County Names Four Local Planning Award Winners

NORRISTOWN PA – Mixed-income rental housing units in East Greenville (at top), restoration of the Perkiomen Creek in Upper Hanover, walkable communities advocate Thomas J. Hylton of Pottstown, and a senior living development in Worcester all were announced Friday (Nov. 18, 2022) as winners of the 2022 Montgomery Awards. The honors are presented annually by the Montgomery County Planning Commission.

The awards program began in 1967, and the commission since then has presented more than 230 Montgomery Awards. They are intended to “recognize the best in planning and design in Montgomery County, and acknowledge the high quality of work and commitment of communities, organizations, and professionals in contributing to these exceptional projects,” it said.

Also receiving 2022 awards were projects in Upper Gwynedd and Lower Merion.

Western Montgomery County winners

The Willows at East Greenville in East Greenville

“The Willows at East Greenville received a 2022 Montgomery Award for housing equity, adaptive reuse and historic preservation, and community collaboration,” according to the commission. “This exceptional project created 71 high-quality units of mixed-income rental housing in East Greenville Borough and transformed a deteriorated building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, into an appealing and affordable place to live. Under National Park Service guidelines, this project boasts exposed beams and walls, over 500 new windows specially designed to fit into existing openings, and refurbished fire doors. Recognizing a need for attainable housing, the borough and developers worked together to change the zoning to allow the residential use for this project, which provides much-needed housing for dozens of Montgomery County families and contributes to the vibrancy of East Greenville Borough.”

Perkiomen Creek Dam Removals, Stream Restorations in Upper Hanover

“The Perkiomen Creek Dam Removals and Stream Restorations project, an outstanding effort that has successfully resulted in improved water quality, enhanced habitat biodiversity, and restored stream channels, received a 2022 Environmental Stewardship Award,” the commission noted, “for the removal of obsolete dams, resulting stream restorations, and an extensive collaborative process with many community partners. At a total project cost of $275,000 and with support from community partners, this project, which involved the removal of two dams and subsequent stream restorations, will improve water quality for the region, aquatic habitat for these two branches of the Perkiomen Creek, and for Green Lane Park, an important recreation area.”

Planning Advocate Award to Thomas J. Hylton

“Thomas J. Hylton, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and activist, received a 2022 Planning Advocate Award for his life-long advocacy to promoting good planning and design,” the commission said, “through historic preservation, land conservation, and livable and walkable communities. Through his editorial writing at “The Pottstown Mercury” as a journalist for 22 years and as a continuing contributor to this date, as well as grass roots work with several nonprofit organizations and local boards, Tom has been the catalyst for change for Pottstown Borough and Montgomery County for over 40 years.

The Grove at Meadowood in Worcester

“The Grove at Meadowood, an exceptional contemporary senior living development, received a 2022 Montgomery Award for vision and master planning, innovative design, and environmental stewardship,” the commission reported. “As part of Meadowood Senior Living, The Grove represents a key element of a decades-long master planning effort. This appealing community features state-of-the-art housing units, a central gathering space with an attractively landscaped storm water pond, new trail connections, and preservation of a historic cemetery. This development, which seamlessly blends into the Meadowood community, provides many outdoor amenities that promote the health and well-being of its residents while providing a beautiful living environment.”

Willows at East Greenville photo provided by the Montgomery County Planning Commission