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The Borough of Lansdowne is seeking qualified individuals and/or consulting firms to submit statements of qualifications to perform a substantial update of the Borough’s 2005 Comprehensive Plan. Proposals will be accepted from individuals, firms, or groups of firms able to demonstrate having the experience and qualifications to provide the range of professional community planning services required of such work.
The Borough of Lansdowne is a “first-generation” suburban community centered around a traditional downtown Central Business District. The Borough is served by frequent bus and rail service connections to central Philadelphia; a distance of 6 miles. The 10,000 Borough residents are racially diverse and predominantly low-middle and middle class. Small attached and detached homes comprise the majority of the borough housing stock and a significant of high-density low-rise apartment buildings of 20+ units. Approximately 4% of land in the Borough is commercial and virtually all is in the CBD along and near the Lansdowne-Baltimore Avenue corridors.
The Borough is situated 6 miles southwest of Philadelphia city hall. The Borough occupies about 1.2 sq. mi. and is fully built out and dense. Shaped like as square, the Borough shares three of its four borders with Upper Darby Township (Pop. 80,000) the characteristics of which are similar to Lansdowne.
The Borough is one of 6 municipalities that feed the William Penn School District (“WPSD”), a district with significant financial and performance challenges. Penn Wood High school is the sole WPSD high school and is located in Lansdowne Borough. The Ardmore Avenue School is a WPSD elementary school also located in Lansdowne. The WPSD is currently developing a strategic plan (2021-2025). One of the goals of the planning process is to: “Partner with families, communities, and public organizations to foster shared ownership of schools and collectively create opportunities for student success”.
But for the WPSD the municipalities of eastern Delaware County are not organized regionally. Shared services exist within the county 911 system and emergency response efforts however, formal intermunicipal and/or shared-service agreements are otherwise extraordinary.
The Borough provides a full range of municipal services including a full-time police force, sanitation, library, community center, park system, and support for a volunteer fire company. In addition to trash and single stream recycling service the Borough public works workforce maintains a sewer conveyance system beneath 25 miles of local streets, 600 streetlights, and 15 traffic signal-controlled intersections. There are 7 Borough-owned and operated facilities.
The Borough government is structured around eight Borough Committee’s and an array of conventional and some unconventional Boards and Commissions. An organizational chart is shown in Appendix 2. Four current Borough Council members and Mayor will not seek reelection as their terms expire 01/03/2022.
Lansdowne’s most recent Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2005 and updated in 2012 primarily to incorporate 2010 census information. The 1983 Comprehensive Plan was the last effort prior to 2005. Appendix 1 below is a summary of the 2012 update. A major outcome of the 2005 Plan was the transformation of the Zoning Ordinance in 2008 to a form-based zoning ordinance. Application of the revised ordinance has been limited due to low demand for (re)development in the Borough however, in 2020 an application for market-rate multifamily (20+ units) rental housing project entered the approval process and construction is expected to commence in 2021-22.
Current local planning studies include:
Lansdowne-East Lansdowne Comprehensive Plan of 2005
Downtown Redevelopment Plan
Arts Board Plan
Library Strategic Plan
Multi-Municipal Parks Plan
Comprehensive Financial Management Plan
The Delaware County 2035 (adopted by Delaware County in November 2013) is supported by component plans of the Delaware County Planning Department including:
Lansdowne Borough Energy Assessment: Borough Hall
Baltimore Avenue Corridor Revitalization Plan
Baltimore Avenue Corridor Revitalization Plan – Executive Summary
Assessing Openness to Biking to Transit at Three Regional Stations in Delaware County
First Generation Suburbs: Putting Principal into Practice
Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia: Campaign Development and Implementation
A response to this RFP shall include the respondent’s proposed methodology and approach, including a general timeline for performing a review and substantial update of the Comprehensive Plan.
The Borough is looking forward to a planning approach that:
Scope of Services
The Borough is expecting a complete review of its Comprehensive Plan. The respondent shall propose a general process for the project using past experience and best practices in similar communities. The comprehensive plan should address in detail a planning directive for 2022– 2026 and provide guidance for a planning horizon of 2022 – 2031. Interagency coordination will be required including but not limited to the WPSD, SEPTA, PENNDOT, Upper Darby Township, Delaware County OHCD, and DVRPC. Coordination with these entities will be the responsibility of the selected consultant.
Once a contract has been approved by the Lansdowne Borough Council, key Borough personnel will be available for input, consultation, inquiry, and review of all aspects of the planning effort; but it is not envisioned that Borough staff will be directly responsible for any work elements other than those specifically described herein.
The respondent’s proposal should address each of the following Project Tasks:
1. Overview and Existing Information Review
The respondent shall provide a summary overview to capture the scope of analysis and critique for: existing plans, projects, studies, and agreements, as well as any additional information that may influence or impact the planning process.
2. Data Collection and Analysis
The respondent shall analyze historic, current, and projected data pertaining (but not
limited) to: housing/land use, population/demographic, employment/economic, transportation, technology, and education. Data should be organized by five-year increments (or as otherwise available and/or appropriate) and be used by the respondent to identify major characteristics, patterns /trends past and future that are meaningful and/or will affect the Borough during the planning horizon.
3. Impacts of Regional Trends
The respondent shall review regional migration patterns/trends, residential real estate markets and other information affecting demand for Lansdowne Borough.
