Township To Advertise Hearing for Zoning Text Changes

Drawings that show a proposed layout (at top) for a development on the west side of Evergreen Road at Castle Road were displayed during an October 2022 meeting of Lower Pottsgrove commissioners

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Lower Pottsgrove commissioners agreed Monday (March 6, 2023) to advertise for a public hearing, likely to be held during April, in which they will reconsider a developer’s request to modify requirements in the township’s description of its Gateway Mixed Use zoning district.

LFT Realty Group of Conshohocken is working to develop property on the west side of Evergreen Road that initially is expected to include a Wawa store and fueling station, as well as later apartment buildings, several restaurants, and a hotel. Its attorney, during the Board of Commissioners’ meeting Monday, asked its members to amend part of the description affecting apartments.

Wording for the district currently allows apartment buildings, but states their first-floor levels must consist of commercial, professional, or business office uses. Attorney Julie Von Spreckelsen said her client would find it difficult to fill the first floors with those types of tenants because – due to their prospective location on a hillside – they would lack public visibility to passing traffic.

The apartment complex would consist of several four-story buildings with a combined total of about 200 units, according to the developer’s current estimate.

Moreover, Von Spreckelsen asserted, “there’s just no demand” for office and professional uses in the current economic environment. LFT is asking the board to remove the restrictive language. Commissioners earlier opposed that request, but indicated Monday they were willing to hear the developer’s plea again.

“I initially was not supportive of this but I believe I am now,” Commissioner Robert Mohollen acknowledged, based on the apartments’ positioning, “because they’re so low.” The chances “of retail getting back there I just think are slim to none,” he explained, following his latest review of the proposal.

The attorney reported the developer was “no longer pursuing” two other proposed district text amendments also opposed earlier by the Board of Commissioners. One dealt with architectural requirements; the other for a required recreational facility to accompany the apartments.

LFT has since received Zoning Hearing Board approval for its plan, and conditional use approval from commissioners that enables it to disturb some steep slopes on the property. It is scheduled to make a presentation March 20 (Monday) to the township Planning Commission.

Commissioners authorized township Solicitor Jamie Ottaviano to create a legal advertisement to announce a hearing date, time, and location. The meeting will be free to attend, open to the public, and would accept township residents’ comments, if any.

Photo by The Post

Coverage of the Lower Pottsgrove commissioners’ March 6 meeting:

Township Police Visited Schools 8 Times in February
Eight calls prompted Lower Pottsgrove police to visit Pottsgrove school buildings during February. In part they involved a fight, alleged drug possession, a suspicious incident, and a motor vehicle crash.

Township To Advertise Hearing for Zoning Text Changes
Lower Pottsgrove commissioners said Monday they were willing to revisit a request to change a zoning district description affecting apartments proposed for the west side of Evergreen Road.