Borough Amends Height Ordinance
West Chester Borough Council amends the height ordinance to eliminate the possibility of a nine-story building being built in the town center.
The West Chester Borough Council voted to change the borough’s height ordinance on Wednesday limiting buildings in the town center to 45 feet by right and 60 feet by special exception.
The ordinance also includes a new zoning designation named “commercial services” that would allow buildings of 75 feet by special exception.
“We also included supplemental design guidelines so that new buildings stick with the historical character of our town,” said council member Jordan Norley.
The new “Commercial Services District” stretches along the Gay and Market Streets corridor between North Franklin and North Bolmar Streets.
Borough Council began the process to change the height ordinance last September after developer Eli Kahn purchased several buildings from the county.
At the time, buildings in the town center could be built as tall as 90 feet, and it was rumored that Kahn had plans to build a nine-story apartment building.
“The historic district is our brand,” said resident Dianne Herrin at a borough council meeting held last September.. “Height is just one piece of that brand, but we need to be careful about negotiating away what makes West Chester special.”
Herrin added, “If we lose what we have, then we all lose.”