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Sketch plan calls for 194 units in Hilltown


A local business owner is interested in building a 194-unit residential community for people ages 55 and older in Hilltown.

Wally Rosenthal, owner of 309 Office Furniture & Design, has a sketch plan that calls for constructing the development on 65 acres that lie on Swartley Road, according to Hilltown Township Manager Lorraine Leslie.

The acreage, which encompasses several tax parcels, is near Swartley Road’s intersection with Route 309, behind Rosenthal’s furniture business.

For the development to become a reality, Rosenthal would have to ultimately obtain land development approval from Hilltown’s Board of Supervisors – a process that’s hardly entered the beginning stages.

Attorney Carrie Nase-Poust, representing Rosenthal, presented a preliminary sketch plan on the development at supervisors’ public Aug. 26 meeting, Leslie said.

Nase-Poust also presented a proposed conditional use ordinance that would help clear the way for the development. The conditional use ordinance would be needed because some of the property isn’t zoned for the type of development that Rosenthal envisions.

“Some of the tax parcels involved are zoned rural residential and some are zoned PC-1 (planned commercial),” said Leslie. “This type of development is allowed in PC-1, but not in RR.”

Leslie said that Township Engineer C. Robert Wynn is reviewing the proposed conditional use ordinance and will advise supervisors.

Potential next steps could include the applicant’s submitting a formal development plan for the township’s planning commission to review. Should that occur, the development proposal could later proceed to hearings before supervisors.

The public would be able to attend the hearings to comment and ask questions. Whether or not all that will happen – and when – remained an open question.