LIMERICK – A year after developers presented a plan to develop 42 acres on Lightcap and Evergreen Roads, they were back before township supervisors with another plan – their fourth attempt.
The property is located on the south side of Lightcap Road across from the Costco which is adjacent to the Philadelphia Premium Outlets.
The property has had a lot of planning but very little construction for over 10 years. Called Sanatoga Springs Phase II, a 2011 plan called for 244,000 square feet of commercial space and 300 residential units.
The plan was revised in 2014 calling for 260,000 square feet of retail space, but that project was never built either.
Last year, developers proposed to build 38,000 square feet of retail space and 273 one- and two-bedroom units in 21 separate garden apartment buildings.
Tuesday evening, the promoters made one more pitch for the garden levels, 13 buildings in all, although that would be 59 units less than the alternative plan, which calls for two “mid-rise” apartment buildings with a total of 332 units. The developers are also the owners and they don’t build the project and leave, but continue to own the properties and collect the rents.
They said they preferred to manage the garden apartment model.
There are several small streams on the property and last year developers told supervisors they would have to relocate several of them in order to develop the property, as well as obtain a zoning waiver.
The mid-rise flat plan does not require a zoning gap but will also have to relocate waterways, although there is “slightly” less disturbance for the two-building option.
“I would rather have two buildings than 13,” said Supervisors President Ken Sperring Jr.
Supervisor Kara Shuler was the only council member to express a preference for the garden apartment plan, saying the township always tells developers it wants fewer children, less parking and less disruption. “We can’t say one thing to one developer and another thing to another developer,” she said.
Township Director Dan Kerr confirmed Wednesday that preliminary site plans for both mid-rise apartment building options have been filed with the township.