Media Borough Council’s May meeting included the usual potpourri of action items and discussion, but many pointed to the town’s ever-increasing popularity. This has resulted in commercial, residential and social growth, all concerns of elected officials.
The board held a public meeting and later approved an ordinance permitting an additional building story in the Overlay Gateway District which exists at the borough’s west end. The ordinance will enable Arcadia Land Company, developers of the West End Walk townhouses, to go to four stories if warranted by the design. Council President Brian Hall stressed this does not permit buildings to exceed current height regulations.
Council debated and approved a land easement for the lower portion of Plum Street between State and Baker streets. The bricked pedestrian walkway is approximately 28 feet wide. Brick and Brew, a new restaurant renovating the former Plumstead Inn site, has requested use of a nine-by-36-foot section for construction of an outdoor dining deck designed by Linn Architects.
“All members of Council feel this is a positive for the borough, as Plum Street is the de-facto center of town. With the redesign of Plum Street underway, and plans in the next five years, we don’t want to lose flexibility of the space,” said Hall.
Terms of the five year agreement include the borough’s appro val of the design, ability to dismantle the deck if required, and rent. The latter prompted debate. After consultation with a real estate professional, the rent was set at $15 per square foot ($4,860) for each of the first three years, and $20 a square foot ($6,480) in years four and five.
Council Vice President Paul Robinson said he looks forward to the new restaurant, but continued he thought the price was too low. Hall reminded Robinson borough codes would enable the owners to put out tables, as was the case with the Plumstead, without any compensation. The agreement vote was 5-1 in favor with Councilman Peter Williamson absent.
As part of Robinson’s Properties Committee report, approval was motioned and approved for an easement agreement with Sunoco Logistics for borough-owned land in Middletown. Robinson said, although in the 1990s, Media sold both the water and sewer companies serving the area, property rights were retained. Sunoco’s original offer was $50,000. Hall credited Robinson and Councilwoman Lisa Johnson for negotiating the price to an agreed-upon $350,000.
A company called Stiletto Pictures was expected to film a commercial in town this week, which makes at least the third commercial in recent months. The company will reimburse the borough at a day’s rate for 16 parking spaces not in use.