LIMERICK — It’s back to the drawing board again after the latest version of a businessman’s development plan did not meet the vision set forth by the township’s board of supervisors and administration.
Mark Quigley’s plan for the “Sankey Tract” at the northwestern corner of Ridge and Swamp pike’s intersection has been re-done several times but the latest version which eliminated some commercial space and previously agreed-upon features did not receive the endorsement it needs.
“We spent a lot of time, a lot of effort on this Main Street district (ordinance),” said Limerick Township Manager Dan Kerr at the supervisors meeting last Tuesday. “Personally, I’m just speaking for me, I think that townhouse plan has no flair to it at all for what we’re trying to create there.”
Quigley’s plan called for 244 units of townhouses, down from 341 units — which also included apartments — which Quigley presented last.
The latest version of the plan, however, dropped some potential uses for commercial space and a community center the board desired.
“I think this board is looking for more than a bunch of townhouses with just a few pads for commercial,” Kerr said.
Quigley also requested relaxing the street buffer requirements for his project.
“That doesn’t support our Main Street district,” said Supervisor Thomas Neafcy Jr. “I’m not willing to sacrifice our Main Street ordinance that we just worked so hard on to try and create a town center or village and blow it out in one fell swoop.”
Quigley actually voiced opposition to the township’s Main Street ordinance in 2012, saying he didn’t believe it was conducive to bringing in business to large tracts of land along Ridge Pike, like the space he hopes to develop.
“If one of the goals of the Main Street ordinance is to encourage and facilitate quality development along Ridge Pike, I do not see this occurring,” Quigley said at the time.
It was his contention that the township’s ratio of required commercial space compared to residential space was too great for a successful development.
During last Tuesday’s meeting, the supervisors displayed pictures of a development in Skippack they held up as a model of what they would like in their Main Street-type programs.
“Walkability” was stressed heavily.
“We’re trying to make the whole Ridge Pike corridor pedestrian-friendly,” said Kerr.
Since last summer, Quigley has presented at least three different versions of his development plan for the property along Ridge and Swamp pikes, to varying degrees of success.
“It’s such a key place,” Supervisor Elaine DeWan said of the property Quigley hopes to build on. “It really needs to be the right statement.”
Connecting North Lewis Road to Swamp Pike through the property has been proposed by Quigley since the beginning, which played a role in how actively the supervisors have tried to work with Quigley, Kerr said.
Quigley’s development plans are not dead but will again be re-worked. The board said it might work with him on relaxing height limits for his townhouses to provide built-in garages.
Check out a Twitter recap of the meeting this occurred in here.