SEI Investments came before the Upper Providence Township Board of Supervisors to seek relief from zoning requirements regarding parking, at the supervisors' Aug. 4 meeting. The company is headquartered in the township and is looking to expand within its current campus located on Freedom Valley Drive.
Attorney Bernadette Kearney explained the zoning request. Blue Rock Construction, the company working on the campus expansion, is seeking relief for SEI for 28 parking spaces that are next to a proposed parking garage. The township ordinance says the setback of the parking spaces must be at least 20 feet, and the proposed spaces are approximately 6 feet from the parking garage, Kearney explained.
The additional parking spaces are not needed to comply with the township ordinances, but SEI would like to put them in because the company has issues with employee parking on the site.
"They have a problem with people parking in the easiest places possible," Kearney said. "They're blocking the aisles, so this will help alleviate this problem."
The zoning hearing board application was filed because of the interpretation of the ordinance that the parking garage is a building. Assistant Township Manager Lee Milligan explained that the ordinance very clearly defines the garage as a building. The original intent of that part of the ordinance was to protect office buildings from combustible liquids in vehicles, he said.
In this case, Milligan added, "It will be these cars in the parking lot parked against these cars in the parking garage."
Chairman Robert Fieo suggested possibly taking a look at the ordinance in the future to make sure that a similar situation regarding parking garage vs. building wouldn't arise again in the future.
Another point brought up during the discussion was why Blue Rock Construction appeared as the applicant on the zoning hearing board application. Kearney said she would look into that.
Milligan said Blue Rock is handling the construction on the SEI site, and said the company is just "pushing this application on behalf of SEI."
"When they come before the zoning hearing board, they'll have a representative of SEI with them," Milligan said.
Vice Chairman Philip Barker recused himself from the decision on whether to oppose the application or not because he stated he has had some dealings with Blue Rock Construction in the past. The remaining supervisors decided not to send opposition to the zoning hearing, which will be held Aug. 14.
In other news, the board honored Borough Manager George Waterman for his 30 years of service to the township. The resolution passed to honor Waterman said his tenure was "marked by the efficient and expert administration of the township's affairs."
The board thanked and congratulated Waterman on his 30th anniversary, and praised his dedication and professionalism.
The board also announced that the next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 18, has been canceled, as has the planning commission meeting slated for Aug. 27. The next meeting of the Upper Providence Township Board of Supervisors will be held Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.