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.”


Stephanie Markstein September 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Yay for Borough Council on a smart, forward-thinking decision.
Milton Bradley September 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Word on the street, go to Patch to find out in a timely fashion what is happening in WC borough government/politics. Thanks for keeping residents informed. Jake, might I suggest you include the voting record, who voted yay or nay, for such articles? Thanks, keep up the good work. A shout out to council as well for implementing a governor on the accelerator of overdevelopment of the borough.
Nathaniel Smith September 20, 2012 at 01:29 PM
"it was rumored"? Isn't 9 stories at the corner of Gay and Church what Eli Kahn said at an earlier meeting?
nona September 20, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Thank you Council! Common sense rules.
nona September 20, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Yes, please on the voting record.
I_HAZ_COMMON_SENSE September 27, 2012 at 01:18 PM
...nona. If you look up at a 6 story apartment building... its going to look tall isnt it? .... now nona, if you look up at a 9 story apartment building... its going to look tall isnt it..... Councils vote wont stop Eli from building (at least I hope not). Any business owner in TOWN CENTER would LOVE for a residential apartment building to be built. All Eli has to do is move around the numbers to make it work. I hope he throws up a 5 or 6 story apartment building just like he was planning. And I hope the people that move in their spend their money in the stores of WC and resturants and bars of WC. More over, i hope this councils vote has not stopped Eli, or any other developer from wanting to develop or create PROGRESS and IMPROVEMENT in wc... otherwise council has just discouraged anyone from spending money on our town. Give them an inch to build, they will use it... take an inch away, they may just walk away. An empty plot of land, or a building not being used, only hurts our community.
nona September 27, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Dear I_Haz... Those of us who keep up with news and read, understand that in this particular instance the new ruling will not stop King Kahn from doing what he wants with his toys and properties before this ruling was made. That was the law and it stands for previous holdings. People who read understand this. What the new ruling does is stop future insipid ugly buildings from marring our otherwise beautiful town. How much are you on his payroll for, Mr I_Haz?
Andrew March 01, 2013 at 10:30 PM
thank you! Someone with a brain... Mr. Kahn should get a good lawyer a build whatever he wants. Of course anything new is going to look different at first. It wasn't there before..WHAT A SHOCK! You think the developers of the Farmers and Mechanics building put up with this sh*t in 1908? I don't think so. West Chester is very lucky developers want to build in the town. Other towns wish they had developers like Kahn..


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »