NEWTOWN SQUARE–Nearly a year after their preliminary final land development plan was approved by the Newtown Planning Commission, the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors approved the conditional use and waiver requirements as well as the amended final land development application for the 40-acre Della Porta property on Monday night.
Developer David Della Porta's application for the proposed Terrazza/Somerset development, off of Route 252/Newtown Street Road and Gradyville Road, was previously approved for rezoning by supervisors last September. The zone was changed from SU-7 (special use) to AO (apartment/office zone).
The plan now includes 250 multi-family units in four buildings approximately 55-feet high (original plan had 14, 55-feet tall buildings) and 137 two-story townhouses.
A few improvements of the plan:
- Less density
- Less impervious coverage
- Less visual impact on neighbors and drivers
- More buffer between the development and existing neighbors
- Greater open space
- Utilizing less sewage (with potential of giving some back to the township)
Supervisors unanimously approved the conditional use and the waiver requirements as provided in section 134 of the township code.
Some of the waivers include:
- Removing 81 trees and replacing 111 trees, 52 less trees than the requirement by the township ordinance (a total of 850 new trees and 2,400 shrubs will be planted on the entire property).
- Size of sewer pipe of 12 inches instead of 15 inches per the township engineer approval.
- Buffer planning within 30 days of construction extension per the township engineer and manager approval.
- Slightly increasing steep slope disturbance (by pushing the development down the hill) to save more woodland area and to minimize retaining walls–steep slope increase of 0.7 acres and very steep slope increase of 0.10 acres or about 0.8 acres. In addition the existing previous total of 0.44 acres, the totality of disturbance will increase to approximately 1.26 acres.
- Removing the previously approved 10-foot retaining wall and replacing it with planting on the slope and a rain garden.
Supervisors voted 4-1, with Supervisor George Wood voting against, for the approval of the amended final land development application for Terrazza/Somerset, which includes the approved conditional use and waiver requirements.
In addition, another provision was raised by Supervisors Vice Chairman Dr. Ross Lambert about a mimimum donation amount be made to the Newtown Square Fire Co. from residents of the Terrazza/Somerset property as the other Della Porta properties have previously done.
"Our fire company is survived on donations. If they don’t get those donations from our entire community, then they will eventually go bankrupt," said Lambert. "So moving forward, because of the tremendous number of units being added not only with your [Della Porta] development but with others, we would like to see some responsibility on part of each resident."