONTRIBUTING RESOURCES THEREIN; LEGAL AUTHORIZATION; PURPOSE AND INTENT; DEFINITIONS; HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD CREATION, FUNCTIONS, AND DUTIES; REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS; REVIEW CRITERIA AND GUIDELINES FOR DEMOLITION AND ALTERATIONS; APPLICATION AND REVIEW PROCEDURES; EXCEPTIONS; APPEALS; ENFORCEMENT; AND PENALTIESThe ordinance creates a Historic District in the Borough, as shown on the map, that will require demolitions and enumerated alterations of properties contributing to the historic district to obtain a certificate of appropriateness from Borough Council before further activity is taken.  The proposed ordinance and map were provided to the Main Line Times, 307 Destine Ave. Lansdale, PA 19446 and the Montgomery County Law Library, Montgomery County Court House, Lower Level, 2 East Airy St. Norristown, PA 19401 for public inspection. Copies of the ordinance and map are available to the public electronically on the Borough’s website or upon request, and arrangements can be made for copies to be viewed or provided at Narberth Borough Hall, 100 Conway Ave., weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you have questions or require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the hearing or to provide comment, please contact Michelle Carroll at (610) 664-2840.

SAMANTHA BRYANT, BOROUGH MANAGER

Historic District Ordinance 

Historic District Map

Announcement – Repealed Mask Ordinance

Narberth Borough Council has repealed the mask ordinance, and Mayor Deutsch has lifted the local state of emergency.

  • Masks are no longer required outdoors in the downtown area and in the parks
  • Individual businesses may still require masks for all customers; please follow posted rules.
  • Gathering restrictions outside are no longer in effect
  • Basketball courts and outdoor bathrooms in Narberth Park are now open

Pennsylvania’s mask ordinance is still in effect.

  • Unvaccinated individuals must wear masks indoors (until June 28)
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks in most areas, unless there is a specific rule in place (airplanes, public transit, hospitals, any business with a posted mask policy.)

Narberth has had the lowest rate of confirmed COVID cases in Montgomery County. Thank you to all our community members for doing their part to keep Narberth safe and healthy over the last 15 months. And remember, vaccinations are free and are currently widely available for anyone age 12 or older through local pharmacies and health care providers.