The developer behind the Palmer Pointe apartments said on Tuesday it was prepared to postpone plans to build a factory until next year if the Palmer Township Board of Supervisors can make it worthwhile.
Greystone Capital LLC said it would consider building a medium-density apartment complex instead of a factory at 1493 Van Buren Road, provided the township agrees to amend its zoning ordinance to permit residential use in the Industrial Zone.
The area is now zoned for planned office and industrial park use, which prohibits manufacturing but allows low-density residential development. A draft ordinance slated for review in November would designate the area as North End Business (NEB), to be consistent with surrounding areas, and allow light manufacturing, but prohibit residential use, depending on the accepted uses of the existing order.
“Apartments that (the developer) would build on this property are obviously not permitted on this property now and would not be permitted under the order you are considering for a variety of reasons,” said Greystone attorney Marc Kaplin. , of Blue Bell, said. “And this process (of collecting documents for the application) could take a very long time.”
Council said flat development would be more “acceptable” than manufacturing and agreed it would work with the developer to design an amendment that would allow higher density residential development within the existing or pending ordinance. Where the change is made would be left to the board to decide, attorney Charles Bruno said.
“I don’t want to speak on behalf of the council, but if they find the concept of flats more acceptable and it’s something you’re willing to consider, the proper process in the township is that the applicant has the right to submit a petition. for a zoning amendment to have a property rezoned,” Bruno said. “This is a process that has been in place in the township for several years now.”
The Palmer Township Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to continue the preliminary hearing at the developer’s manufacturing site on Jan. 24, 2023, while the two find a way to customize the township’s order.
Greystone Capital LLC now has two projects in the township pipeline. Neither has a plan yet, according to the township’s new planning director, Kent Baird. Per Bruno’s suggestion at the meeting, Greystone manager Lou Pektor said he would submit a comprehensive land development plan for the apartment complex to the board of supervisors.
Residents of Highlands of Glenmoor, a community aged 55 and over who would live near the development, argued for several months that the proposed plant would negatively impact their quality of life. On Tuesday, they said they were in favor of a proposal for apartments.
“We are not the township, we are just people who want to have something next to us that is comparable to our way of life and our well-being,” said Timothy Fisher, spokesperson and lawyer for the group. during a meeting. .
Fisher had planned to bring in at least seven other witnesses to testify against the plant at the hearing, he said.
Tuesday’s meeting pushed the nearly year-long hearing on the plant’s fate to its precipice.
pektor said lehighvalleylive.com On Wednesday, he was ready to appeal the council’s decision if plans for the plant were denied.
“We believe that if we were denied at the local level, we would move to the next level of appeal,” Pektor said.
Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to lehighvalleylive.com.