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Senior living project replaces commercial development proposed for Furlong corner at Routes 313 and 263


They came looking for answers but left with plenty of questions.

A new sketch plan presented to Doylestown Township Board of Supervisors last Tuesday produced few comments.

The supervisors sent the plan back to the planning commission.

The developer, Michael Grasso, wants to build a 124-unit senior living facility in Furlong, at Route 263 (York Road), state Route 313 (Swamp Road) and Rogers Road. A commercial plan had been presented by Grasso’s son, Joe Grasso in 2011.

The change would need approval from the township, said attorney William Benner last Tuesday night.

Benner, representing Grasso, said the new plans would be less intense and would decrease the impervious surface from 6 acres to 3.

The earlier commercial plan was denied by the township. An appeal from the developer resulted in a settlement with the township in 2016.

In 2017, connections were made for public water and sewer. The new plan was presented to the township planning commission in November but the planners could not agree on the plan.

Lyons said that she read through the planning commission minutes and she told Benner that a motion was made that the applicant appear before the supervisors and that motion failed.

“So there’s really nothing in the planning commission meeting that suggests that we are in a position now to make some kind of a recommendation to you,”. Lyons said. “So I just want to characterize for every one who is listening, that’s not what the planning commission did.”

Benner retorted saying that he was under the impression that the planning commission was looking for some guidance from the board of supervisors.

“The applicant is here tonight to get some guidance from the supervisors as to whether this is a project worth pursuing,” Benner said. “We did not come here with the delusion of asking the board for action tonight,” Benner added.

“I don’t know that we can do that without the planning commission weighing in on it. You’re not going to get from us tonight whether you should go or not go with this plan tonight. And it’s not fair for us to do that because we don’t know enough about this plan,” Lyons said. “We have the expertise and the diligence of a planning commission for a reason. We respect their assessment in their reviews...”

“The planning commission said that for them to make a decision whether to advise the board they needed more information. The sketch plan was too sketchy ...” Supervisor Vice Chairman Rick Colello said.

“The planning commission was not comfortable in recommending anything to the board because of the vagueness of your presentation to the planning commission,” Colello added.

Michael Grasso said Tuesday the senior living facility includes a gym, indoor pool and breakfast service for residents.

Benner added the senior living facility would entirely replace any commercial development on the site if approved.

The plans will be revisited at the Feb. 25 planning commission meeting starting at 7 p.m. in the meeting room trailer at 425 Wells Road.