By LorettaRodgers

 lrodgers@myspiritnews.com

Aston commissioners, last week, adopted an ordinance amending the zoning map to rezone a 10.4 acre parcel of property at 104-106 Pennell Road at the terminus of North Manor Drive between Pennell and Old Pennell Roads, from townhouse to apartment district.

Local builder Joseph Grace requested the change to construct luxury apartment condominiums on the parcel. The development will meet all height and parking requirements and there was no zoning variance requested. Reportedly the three-story buildings will have metal roofs with a brick facade that will be “architecturally appealing.”

There will be a computer and exercise room available for building residents.

Individual units will be for sale and the owner will have the right to rent units. The estimated sale price quoted for the condominiums ranged from $200,000 to $240,000 and apartment rent will be approximately $1,350.

Last week’s approval marked the third development favorable decision for the same parcel.

Grace first approached commissioners in 2013 for “The Residences at Star Hill,” a 55-and -older age restricted complex which would have included 235 apartments. He received approval for this project.

Then in 2015, he sought and was granted a change from institutional to townhouse district.

Rapid market changes was said to be the reason.

Planning Commission member Mike Panco asked if a traffic study had been done and was told one will be completed when the plans are finished.

Panco and several residents from the Pennell Manor development spoke out against apartments, claiming that type of construction attracts “transient” individuals.

“The townhouses are fine, but we do not believe there is a need for apartments,” Panco said. “…I want to see this community developed the way it should.”

He also raised concerns about additional traffic on Pennell Road.

The project architect said there have not been apartments constructed in the township for more than 40 years and that, “There’s a real market for this,” he said.

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