The West Norriton planning commission voted at their Monday evening public meeting to recommend to the board of commissioners a change in zoning for the old 56-acre Markley Farms tract as well as a zoning text amendment, which will allow the property to be used for single-family houses.
According to George Ozorowski, the estate attorney for the property’s owner, the property owners wish for the township to rezone the property from its current status, meaning that it ideally will be changed from its current split zoning of RA agricultural use and RE recreational use, to an R2 residential use.
The R2 use echoes the zoning in the neighborhoods that surround the property, Ozorowski said after the meeting.
He said after the meeting that the property owners are also suggesting to West Norriton that it amend their zoning text for part of their R2 district that refers to clusters, which will make it more restrictive because it would lessen the number of homes that can be built. Ozorowski said this would make it more beneficial for residents.
The suggested change to the R2 district relating to clusters includes an open space requirement that there would be trails connecting Chestnut Avenue and Oakland Drive that are open to the public, according to Ozorowski. The proposed ordinance amendment would also allow for a minimum 40% open space, an increase over the current 25% open space.
Planning consultant Ken Amey, who represented the property owners, said that they consulted with the Montgomery County Planning Commission, who support the rezoning of the property. The planning commission said that the rezoning is in line with the county plan, as well as West Norriton’s comprehensive plan, according to Amey.
One person in the audience inquired about how future houses would impact the sewer system.
“This development, whatever development, would be required to go through the planning process of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to see what stress it would put in the [sewer] system,” said chairman Bruce Shoupe.
From here, the board of commissioners can review the planning commission’s recommendations.
These developments for the property follow failed plans for the Freedom Valley YMCA’s proposal to build a facility on the tract last year.
“We’re hoping that the township rezones the property, and if they so choose to amend their zoning ordinance, that’s their choice, said Ozorowski after the meeting. “We’re just simply looking to sell the property and close out the estates and move on with our lives.”