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#NewtownPA Planners Have Concerns With Proposed Five-Story Luxury Apartment Building in OR District

#NewtownPA Planners Have Concerns With Proposed Five-Story Luxury Apartment Building in OR District | Newtown News of Interest |

A proposed five-story, 75,338 square-foot luxury apartment building has generated some concerns among Newtown Township officials.


The developer KRE Group has filed a sketch plan and related documents with the township outlining the proposal for a vacant 17-acre parcel at 42 University Drive [just down the road from a proposed Wawa].


The sketch plan and other documents were filed Oct. 31 of last year and an initial review by the Newtown Township Planning Commission on Dec. 20 listed several issues [read “20 December 2022 Newtown Planning Commission Meeting Summary”]. The next step is likely up to the developer, township Manager Micah Lewis wrote in an email on Friday.


According to a written synopsis of the planning commission’s review contained in the file, the property had been previously approved for a 200,000 square-foot office building but that the jointure does not permit the proposed residential use in any of its zoning districts. The jointure is a multi-municipal body composed of officials from Newtown, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown townships that governs zoning in the three municipalities.


Ed Murphy, the local attorney representing KRE Group in the matter, indicated that the plan would require a zoning amendment, the synopsis added. The developer prefers that option rather than seeking seven zoning variances, including a use variance, that would be needed for the project to be constructed in the office research zoning district where the property is located.


“The commission members had many concerns about the size and intensity of the project and had many questions about traffic, economic impact and preservation of wetlands and woodlands,” the planning commission’s written synopsis read. “We discussed the impact of such a large building on the (Council Rock) school district."


The document added: “We were generally hesitant to support such a complete change in existing zoning. However, we are willing to continue to work with the applicant and learn more about their plans and their successes in other municipalities.”


johnmacknewtown's insight:


Developers have NO RESPECT for our zoning ordinances and will do everything within their power - including bringing lawsuit after lawsuit - to change the zoning to suit their SPECIFIC needs regardless of the impact on the township. 


Related Content:


  • “Listen: Kushner Real Estate Lawyer Wants to Amend JMZO to Allow "Apartment Complex" Use in the OR District”;


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Newtown News of Interest
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