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Planners OK Specht Office Proposal

SANATOGA PA – A three-building condominium office complex, proposed by Specht Investors LLC for the corner of East High Street and South Sunnybrook Road, was recommended by Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township planners Monday night (March 16, 2009) to the township Board of Commissioners for conditional use approval when the board meets later this week.

Commissioners frequently heed recommendations of the township Planning Commission, and so seem likely Thursday (March 19,2009) to approve use of the property by the developer for construction of two Colonial-style office buildings and minor enhancements to a building already on the site. Their conditional use hearing on the project, which the developer’s attorney acknowledged had been “fast-tracked” by the township, is scheduled to be held Thursday at 6:45 p.m. in the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd. The public may attend.

The project also was scheduled tonight (Tuesday, March 17, 2009) as the subject of a township Zoning Hearing Board hearing for required variances. Instead, Specht attorney Howard Kalis said, his client’s hearing request had been withdrawn so the developer could take more time to work on planning board suggestions. The zoning hearing will be re-scheduled, probably during April. Construction, which is not anticipated for several months, cannot begin without zoning approval.

Planning Board Chairman Geoffrey Dailey, at the start of Monday’s meeting, declared he had a conflict of interest on the Specht project and immediately recused himself. Vice-Chairman Frank Cebular then presided. Remaining board members, when called to vote, unanimously recommended the project; Dailey abstained.

The hour-long presentation to planners involved a description of the project, the potential for altering steep slopes on the property, addressing the need for sufficient parking, and exterior appearance of the offices. The developer’s architect and engineer discussed several changes made to original plans for the complex that the planning board reviewed a year ago, and with which board members said they were generally satisfied.

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