SANATOGA PA – The need for a height variance in the proposal to build a four-story building of garden suite apartments in the Buchert Ridge Community at Buchert and Kepler roads came off the table Monday night (Feb. 28, 2011), in a surprising move by developer Wil Hallman before a crowded meeting of the Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township Zoning Board of Appeals.
Buchert Ridge attorney Charles Garner told board members Hallman was withdrawing his request to allow the apartment building to exceed the township’s 35-foot height limit. Hallman, himself a Lower Pottsgrove resident, still intends to erect the building, but does not yet know whether its design will involve four or fewer stories, or fewer units.
It will, however, comply with township law, Garner added. “We want to make sure community concerns are properly addressed,” he said.
The building’s re-design must be reviewed and approved by Lower Pottsgrove’s Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners. It might sail through both, if it hews to overall plans for Buchert Ridge accepted by the township during 2006.
Removal of the height issue took away a primary reason several Kepler Road property owners came out to the hearing: to convince the board that plans for what was envisioned as a 48-foot-tall building were inappropriate for the surrounding neighborhood of mostly one- and two-story residences. That left zoners to consider only Hallman’s request for parking relief, and five special exceptions for additional accompanying maintenance structures.
Arguments about the proposal seem far from over, however. An attorney representing nearby property owner Matthew Cappelletti, 1215 Kepler Rd., was among those who questioned Hallman and other witnesses during the more than two-hour hearing, preparing what he hoped were grounds for a potential lawsuit to force re-examination of the entire project.
Buchert Ridge’s first phase – the installation of mostly one-story, one- and two-family buildings for owner-occupants age 55 and older, on seven acres at 2011 Buchert Rd., Pottstown PA – is considered finished. Area residents embraced that proposal introduced by Hallman several years ago, favoring it over what could have been higher-density, less attractive dwellings in the same space.
Some of the same residents are adamantly opposed to current plans for an additional six acres of Buchert Ridge Phase 2, which have changed with the distressed economy. On Monday night and earlier, they complained the towering garden suites – to be built along side a tributary of Sprogel’s Run – would dwarf their homes.
Related (to Buchert Ridge Community):
- Surprise: Height No Longer Zoning Issue At Buchert Ridge
- Over Objections, Commissioners Endorse Buchert Apartments
- Two Expansions Considered On Lower Pottsgrove Agenda
- Accusations Fly At Planners’ Meeting Over Buchert Ridge
- Applications Withdrawn; Township Cancels Zoning Hearings
- Lower Pottsgrove Hearings Set For Apartments Lighting
- Walk Through These Rooms Without Moving
- Commissioners Warm To Energy-Saving Apartments
- Commissioners Get An Early Start Tonight
- Meeting Moved Up For Buchert Ridge Presentation
- Buchert Ridge Unveiling Final Phase