Project clears hur­dle

$375,000 pledge from de­vel­oper wins pre­lim­i­nary OK for Sanatoga Green

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

LOWER POTTSGROVE » With a 4-1 vote by the town­ship com­mis­sion­ers, the $146-mil­lion pro­posal to build 500 homes and apart­ments, a ho­tel and large med­i­cal build­ing near the Lim­er­ick out­lets took an im­por­tant step forward Thurs­day night.

Sanatoga Green, as the project is called, pro­poses a 60,000-square­foot med­i­cal build­ing, a 108-room ho­tel, 17 multi-fam­ily apart­ment build­ings with a to­tal of 343 units and 147 town­homes, all on about 50 acres off Ev­er­green Road op­po­site the Costco.

First en­vi­sioned in 2014, when the town­ship com­mis­sion­ers agreed to change the zon­ing to “gate­way mixed use” at the sug­ges­tion of the developers, Cas­tle Calde­cott LLC, the project re­ceived pre­lim­i­nary site plan ap­proval from the town­ship com­mis­sion­ers last night. It was not eas­ily won. The ap­proval was ex­pected two weeks ago, but was de­layed due to dis­agree­ments over de­tails of the project, and over the town­ship’s de­sire for some kind of guar­an­tee that the com­mer­cial el­e­ments of the plan would be built as well as the roughly 500 homes that have

“It was not easy to get them to agree to that. They didn’t want to put up any money at all.” — Bruce Foltz, Lower Pottsgrove Com­mis­sion­ers Chair­man

drawn con­cern from the Pottsgrove School District.

But a 90-minute meet­ing Mon­day be­tween the developers, the town­ship staff and Com­mis­sion­ers’ Chair­man Bruce Foltz and Vice Chair­man Stephen Klotz pro­duced a com­pro­mise.

As Town­ship Solic­i­tor Charles D. Gar­ner Jr. ex­plained, one of the 38 con­di­tions at­tached to the ap­proval is an in­cen­tive for the de­vel­oper to move forward with the com­mer­cial as­pects of the project.

The developers have agreed to put up $375,000 in cash or a line of credit to en­sure that after the first, townhouse phase of the project moves forward, that the sec­ond res­i­den­tial phase, the apart­ments, will not be­gin un­til build­ing per­mits have been pulled for ei­ther of the two com­mer­cial el­e­ments of the plan.

Should the developers ap­proach the com­mis­sion­ers about be­gin­ning the sec­ond res­i­den­tial phase be­fore the com­mer­cial, “I imag­ine there would be some ne­go­ti­a­tion or the town­ship might ob­tain the $375,000 by de­fault,” Gar­ner said.

“It was not easy to get them to agree to that,” said Foltz. “They didn’t want to put up any money at all.”

Both Foltz and Klotz praised the ef­forts on all sides.

“I think this shows the town­ship is busi­ness friendly,” said Klotz, who praised the pro­fes­sion­al­ism if both the de­vel­oper’s staff and the town­ship’s.

But not ev­ery­one was so en­thu­si­as­tic.

Com­mis­sioner Ray Lopez cast the lone dis­sent­ing vote.

He said he voted no be­cause of how many peo­ple who live in the area where the development is pro­posed have con­tacted him and asked him to op­pose it.

“They’re op­posed to it be­cause of the traf­fic, the zon­ing changes, the im­pact on the schools, and they would like to see a dif­fer­ent plan, one that has more com­mer­cial el­e­ments and I agree with them,” Lopez said.

How­ever, the tale is not yet fully told.

Hav­ing won pre­lim­i­nary site plan ap­proval, Cas­tle Calde­cott must now go back to the plan­ning com­mis­sion and do more work to seek a rec­om­men­da­tion for fi­nal site plan ap­proval, which can only be granted by the town­ship com­mis­sion­ers.

“They’ve still got a long way to go,” said Klotz.

“They’re op­posed to it be­cause of the traf­fic, the zon­ing changes, the im­pact on the schools, and they would like to see a dif­fer­ent plan, one that has more com­mer­cial el­e­ments and I agree with them.” — Ray Lopez, Lower Pottsgrove Com­mis­sioner

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.