Zoning change approved for former Trappe school

PERKIOMEN – The Perkiomen Valley School Board approved a “restrictive covenant” for its First Avenue Trappe building Monday night which allows a zoning change conducive to what the property’s buyer hopes to construct.

In a unanimous vote, the school board approved a proposed change of zoning at the former school building which the district has been interested in selling at least since 2006.

Developing company Old School, New House LLC plans to put 30 residential units in the building and utilize the rest of the lot which is almost 11 acres to build 20 single-family residences.

“The buyer is in discussions with the borough to change the zoning of that property,” explained Brian Subers, solicitor for the Perkiomen Valley School Board. “It’s kind of split-zoned: part of it is R-3 and part of it is village commercial. Village commercial is less-restrictive zoning. The borough, in order to facilitate the project, is willing to re-zone the entire property village commercial.”

Trappe’s borough manager, Robert Umstead, could not be reached Thursday to determine what stage the potential zoning changes are in.

A provision of the covenant, according to Subers, is that if the buyer does not continue with the project put forth, the zoning change approval is moot.

“They want to make sure the only use within that zoning district is what the buyer is proposing,” Subers said.

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