PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA - The end is near for the Kay Lighting building located at 317 Ridge Pike. During the Planning Agency Board meeting on June 2, 2021 plans were presented to demolish the existing building on the property and replace it with a free-standing JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Nearby residents voiced their concerns over the plans as all entrance and exit points are on the adjoining residential street, Harmon Road. Traffic and cut-throughs have been an ongoing headache for Harmon Road residents which is well known to the Township and the Council at large. One resident, Joe McTamney, spoke in opposition to the overall layout of the proposed bank during the Planning Meeting. Mr. McTamney requested the layout which places a 24 hour ATM at his property line be reconsidered along with having the only entrance and exit points on Harmon road and would see traffic flowing into his neighborhood. Mr. McTamney's concerns were rebutted by the Developer as unreasonable as the steep slope of the property makes any traffic flow onto Ridge Pike impossible. The current steep Kay Lighting driveway, which has been there for decades, is not up to code and cannot be used at its current grade in any new development.
A few members of the Planning Agency picked up on the issue that Chase could regrade and rework the plans to address McTamney's concerns but stopped short of approving any such wording, instead they advised of a Right Turn only sign to be installed and sent it to Council for approval.
The Planning Agency then directed Mr. McTamney back to Plymouth Council to address his concerns as they are only an advisory Board and have no real power.
This item was briefly discussed and glossed over at the Council Workshop on June 7, 2021, as no residents attended the meeting in opposition. During the June 17, 2021, regular meeting of Plymouth Council, McTamney once again addressed his concerns but with no other residents speaking against the development and Chase's Consultants in attendance to steer the conversation with Council, he faced little chance of seeing any action.
At one point during the residents' questions, a member of the Council could even be heard sighing into the microphone in apparent frustration with the continued questions from residents.
In the end, there was one lone resident (unidentified) who challenged the plan and questioned why traffic could not enter/exit from Ridge Pike. Chase once again gave the excuse of the grading of the property would not allow a driveway that could be in compliance with the current code. The unidentified resident stated, So Chase certainly could fix the problem and regrade the entire property?" The consultant remained quiet and nobody on the Council felt compelled to support the obvious fact that it could reject the plan and ask them to come back with a revised plan.
Ms. Bramblett said she would like to see a "Left Turn Only" sign placed at the exits. Ms. Bramblett stood as the lone dissenting vote against the project with all other members of the Council quickly moving to approve the project. The project can be expected to start in the coming months with a total construction time lasting about 6 months from start to finish.
As for Kay Lighting, we spoke to a company representative who stated they will be relocating out of Plymouth Township to a larger nearby facility.
You can watch the video of the Council meeting here. The discussion about this project occurs between 31:18 and 53:03
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