The Lawrence Township Planning Board, during its meeting this evening (Monday, Sept. 10) will hold a public hearing to discuss the land use and housing elements of the township’s Master Plan specific to a parcel of land at the intersection of Quakerbridge Road and Lawrence Station Road.
That 37-acrea parcel – containing several long-vacant buildings – is currently zoned for age-restricted residential use. The township is considering changing that zoning to allow commercial use, in response to Costco Wholesale Corp. recently expressing its interest in building a store there.
A copy of the agenda for this evening’s planning board meeting can be found in the media box to the right.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the lower level conference room of the municipal building at 2207 Lawrence Rd.
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Also available in the media box above is a PDF copy of “Lawrence Township’s Brunswick Pike: Redevelopment and Form-Based Code Study,” a document that was discussed at the previous planning board meeting held on Aug. 20.
The study – created by a planning board subcommittee along with township planning consultant Philip Caton and his firm Clarke Caton Hintz, funded by a grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission – offers a vision of what a section of Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1) might look like if it was to be redeveloped with new buildings following form-based codes as opposed to existing zoning regulations.
The state Department of Transportation plans to redesign Brunswick Pike from Pear Street to Lake Drive by adjusting the lanes of travel, installing pedestrian crosswalks and tree-lined medians, and constructing a roundabout to replace the traffic lights at the intersection with Whitehead Road. Construction is currently slated to begin sometime in 2014.
The study offers a vision of how part of the neighborhood could be transformed into a “mixed-use commercial boulevard” if two- and three-story buildings occupied by businesses, apartments and townhouses were to be built close to the redesigned roadway, with parking for customers and residents located to the rears of the structures.
Planning board members pointed out several times during the meeting that the study is not a plan of action, and is instead just a collection of data and ideas to get people thinking about what other redevelopment might be possible for the area.
“I think we need to be very careful. I wouldn’t want one of the [current] property owners to view this report and think, ‘Oh my goodness, my building is subject to demolition,’” Township Manager Richard Krawczun said. “I don’t want anyone to think this is a design that we’re moving forward with.”
“This isn’t for action. It’s just for information,” Caton said.