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Villanova Home Winery Receives Approval

In other matters, additional funds were allocated for rehabilitating a Bryn Mawr property.

The Lower Merion Board of Commissioners Grants and Community Development Committee on Wednesday night voted unanimously to give Christopher and Ann Papariello permission to operate a limited winery in the carriage house of 1835 Gulph Road, Villanova, as a historic resource home occupation.

The Papariello’s 1782 home and carriage house are both listed on the Lower Merion Township Historic Resource Inventory as Class I Historic Resources.

The homeowners plan to partition 727 square feet of the 1,645 square-foot carriage house into a room to be used for a home winery, consisting of pallets for storage, a mixing and storage tank, and work desks, according to the committee’s findings of fact, discussion and order on the application.

The couple went for a conditional use hearing. 

The committee granted the conditional use application on Wednesday, subject to several conditions, but voted without discussing the agenda item, which came after a five-hour public hearing and .

The conditions which are stated in the committee’s findings of fact, discussion and order, include:

  • The volume of wine permitted to be processed on the property shall be limited to 8,000 gallons per year
  • No retail sales or tastings can be conducted
  • Deliveries shall be limited to no more than four per day
  • Vehicles associated with the winery shall pull into the driveway rather than back in
  • No deliveries shall be made via tractor trailers
  • Employee hours shall be limited to 20 hours per week
  • Exterior signage advertising the home occupation are prohibited

The committee found that the carriage house’s historic integrity will be preserved because no modifications will be made to the exterior of the building, according to the committee’s findings of fact, discussion and order on the application.

The committee agreed to grant the applicants’ request that the covenant be placed only on the carriage house (rather than the entire property) since that is the building in which the home occupation will occur in its entirety, according to the committee’s findings of fact, discussion and order on the application. The committee cited the fact that no exterior changes were proposed and the main house had been restored with historic integrity.

In its approval of the conditional use application, the Planning Commission had asked that the Board of Commissioners consider that the covenant apply to all historical resources on the property.

Additional Funds for Rehabilitating Bryn Mawr Building

In other business, the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners Grants and Community Development Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the full board authorize the Building and Planning Department’s Community Development Division to spend an additional $35,000 to rehabilitate a three-story twin property in Bryn Mawr.

The additional $35,000 includes a $7,100 contingency.

The funds will be used to replace the roof, kitchen, bathroom and existing windows; demolish a rear shed which is failing structurally; and to make other miscellaneous repairs.

The total cost of the work being done on the property is $75,000, excluding lead remediation work. Funding for the project comes from the Community Development Block Grant Residential Rehab Program.

All construction cost exceeding $25,000 will be recorded as a permanent lien, and when the property is transferred, the funds will come back to the township and be dedicated to the low income residential rehab program.

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