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White Township: Hotel, Eateries Plan Tabled

MARGARET WEAVER | April 15, 2015 10:59 AM

The White Township planning commission tabled a final site plan Tuesday that would bring an Applebee’s, Bob Evans and Holiday Inn Express to Oakland Avenue, citing various issues with the plan.

The restaurants and hotel would be developed by Verrichia Co. LLC, of Doylestown, at the former site of Elkin Hi-Tech, 2879 Oakland Ave., across from ALDI. A 200-seat, 6,670-square-foot Applebee’s and a 140-seat, 4,700-square-foot Bob Evans would be at the front of the property, with a four-story, 83-room Holiday Inn Express behind, according to the plans. The entrance road would align with the ALDI intersection.
One issue with the plan is the height of the hotel, said Robert Begg, chairman of the planning commission. At 45 feet, the four-story hotel exceeds the township’s 35-foot maximum height, though the developer can apply for a variance, Begg said.
The height, however, may be less of a concern in the future, Begg said. Also Tuesday, the planning commission recommended to township supervisors a phase of amendments to the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance that would allow, in addition to other changes, the potential for buildings up to 50 feet with certain setback regulations.
The process to change the SALDO, though, will take at least 60 days and involve a public hearing, said Chris Anderson, assistant township manager.

Another issue is how the development would relate to the township’s official map.
The property is in an area that could be the site of a future connector road, and there is developable property behind it, Anderson said. The township wants a 50-foot right of way on the property for potential road development in the future, Anderson said. The developer has offered 50 feet to a certain point, with 25 feet after.
This means the township would need to work with adjacent property owners to acquire the remaining right of way, but the township would prefer to acquire it with this development, said Milt Lady, township manager.

The township is also waiting on results of other related items such as a PennDOT traffic impact study and sewer plan, Anderson said. Commission members voted unanimously to table the plan but showed overall support for the project.
“We certainly want this to come in,” Begg said.

Attorney Kevin McKeegan, representing Verrichia, said the legal position of the developer is that the proposed connector road on the township map is ambiguous, and the requirements of the map only dictate that developers can’t put buildings where a potential road could go.

There are no buildings on that area of the property, he said.
“We’re willing to cooperate,” he said. “We’re happy to carry on the dialogue.”
In other business, the planning commission:

• Approved a plan for Copper Beech Townhomes to add a building for an office and recreation center on the current grounds.

Officials with Copper Beech Townhomes withdrew plans in February that would have added four more buildings with 96 beds to the housing facility behind Regency Mall.
That plan had been twice tabled.

The new plan adds a two-story, 5,600-square-foot facility and five parking spaces. The first floor office will be closed after 5 p.m., and fingerprints will be used to access the fitness area upstairs.

• Approved a final site plan for Don Huey at 23 Campbell Lane to add a greenhouse and shed where plants will be sold as a seasonal venture.

• Approved a final site plan for Integrated Power Services LLC to add a garage and building at 4470 Lucerne Road.

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