4. Goals and Objectives
The respondent shall develop a comprehensive and concise set of goals and objectives to
guide decisions during the planning period.
5. Citizen Participation
The respondent shall propose a detailed citizen participation process patterned after successful experiences the respondent had in prior plans prepared. The proposed approach should incorporate innovative approaches to drawing diverse groups and ideas into the planning process. The respondent will be an integral part of the citizen participation process and will be expected to attend and participate in all meetings.
The citizen participation process may involve multiple approaches including (but not
limited to): leadership interviews, community meetings, use of print and electronic media, surveys, and internet-based communication.
The goals of the citizen participation process are to:
Evaluate, expand and refine the planning elements of the 2005 Comprehensive Plan. This work will include a set of Plan Recommendations, an overarching Implementation Agenda, and Capital Resources Plan (as may be necessary) for each of the following nine (9) planning elements:
Specific Response Requirements
All proposals should be submitted in accordance with the instructions detailed below.
Responses should address the following requests for information or questions.
1. Letter of Transmittal
Each proposal should be accompanied by a letter of transmittal which summarizes the key points of the proposal and which is signed by an authorized officer.
2. Firm Experience and Qualifications
A. Provide an overview of the firm and its qualifications. Include the location of your firm’s primary office, as well as any other offices in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or other states.
B. Provide summaries of experience for individuals to be assigned to represent the Borough and describe the specific roles each would be expected to play and identify a project leader.
C. Provide detailed resumes for each planner listed.
D. Describe the firm’s relevant municipal experience for the past five (5) years.
E. Describe the firm’s equal employment opportunity policies and programs.
F. Submit evidence of errors and omissions insurance coverage.
G. Submit three (3) municipal references from towns of like size; include names and direct telephone numbers.
3. Conflicts of Interest
A. Describe any material financial relationships the firm or any employee has with any individual or organization that may create a conflict of interest in representing the Borough.
B. Describe any family relationship that any firm employee has with any public servant that may create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest in representing the Borough.
C. Describe any other matter your firm believes may create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest in representing the Borough and the how such conflicts described will be resolved.
4. Fee Proposals
The Borough of Lansdowne will enter into a contract for professional consulting services based on a fixed-price (or lump sum) to the contractor for the specified scope of services. Incremental payments to the consultant will be made at the completion of major tasks up to a “not to exceed” contract amount. Ten (10) percent of the contract price will be held as final payment upon delivery of the final products. The exact payment schedule will be negotiated and determined as part of a final agreement and shall be based on the budget provided with the proposal.
5. Evaluation Criteria and Selection Process
The Borough Council reserves the right to:
A. Select a proposal in its entirety or some portion(s) thereof;
B. Reject any and all proposals, in whole or in part;
C. Waive irregularities;
D. Request presentations and/or interviews from individuals or firms determined to be in a competitive range;
E. Make a final selection using criteria considered to be of maximum benefit to the Borough as a whole.
6. Selection Criteria
The Borough will establish an order of ranking of a minimum of two (2) firms based on the Borough’s evaluation of Proposals received. A ranking will be established directly from the Proposals. The following factors, listed in order of importance will be considered during the evaluation of Proposals received:
A. The firm’s ability to provide expertise in the development of a municipal Comprehensive Plan.
Weight: (40 points)
B. The relevant municipal experience of the firm and the extent to which the firm is qualified to successfully complete identified Project Tasks.
Weight: (25 points)
C. The firm’s understanding of how the dynamics of socioeconomics, technological change, the future of work, regional infrastructure investment, climate change and their correlations affect the future of Lansdowne and how a Comprehensive Plan should approach these forces.
Weight: (15 points)
D. The firm’s understanding of the Borough’s history, position, challenges, and its potential for revitalization and (re)development.
E. The firm’s understanding of various grant programs and ability to assist the Borough in applying for such programs.
Weight: (5 points)
7. Proposal Submission
A. Proposals, including any/all attachments, cover letter and tabs should not exceed fifteen (15) pages in length on 8 ½” x 11” paper, single spaced using a minimum font size of 11 pt. Please do not provide marketing materials.
B. Proposals shall be formatted as a PDF file and submitted in electronic format via email and one hard copy. Faxed proposals will not be accepted.
C. Proposal must be received by 12:00 noon EST on Friday, May 21st 2021.
Subject line shall be: Comprehensive Plan Update RFP
H. The entire RFP and any Addendum will be included on the website at
The Successful Bidder shall maintain general public liability insurance, which shall include coverage for acts of independent contractors or subcontractors, in an amount not less than $1,000,000 for each occurrence and $2,000,000 in the aggregate. The successful bidder shall also maintain property damage insurance in an amount not less than $500,000 for each occurrence and $1,000,000 in the aggregate. With submission of the signed Agreement, the successful bidder shall submit evidence of the required insurance coverage naming the Borough as additional insured or (co-insured as appropriate) and agrees to provide copies of the policies of insurance upon request by Borough. Such insurance shall be carried with financially responsible insurance companies, licensed in Pennsylvania and approved by the Borough and shall be kept in force during the entire term of the Agreement.
Selection will be based on proposals submitted, Staff’s recommendation, and final determination by Borough Council as is expected to be finalized on or about July 7th 2021.