Friday, December 02, 2011

Upper Nazareth Zoning Board rejects plan by developer to shrink properties at RedCliffe Estates

The Upper Nazareth Township Zoning Hearing Board Wednesday night rejected a developer's plan to build homes smaller than those approved in the RedCliffe Estates development.

Developer DeLuca Homes sought permission to build 68 new homes on 20-foot-wide lots versus 24-foot-wide ones in the development started six years ago on Westminster Way, Neville Way and Penfield Way.

DeLuca faces financial difficulties. Tom Doyle, director of land development for DeLuca, told the board no buyer has shown interest in the property in more than two years, although builder Ryan Homes expressed interest in finishing it if the lot sizes were smaller.

The board unanimously rejected the variance.

About 10 RedCliffe Estates residents raised concerns that smaller lot sizes would have resulted in lowered property values, less parking and changing the continuity of an existing development.

"My concern to the zoning board is how are these smaller homes going to affect the value of our homes?" resident Becky Palen asked. "I'm just afraid the value of my home, which I plan to sell in five years, is not going to be there."

Westminster Way resident Kevin Hoffman argued the residents had bought homes in a "planned community" and had relied on continuity.

"Everything has to be the same. How are you going to maintain that?" he asked.

Doyle said the planned community would not change and deck sizes in the development already vary. He said the same rules would continue to apply to Ryan Homes.

Westminster Way resident Teresa Montero-Newman wasn't convinced.

"We bought into this planned community and now they're changing the plan on us, they're just telling us what's in their best interest, not in our best interest," she told the board. "The minute you start building these new houses, we're done. There's no place to park."

The variance rejection was a victory for the RedCliffe Estates residents who have been battling DeLuca Homes and Rouse/Chamberlin Homes for months over flooding issues.

Doyle said following the meeting he was disappointed in the board's decision and is unsure of the next step for DeLuca Homes and RedCliffe Investors.

My advice to RedCliffe Estates: offer them a Park, you'll get your variance plus perpetual advertising.

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker

No comments: