Lansdale Borough will be soon bestowed a level of prestige enjoyed by Souderton, Telford, Ambler and Lansdowne.
If council approves March 16, Lansdale will be a “Classic Town of Greater Philadelphia.”
The borough was nominated for the honor by the Montgomery County Planning Commission.
It was one of two municipalities nominated in the state of Pennsylvania for the Philadelphia region.
Council President Matt West, at the Wednesday borough work session, told how he presented the nomination to the communications commission earlier in the week, and got a chance to speak to the administration and finance committee and code enforcement and land use committee Wednesday night.
“In the Philly region, there are approximately 350 unique municipalities. Of those 350 unique municipalities, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has, through quantitative analysis, identified 100 municipalities that could be considered for inclusion in this program called ‘Classic Towns,’” West said.
The DVRPC has also applied qualitative analysis to these 100 communities.
“Of those 100, how many have a Main Street? How many have walkable communities? How many have a Main Street program? How many have sidewalks, lights, et cetera,” West said. “60. Out of 350.”
Those 60 municipalities had to be nominated by their home planning commission for inclusion in the “Classic Towns” program.
“Case in point: Montgomery County Planning Commission. I think you can see the writing on the wall where this conversation is going,” he said. “I am happy to announce that Montgomery County Planning Commission has nominated Lansdale Borough for inclusion in the ‘Classic Towns’ program.”
West said there are currently 19 communities out of 60 included in the program now
“This year, there are four that have been nominated: two in Pennsylvania and two in New Jersey,” he said. “We are the only municipality in Montgomery County, only one of two nominated in the Philly region.”
But the nomination and inclusion comes at a price: $5,000.
“It is prestigious. It does come with a cost,” West said. “It is a marketing campaign.”
He said the marketing for two years is $2,500 a year.
“The cost is miniscule for what we get,” he said.
So, what does the borough get if it is accepted as a “Classic Town”?
First, a bright, colorful feature on the “Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia” website at http://classictowns.org.
Second, specific breakdown of the finer points of the town within that listing.
For example, a dedicated page each for living, working, playing, connecting in and moving to Lansdale Borough.
Based on the model for Ambler Borough on the website, the “Live” section for Lansdale would no doubt mention its walkable streets, parks, schools, housing prices and cultural and entertainment opportunities. Description of housing is detailed, right down to the type of architecture and residential rent ranges.
Here is where it would link to the Lansdale Borough website.
The “work” link is the spot to mention the public transportation, parking lots and accessibility to major thoroughfares. This section would include information on Main Street shopping and the borough’s streetscapes and PCTI projects. Commerical rents would be listed here, per the example for Ambler Borough.
This same page would have a link to the Lansdale Business Association, based on the Ambler model that links to its Main Street program.
The “play” link undoubtedly would mention the borough parks and recreation opportunities, and link to the borough parks and recreation website. There could also be a link to the Lansdale Historical Society events here.
First Fridays, Concerts in the Park, Bike Night, Lansdale Festival of the Arts and Unde the Lights Car Show could fit nicely under the “visit” section of the website listing.
The program would also benefit other businesses and organizations associated with Lansdale.
Per Ambler’s page on the site, the “connect” section would be where Lansdale Borough would link its website, the Lansdale Business Association website, the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce site, SEPTA information and even transportation management associations.
Real estate agencies would get a boost from the site, as the “move” link features agent listings and a map of the town.
The site also features an events calendar that lists upcoming events in all Classic Towns in the Greater Philadelphia area.
As a “Classic Town,” Lansdale would be included in the site’s “Class Towns Newsletter,” which is published quarterly and includes information on different amenities and events that are unique to each town.
“I strongly encourage council to explore the site, and encourage residents to explore the site as well,” West said.