Ardmore, PA -  The Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners voted and approved Wednesday night a motion to advertise a set of zoning ordinance changes that ultimately will affect the Lower Merion Township School District.  The proposed changes cover portions of the township but they specifically cover the area where the school district plans to construct a new middle school in Villanova.  The ultimate changes will make it easier to build schools.

The vote to advertise the proposed ordinance changes is a required step in the zoning change process. A hearing will occur at the Nov. 19 meeting of the board of commissioners.  It is expected that the full board may vote on the changes that night. 

The ordinance changes if passed cover public schools in the R-AAA through R-3 zoning districts. The zoning changes would cover several school sites, including the new site at 1860 Montgomery Ave. The district entered into a purchasing agreement for the property in order to build of new middle school

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Proposed zoning changes to Chapter 155 of the Township Zoning Code affect Welsh Valley Middle School, Harriton High School, Lower Merion High School and the new middle school site at 1860 Montgomery Avenue.

A reduction in the number of parking spaces, building heights and setbacks are part of the changes being advertised.

According to a letter from LMSD President Melissa Gilbert and Superintendent Robert Copeland in an open letter published on the LMSD school website, the changes if approved — "will provide much of the essential relief the District needs to construct a 21st-century middle school at the 1860 site. The School Board is greatly appreciative that the Township Commissioners have been attentive to the challenges and concerns that we are facing and we look forward to working collaboratively with them throughout this process,” a portion of the letter read.

The TAPinto team is following this developing story and will keep you updated.