Heartland Homes Development
The Ross Township Planning Commission voted 4-3 Thursday night not to recommend tentative approval for a planned residential development of the former Highland Country Club property.
Prior to the vote, landscape architect Steven Victor outlined several changes to the development proposal:
- Entrance off of Golf Drive would be eliminated.
- Two of the entrances off of Highland Avenue would be moved closer to Wellington Drive.
- A traffic impact study would be conducted beginning Jan. 8.
The next step will be a public hearing on the revised proposal before the Ross Township board of commissioners on Jan. 7.
Northway Elementary Rezoning
The planning commission did recommend rezoning the site of the former Northway Elementary school from residential to commercial.
A key change in that plan was the elimination of a proposed entrance to the mall from the intersection of Brown's Lane and Marie Drive, where the current entrance to the school exists.
Gary O'Nesti, Special Projects Director for Levey and Company, admitted that he heard "loud and clear" from neighbors at a Dec. 5 meeting that an entrance at that location was not in the best interest of residents living along Brown's Lane.
Other key points from O'Nesti's presentation:
- Discussions with potential tenants include office, retail, and restaurants.
- There is the potential of a hotel as part of the development, depending on the demand by the hotel industry.
- Planning is still very preliminary and any construction is 18 months away.
- Levey & Company would invest money in the current property to lure temporary tenants and demonstrate that the mall would be coming back to life.
A number of residents who live near Northway elementary offered comments both pro and con:
- Con: fears of Wal-Mart moving in.
- Con: worried about noise, bright lights, and excessive signage.
- Pro: rare opportunity for development by a company with a proven track record
- Pro: Chance of make Northway Mall a destination point in Ross Township
The next step will be a public hearing before the Ross Board of Commissioners on Feb. 4.
Cemetery Lane Townhouses
The planning commission also voted to recommend approval of the construction of more than 40 townhouses along Cemetery Lane.
The owner, When Raymond Caldwell, Jr., told the planning commission Ryan homes will be the builder, and the townhouses will cost in the neighborhood of $200,000. The planning commission recommendation is based on a satisfactory geotechnical analysis.
The Ross commissioners will consider the plan their next meeting on Jan. 7.
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