Thursday, September 29, 2016

Big Projects Stir Traffic Concerns Among Planners

Photos by Evan Brandt
The Zern Tract, pictured here, calls for 240 town-homes on 28.5 acres split by Minister Creek
Two large development projects near major highways, one in Douglass (Mont.) and the other in Lower Pottsgrove, drew concern from planners Wednesday night.

The projects in question are the long-discussed "Zern's Tract" off Jackson Street in Douglass; and Sanatoga Green off Evergreen Road in Lower Pottsgrove.

Both projects were reviewed by the Pottstown Metropolitan Area Regional Planning Committee Wednesday and the same concern was raised about both -- traffic.

The Zern's Tract, so named because it includes Zern's Market along Philadelphia Avenue in Gilbertsville, is being developed by the Danny Jake Corp. and calls for 240 closely packed townhomes on 28.5 acres off Jackson Road.

The project includes 7.4 acres of open space along both sides of Minister Creek, but the primary concern is access. At some point in the future, the project would have access not only to Jackson Ropad, but also to a new $8 million to $10 million road called Market Street that is planned for the other side.

But a letter the planners intend to send to the township will suggest the development not be allowed until Market Street is built, even though it is not on property Danny Jake controls.

Sanatoga Green site plan.
Planners also raised concern about the lack of street trees, saying it will detract from the value of the
homes and make the project look "stark."

In Lower Pottsgrove, the massive Sanatoga Green project -- 159 town homes; 342 apartments in 17 buildings, as well as a hotel and medical office on 52 acres off Evergreen Road -- also has potential to create traffic headaches with only access off only road.

That road also carries most traffic off Route 422 to the Philadelphia Premium Outlets in neighboring Limerick.

The Sanatoga interchange off Route 422 will need to be upgraded before the project can break ground, but a joint PennDOT grant to Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove has made that project all the more likely.

There again, planners voted to send a letter outlining concerns about traffic.

 Here are the Tweets from the meeting...

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