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Trifecta Possible For Office Development

Existing officers at 1800 E. High St.

Existing offices at 1800 E. High St.

SANATOGA PA – Next week may be setting up as a trifecta for a local office developer.

Specht Investors LLC could present plans for an office condominium next Monday (March 16, 2009) to the Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township Planning Board; then present them to a zoning hearing the following night (Tuesday, March 17, 2009), which presumes approval by the planners without changes; and then subject them to a conditional use hearing two nights later (Thursday, March 19, 2009) by township commissioners, presuming approval by the zoners without changes.

Specht proposes to construct a three-building office condominium development at 1800 E. High St., a four-acre property on the corner of East High and South Sunnybrook Road, where an existing office building already sits. The largest new building would consist of 19,846 square feet; a second, smaller building would contain 13,280 square feet. Plans for the project were originally drawn up in November 2007.

A township Zoning Board hearing on the project, originally scheduled to be held in mid-February but postponed by Specht because of site issues, has been re-scheduled for March 17 (2009; Tuesday) at 6 p.m. in the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd., a legal notice reported.

The buildings would be located in a Limited Commercial Office District, and within a floodplain. According to a Monday (March 9, 2009) advertisement in The (Pottstown PA) Mercury, the township’s newspaper of record for the publication of legal notices, the developers are requesting variances to:

  • Allow an office building use in the Floodplain Conservation District;
  • Permit a proposed building width of 150 feet in the Sanatoga Village District;
  • Allow parking in the front yard of the buildings;
  • Reduce the number of required parking spaces from 205 to 172;
  • Extend the time period approved variances would be effective to 18 months, instead of the usual 6 months, to accommodate the land development approval process;
  • Allow use of the property despite limitations imposed by steep slopes there; and
  • Deviate from the requirement to install sidewalks along Sunnybrook Road.

In advance of the zoning board’s considerations, the project also has been scheduled for a conditional use hearing before the township Board of Commissioners. Its members must decide if the project is suitable for the property. Commissioners intend to conduct their hearing on March 19 (2009; Thursday) at 7 p.m., also at the municipal building, according to a separate legal notice also published Monday.

The Planning Board is required to make a recommendation on the project to the Zoning Hearing Board. The planners next meeting is scheduled for March 16 (Monday; 2009). The planners’ March meeting agenda has not yet been released (its February agenda remains posted on the township website as of today (Wednesday, March 11, 2009), but the Specht proposal presumably will be scheduled and must be approved before it could be acted on during the zoning hearing and then by commissioners.

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