De­vel­op­ment nears ap­proval

Pro­posed $146M Sanatoga Green project makes head­way; plan­ning mod­ules ready for in­spec­tion

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

After months of rel­a­tive quiet while plans were made and re­viewed, the $146 mil­lion Sanatoga Green de­vel­op­ment project is mak­ing head­way again in the ap­proval process.

A July 11 le­gal no­tice an­nounced that the project’s sewer plan­ning mod­ules are ready for pub­lic in­spec­tion and ap­proval by the state.

Plans be­fore the Lower Pottsgrove Plan­ning Com­mis­sion call for phas­ing the de­vel­op­ment in three stages; the Mont­gomery County Con­ser­va­tion District is re­view­ing plans and one of the prin­ci­pals in the project said they are hop­ing to have shov­els in the ground by Septem­ber.

Lo­cated on a to­tal of 57 acres, the project cur­rently calls for the con­struc­tion of 490 hous­ing units com­prised of 147 town homes start­ing at $275,000; 343 apart­ments in 17 build­ings; a 50,000 square foot med­i­cal of­fice build­ing and a 108-room ho­tel.

The site is lo­cated off Ever­green Road, near the en­trance to the Costco and Philadel­phia Pre­mium Out­lets, both of which are in Lim­er­ick Town­ship.

The project was 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.

It was about a year ago that the project won pre­lim­i­nary site plan ap­proval from the town­ship com­mis­sion­ers.

That ap­proval was won only after the de­vel­op­ers 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.

Town­ship Man­ager Ed Wag­ner said as of the lat­est plan­ning com­mis­sion meet­ing, that se­quence of con­struc­tion re­mains in place.

Ac­cord­ing to the le­gal no­tice, Sanatoga Green will gen­er­ate 78,000 gal­lons of waste­water per day. It will be pumped to the Pottstown Waste­water Treat­ment Plant with the help of $500,000 worth of im­prove­ments to a town­ship pump sta­tion, said Scott Haines, one of the part­ners in the

de­vel­op­ment.

The state, con­cerned about the amount of stormwa­ter and ground­wa­ter in­fil­trat­ing Lower Pottsgrove’s sewer sys­tem, ap­proved the ad­di­tional flow after the town­ship in­creased its ef­forts to stem that in­fil­tra­tion from $175,000 per year to $435,000, said Wag­ner.

In ad­di­tion to sewer con­sid­er­a­tions, get­ting wa­ter to the site had also been an is­sue.

Last year, the Pottstown

Bor­ough Author­ity in­formed the de­vel­op­ers if could not pro­vide enough wa­ter at a high enough pres­sure to meet the project’s fire pro­tec­tion needs for its sprin­kler sys­tem.

The de­vel­op­ers turned to the Penn­syl­va­nia Amer­i­can Wa­ter Com­pany, which has a tank in Lim­er­ick that can sup­ply the project. How­ever, that change has been held up by de­lays at the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion,

which must ap­prove the new sup­plier.

Haines said he hopes that ap­proval will be on next month’s PUC agenda for ap­proval.

Be­fore build­ing per­mits can be pulled, how­ever, the project must first re­ceive a rec­om­men­da­tion for fi­nal site plan ap­proval from the plan­ning com­mis­sion, which must then be ac­cepted and ap­proved by the Town­ship Board of Com­mis­sion­ers.

The project is also await­ing road ac­cess per­mits from PenDOT, said Haines

Among the con­cerns raised about the project is the in­creased traf­fic load that will bur­den Ever­green Road as well as the al­ready strained Sanatoga in­ter­change on Route 422.

A recent up­date pro­vided to the Lim­er­ick Board of Su­per­vi­sors last month in­di­cated that a new on-ramp to west­bound Route 422, which will elim­i­nate a dan­ger­ous traf­fic-cross­ing left turn for those leav­ing the out­lets — and Sanatoga Green — is well un­der­way.

The to­tal cost of the west­bound ramp project is es­ti­mated at about $3 mil­lion and Lim­er­ick and Lower Pottsgrove town­ships have made con­tri­bu­tions to cover the 30 per­cent local match re­quired by the state grant.

The on-ramp project is pro­jected to be com­pleted in 2020.

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