A conditional use hearing for the proposed Stocking Works II development that began Wednesday has been continued until Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The hearing in front of Newtown Borough Council is the first step in an approval process for the redevelopment of the former Stockburger Chevrolet site off South State Street.
Developer Allan Smith is seeking conditional use appoval to construct Stocking Works II, a mixed-use development on six acres. The project would feature residential units, retail space and a two-deck parking structure.
The plan includes 121 residential units and 28,900 square feet of commercial space. The residential units would range from 1,750 square feet to 850 square feet.
Mixed-use development is permitted in that location under borough ordinance but requires conditional use approval.
Wednesday’s hearing was conducted for just over an hour. Borough Solicitor Paul Cohen announced at the beginning of the hearing that council would conclude at 9 p.m. and the hearing would resume at a later time.
Two attorneys requested "party status" on behalf of their clients. Attorneys for Newtown Township and The Temperance House were granted party status, despite an objection from the applicant’s attorney, Tim Duffy.
Party status enables the representing attorney to cross-examine witnesses and object to evidence being placed on the record.
Just one witness – a representative from engineering firm Gilmore & Associates – testified Wednesday on behalf of the applicant to provide an overview of the plan and how it corresponds with the borough’s ordinances.
Duffy said additional experts, like a traffic engineer, will be providing testimony.
Borough ordinances require that the project include 400 parking spots. The plan has 401 spaces. A two-deck parking structure will provide 210 spaces and an underground parking area, which will be beneath the residential units, is slated to have 185 spaces. There are also six on-street parking spaces.
The plan also meets borough requirements for open space, according to representatives for the applicant. By borough law, 20 percent of the gross acreage – or in this case 1.35 acres -- must be open space. The plan reserves 2.7 acres as open space, including a courtyard with public access.
Conditional use approval from council doesn’t mean Smith can break ground on the project. It simply allows him to go forward with engineering to prepare a preliminary plan to be submitted to the borough.
Smith for conditional use approval – Plan A and Plan B.
Plan B is similar to the one presented informally to Borough Council in May. It includes the development of two additional acres -- the State Store property plus the adjacent municipal lot – and features additional civic amenities such as a creek walk, a public gathering space and an amphitheatre.
However the borough isn’t presently considering Plan B because Smith doesn’t own the one-acre municipal parking lot site. Smith, who owns the State Store property, was the former owner of the municipal lot property but donated it to the borough several years ago.
Plan A overview:
- Utilizes approximately six acres; former Stockburger site and Sedia property.
- 121 residential units; 72 of which are high end
- Two-deck parking structure with 210 spaces
- 185 spaces in below-ground parking structure
- 28,904 square feet of commercial
- No office square footage
- State Store and municipal lot remain as-is.
- No creek walk
- No public piazza