Mar 31, 2011
Letter of Approval and Conditions for SJU's Preliminary Plan
Mar 23, 2011
Building and Planning Committee special hearing: Agenda and Exhibit A
March 9, 2011
Building and Planning Committee regarding approval of preliminary application and conditions of approval
Feb 9, 2011
Township organizes second informal meeting with SJU and neighbors to discuss landscaping along N Latches lane.
Jan 24, 2011
Township organizes informal meeting with SJU and neighbors to discuss and review the approval process and to identify any issues associated with the proposal
Dec 2010
SJU submits preliminary land development application for Maguire campus sports fields
Nov 18, 2010
Zoning Hearing Board announces decision, granting special exception application with strict conditions (full document)
Aug 3, 2010
Last ZHB hearing re SJU Special Exception application, SJU introduced "revised plans"
Jan 7 to Aug 3, 2010
Sixth to Fifteenth ZHB meeting for SJU's special exception
Dec 31, 2009
Judge Tilson of Montgomery County court of common pleas delivers opinion in SJU appeal case against Lower Merion Township
Nov 30, 2009
(5pm - 10pm) Fifth ZHB meeting for SJU's Special Exception:   MCC expert testimony for land development and real estate
Nov 5, 2009
(5pm - 10pm) Fourth ZHB meeting for SJU's Special Exception:  SJU sound engineer testimony; MCC expert testimony for sound
Oct 25, 2009
Third ZHB meeting for SJU's Special Exception: testimony from SJU land development and traffic expert (for "level of service", ie congestions at each end of N Latches Lane); testimony from MCC traffic engineer.
Sept 3 2009
Second ZHB meeting for SJU's Special Exception: SJU presented photographs of athletic fields in Lower Merion as evidence that their request isn't "Special" and not really and "Exception".
July 23 2009Initial Zoning Hearing Board Appeal No. 4191 by SJU (SJU started their presentation but it only lasted 40 minutes)
June 11 2009SJU files application for Special Exception Relief with Township's Zoning Hearing Board


April 30 2009MCC spokesperson is interviewed on WPHT, 1210 AM radio call-in talk show
April 25 2009MCC letter of response to Inquirer Editorial is published
April 24 2009SJU appeals ZHB's 3.26.09 decisions to Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.
April 23 2009Two representatives from the MCC met with SJU President, Fr. Lannon, and two other SJU representatives
April 15 2009SJU Field Hockey Coach, accompanied by team members and SJU Director of Government and Community Relations presents prepared remarks during Public Privilege session of Board of Commissioners meeting. Remarks focus on team's desire for its own field and for use of artificial grass.
April 6 2009Six (of 16) Commissioners agree to meet with MCC for a tour of the neighborhood and to discuss SJU plans and neighbors' concerns
March 31 2009MCC Press Release after ZHB decisions
 
March 26 2009Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) rejects SJU appeal based on "expanded use" and testimony presented in 2005-2006. ZHB partially grants MCC appeal, stating that SJU must re-submit current plans through full Zoning process.
March 24 2009Merion Civic Association (MCA) adopts a resolution that supports the efforts of the MCC and also encourages direct dialogue between SJU and MCC to resolve issues in mutually beneficial ways.
March 17 2009MCC publishes preliminary results from survey taken by more than 160 people (PA sound systems top concern)
March 16 2009MCC presents at the Shortridge Civic Association
March 13 2009SJU replies to MCC indicating that due to ZHB matter in progress, the University will not meet with neighbors
Feb. 22 and 24 2009MCC organizes neighbors meeting to present update on latest developments and recent closed-doors meetings between SJU and Township Commissioners.
Feb. 15 2009MCC sends letter to SJU re-iterating that neighbors do not oppose use of athletic fields but would like to constructively discuss the issues with the University.
Feb. 9 2009MCC is scheduled to present with SJU at the Federation of Lower Merion Civic Associations. Because SJU informed the Federation on Feb 5 that it had no representative available to present, the Federation cancels MCC presentation as well.
Jan. 28 & Feb 4. 2009SJU organizes two meetings closed to neighbors with Township Commissioners. Approximately 9 Commissioners participate.
 
