Bucks County Herald

Age-restricted apartments contemplated for Sellersville

CHRIS RUVO

A new three-story, age-restricted apartment community with up to 69 units could be coming to Sellersville by 2020, if all goes according to the current plans of the would-be developers, borough officials said Monday, Sept. 10.

Sellersville Borough Manager David Rivet said a group called Grace Inspired Ministries aims to build the complex on the site of a former U.S. Gauge parking lot on Diamond Street and East Clymer Avenue, and a grassy area between East Clymer Avenue and East Fairview Avenue.

Rivet described Grace Inspired Ministries as a cooperative entity of the Community at Rockhill and the Lutheran Community at Telford – both local retirement communities.

On Monday, Borough Council approved two ordinances that help clear the way for the proposed development. One ordinance, for instance, changes the zoning on parcels Grace aims to develop from “industrial” to “neighborhood commercial.”

The latter designation and language in the ordinance opens up the parcels to be developed with residences, including age-restricted dwellings, and commercial businesses, said Rivet. Council approved the zoning change only after extensive review by borough officials and Sellersville’s planning commission.

“Even if this development falls through, or frankly, even if it had not been proposed, it makes sense to re-zone these parcels to neighborhood commercial (NC),” said Rivet. “The NC zoning designation opens the parcels up to more possible development potential than does the industrial category.”

Rivet said Grace Inspired Ministries’ quest to develop the site is in the early stages. The zoning change, for instance, doesn’t constitute a development plan approval.

Rather, the applicant still needs to go through the local development approval process, ultimately earning a green light from council to move forward with construction.
“The next step for Grace Inspired Ministries is to present formal plans for consideration to the planning commission and council,” said Rivet.

At Monday’s council meeting, representatives for Grace were on hand and stated that “they hope to be in position to break ground early in 2020,” said Rivet.

The age-restricted community project is unrelated to the nearby Sellersville Business Campus development initiative, Rivet said. Composed of six lots totaling approximately 40 acres, the campus lies on property formerly owned by U.S. Gauge – a defunct industrial operation that was once one of the largest employers in Upper Bucks County.

Sellersville officials have teamed up with the Bucks County Industrial Development Authority to redevelop the campus lots into a thriving business park for light industry.
Solar Manufacturing of Hilltown has taken two lots at the campus for its planned new facilities. Rivet said the four other lots remain open.




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