Ross postpones vote on redevelopment of former Perry Highway liquor store site
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 1:55 PM
Ross Township commissioners have postponed a vote on whether to approve a major redevelopment of the former state liquor site on Perry Highway until a zoning question can be clarified.
Commissioners on Monday were poised to consider site plans for the mixed-use project proposed by Kossman Development, called “The Ross,” consisting of 95 one-bedroom apartments and 60 two-bedroom units. The plans also include 23,008 square feet of retail space with a Rite Aid pharmacy, two drive-thru fast food restaurants, a 93,130-square-foot self storage facility and a fitness club.
At issue is whether the developer is required to create a 50-foot buffer of trees and shrubs near the drive-thru restaurant proposed at the northern-most portion of the site, which is adjacent to homes just over the municipal line in McCandless.
Except for the small portion of land near the proposed restaurant dubbed “the drive-thru notch” by Commissioner Steve Korbel, plans call for a 50-foot buffer along the entire northern and southern property lines.
Project designers only created a 10-foot buffer near the notch because that is how the developers interpreted the requirements of the township’s rules for commercially zoned property.
Residents from Ross and McCandless have raised concerns that the density of the project and the traffic, light, noise and storm-water runoff it might create could negatively impact the neighborhood.
Roger Gelik, whose Dombey Drive home would face the rear of the property where the apartment building is located, said he didn’t like the idea of “eyeballs staring down on me.”
“This (development) does not please me,” he said. “I don’t think it will improve the value of my property.”
Before commissioners reconsider the plan, Kossman will have to obtain a clarification from the zoning hearing board on the zoning issue.
If zoning officials decide that the 10-foot buffer is acceptable, commissioners will reconsider the plan as it stands. However, if additional buffer space is required, the plan will have to be revised and resubmitted for consideration.
The developer previously altered the footprint of the site to create the buffers, which resulted in reduction in the size of the apartment building from 40,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet. To keep the number of apartments the same, the building will be five stories tall instead of the four that was originally proposed.