Another "Upscale" Apartment Building Complex Proposed In #NewtownPA Township | Newtown News of Interest |

The owner of The Corners at Newtown Place business center wants to redevelop the 3.9-acre Newtown Township property into a three-story, 120-unit apartment building with related amenities.


The center is at Buck Road (Route 532) and Newtown-Richboro Road (Route 332) and includes Jake’s Eatery, Steak and Hoagie Factory, Domino’s Pizza, Steven Robbins Eyewear, Inner Circle Physical Therapy and other establishments.


“The JMZO (joint municipal zoning ordinance) does not currently provide for the type of multi-family dwelling proposed by the project,” stated Matthew McHugh of Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzbur, the attorney for owner BT Newtown Corners LP. “As such, applicant is proposing a text amendment to the JMZO to allow for and regulate such use.” The JMZO governs zoning law for Newtown, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown townships.


The proposal for The Corners at Newtown Place comes at the same time Newtown Township officials plan to fight another plan for a four-story, 245-unit apartment building for a vacant parcel on University Drive, just off Lower Silver Lake Road. That plan, like The Corners one, requires a change in the JMZO as one of the first steps toward becoming reality.


The McHugh submission on The Corners at Newtown Place includes a proposed text amendment to the JMZO setting forth rules and regulations for a “B-11 parking core apartment building use, subject to certain conditions, in the TC (Town Commercial) District.”


The two apartment building proposals come amidst a settlement agreement recently approved by the Newtown Township board of supervisors that will allow for a Wawa with gas pumps at the corner of the Newtown Bypass and Lower Silver Lake Road. The supervisors had been fighting zoning amendments needed for the Wawa until voting 3-2 in favor of the settlement.


Supervisor John Mack, who voted against the settlement, called the three proposals – two pending and one now approved – a “Newtown Zoning Armageddon(tm)” in a newsletter recently sent out to township residents.


“It’s a call to arms for residents who moved to Newtown to escape overdevelopment and crime,” Mack wrote. “These battles, I fear, will eventually lead to developers rewriting zoning ordinances (laws) meant to protect the promise of Newtown as ‘a great place to live, work and worship’ as well as enjoy open, undeveloped space.”


In the newsletter, Mack also mentions the possibility of the Newtown-Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority building a new sewage treatment plant on the same land where the four-story, 245-unit apartment building is proposed. The treatment plant, if it happens, would presumably prevent the apartment building from coming.


“I’ve been told the authority can acquire the land via Eminent Domain,” Mack wrote.