Dec. 8 2008 Zoning Hearing Board hearing for MCC appeal and SJU appeal
Dec. 5 2008 SJU President, Fr. Lannon, sends letter to Merion residents noting upcoming Zoning Hearing Board hearing; letter mentions only SJU's plans to develop the baseball field on Latchs Lane.
Nov. 22 2008MCC organizes neighbors meeting to present strategy for ZHB appeal hearing.
Nov. 4 2008MCC sends letter to SJU and Township Commissioners to clarify that the use of the swimming pool on the Maguire Campus is not an issue for neighbors and supports Township swim clubs' wish to use it during LMHS construction.
Nov. 2 2008MCC organizes neighbors meeting in preparation for upcoming Zoning Hearing Board. Commissioners Brian Gordon and Lance Rogers participate and support neighbors' concerns.
Oct. 20 2008MCC re-iterates wish for direct discussions with SJU and for SJU to actually address the concerns presented by neighbors
Oct. 16 2008Both SJU and MCC appeal the September 16 Zoning Officer's determination to the Zoning Hearing Board
Oct. 15 2008SJU sends letter to MCC indicating that there cannot be any alternative plans for the athletic fields and that it will appeal to the ZHB
Sept. 26 2008First face to face SJU / neighbors representatives meeting hosted by Representative Mike Gerber
Sept. 23 2008MCC and SJU both present to the Merion Civic Association (MCA) at its first meeting after MCA's summer break.
 
Sept. 19 2008SJU informs Commissioner Gordon that current (and revised) plans are postponed
Sept. 18 2008The Director of Building Regulations informs SJU that digging and demolition requires Board of Commissioners approval
Sept. 17 2008MCC coordinators and neighbors address the Board of Commissioners during the "Public Privilege" session, delivering petition signed by over 230 people
Sept. 16 2008Zoning Officer informs SJU that bleachers, dugouts, PA system require new zoning approval, but leaves open the possibility to re-build fields with digging, demolition, Astroturf and 35' nets
Sept. 8 2008SJU participates in a "Discussion Only", information exchange session held by the Township Planning Commission: MCC coordinators, MCC lawyers and 20+ neighbors make comments on SJU's current plan Over 100 neighbors attend.
Sept. 5 2008 SJU postpones the full Township review process of their plan from September until October
Aug 26 2008 MCC legal counsel submits letter to Township Zoning Officer raising zoning approval concerns about SJU's Preliminary Land Development Plan submitted to Township.
Aug 2008 MCC holds 3 informational meetings for neighbors to help all learn what, exactly, SJU's current development plans are
Aug. - Sept. 2008 MCC works to obtain complete and accurate information on SJU's plans for all athletic fields of its new James J. Maquire '58 Campus in Merion and their predictable impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.
August 6 2008Neighbors decide to officially name group "Merion Community Coalition" (MCC).
July 29 2008Large group of neighbors attends SJU-hosted informational meeting and raise several specific concerns. SJU seems unwilling to modify their plans to address any of the real and legitimate concerns neighbors raise (e.g., about PA systems and weekend games) or look for alternatives with lesser impacts.
July 2008Neighbors decide to officially organize for several reasons including to create a single group of representatives to discuss with SJU and Township, ensure efficient use of time and money, and gather all information from SJU about plans and to raise concerns about sound (from PA systems and crowds), traffic, 35' net and poles and more.
June - July 2008SJU organizes a few informational meetings for neighbors to present latest plans, but fails to indicate that plans include PA systems or artificial turf. When asked, SJU also indicated that bleacher capacity would be 150-200 per field.
May 7 2008Building and Planning Committee recommends approval for SJU tentative sketch plan, with conditions. SJU introduces the request for PA systems. The B&P Committee asks SJU to return to the neighbors to discuss PA systems.
May 5 2008SJU presents tentative sketch plan for Maguire campus to Lower Merion Township Planning Commission
Spring 2008SJU makes presentations to small neighbor groups of plans for Maguire campus but doesn't mention PA systems are part of the plan. SJU also does not volunteer in presentations other elements of plans likely of particular interest to neighbors such as installation of permanent bleachers on the fields or their seating capacity, and installation of acres and acres of artificial turf on the 14.5 acres of fields left grassy by Episcopal. SJU gives reassurance that there are only few intercollegiate weekend games, in Spring and that 35' safety net will be taken down between games
 
March 16 2006 The ZHB grants a special exception allowing SJU's use of the Maguire Campus and its athletic fields for substantially the same use as that made by Episcopal, with no new building or construction, based on SJU's testimony:
  • "There is no construction."
  • "The existing use is going to be - is the same as the proposed use."
  • "There are no physical changes being proposed here"
ZHB decision followed three hearings held between Oct, 2005-January, 2006.