Wednesday, June 6, 2018

30-Acre Development Inches Forward in Limerick

Photos by Evan Brandt
This map shows much of the proposed Limerick Town Center project, proposed for 30.5 acres at the intersection of Swamp Pike and Ridge Pike.  It calls for 308 units in a senior living facility, as well as 160 townhouses, each of which will have at least three bedrooms, and 32,000 square feet of retail space long Ridge Pike.

Last night's Limerick Supervisors meeting had everything you expect from a local government meeting.

We began by honoring emergency medical personnel; then honored a graduating Spring-Ford High School senior who earned his Eagle rank as a Scout and will be joining the Marines; followed by a major discussion about a giant development project in the middle of town, and wrapped it up with news about the purchase of a historic toll house at a Schuylkill River crossing that will give the township access to 18 acres of parkland.
Limerick Supervisors Chairwoman Elaine DeWan, left,
congratulates Jackson Dukes on earning the rank of Eagle.

You won't read about any of that stuff in the Philadelphia Inquirer or PATCH (at least until we report it).

So the scout's name is Jackson Dukes and he is part of Crew 623 that meets at the Crossland Church. In addition to leading the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance, Dukes was also recognized by an official township resolution.

Also on the brighter side of last night's meeting was the news that in the wake of the township's $225,000 purchase last month of the historic 169-year-old toll house at 1310 Main St. in Linfield, township crews have begun clearing out the property and making it safe for its vehicles.
Limerick Township crews have since cleared
some of the closer vegetation from the house.

In addition to its historic value, the house, provide access to 18 acres of parkland the township already owns along the Schuylkill. Soon the public will have access to that land, said Township Manager Dan Kerr.

There are no specific plans for the structure, but Kerr said he would first like to discuss the matter with the Limerick Historical Society to see if they have any interest.

All of this is well and good, but perhaps the matter discussed that has the greatest potential to have impact on the larger township occupied center stage for much of the evening.

Ridge Swamp Associates L.L.P has proposed a major project at one of the busiest intersections of the township -- Ridge Pike and Swamp Pike.

Located on just over 30 acres, the plan calls for a senior housing building housing 308 units, comprised of a mixture of independent living, assisted living and "memory care" units.

Additionally, although 186 townhouse units of three-or-more bedrooms had initially been planned, engineering requirements reduced that number to 160, the minimum number the developers say are needed to make the project financially feasible.

This map shows the full scope of the project.
The project also calls for at least three commercial, retail buildings along Ridge Pike totaling 52,296 square feet, according to local attorney Robert Brant, who is representing the developers.

The project has already received conditional use and zoning approval, but has yet to receive a recommendation for preliminary site plan approval from the planning commission.

The business of last night's meeting was a number of changes being sought by the developers. They primarily had to do with landscape buffers, with width of roads and other details.

Their greatest concern was that some of the landscape buffers required by the township ordinances would force the reduction of the number of townhouses which would make the project unsustainable financially.

They before the supervisors seeking "guidance," Brant said.

What they finally got from the supervisors was unofficial support for four or five of the six changes they were seeking, but not without some grousing and at the end of the discussion, Brant quipped "I know when it's time to leave."

Here are the Tweets from the meeting:

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