Parcel D - a developer has ideas for different zoning
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
Parcel D is the 27-acre field/wooded area in the Arborcrest office development. It is zoned “Research/Engineering” which means it can be legally used for a number of purposes per the township code, including:
Manufacturing (specific types)
Corporate rental suites (with conditional use approval
This does not include a primary use of shipping, warehousing, manufacturing, etc. It does not include residential.
Parcel D is wedged in between Parcel C on Jolly Road (the building that has been gutted and renovated twice in the past decade and still sits empty at this time) and the residential (R1) homes in the Deaver Drive and Maple Hill developments. It also borders the large undeveloped (R1) property of the former Blue Bell Senior Camp (between Hoover Road and Parcel C).
So when Ironwood Development offered to show their ideas about using the property for residential, it was a provoking idea. Not only would it require a zoning change, but it would eliminate undeveloped land.
The first proposal they showed back in September was a pair of 4 story apartment buildings. While the plan had little appeal, it did include some green space, walking trails, and closing the back-entrance road that connects to Penllyn, next to Maple Hill. So while it was a strike-out, it did hit a few notes.
In February, the developer came back with ideas for a townhouse development. Using R3 zoning as a guide, they showed a plan for 133 townhouses, packed border to border. So zoning, No green space, no trails, and still replying on the back door road. 0-for-3. They also described the units as "starter homes" of 2500-2600 square feet with a price tag of $600-800K. (You read that correctly) They later tried to walk back the pricing, but it's a ballpark.
The neighbors reacted accordingly. Pushing back, preferring the property as-is. The Supervisors asked several questions and let it sink from its own weight.
We shall see if/when the developer wants to try something else.
See the article on AroundAmbler.com for a recording of the presentation. https://aroundambler.com/watch-the-informal-presentation-on-potential-townhouse-development-in-whitpain-township/?fbclid=IwAR0GJiIMa4eT9LtZzl5_rda-NZm2DEmbGm6lmqfxODrkrBP-TkHr39KWGR4