When: Council meeting, Jan. 14.
What happened: A major land development plan was unveiled at the first regular council meeting of the year.
Background: The concept plan for the Millersville Town Center depicts the creation of a mixed-use residential and commercial community on what now is a 14-acre open field at the junction of Millersville Pike (Route 999) and Millersville Road (Route 741). Scott Barnhart, the land development manager, said water capacity is the primary reason the tract hadn’t been developed sooner.
Why it’s important: Steve Willems of developer NAI Keystone gave an overview of the plan. The residential side includes 583 multi-family units, a combination of townhouses and four apartment buildings with elevators. The additional housing would increase the borough’s population by 15%. The proposed commercial buildings are a free-standing bank, a pharmacy, a fast-food restaurant and a retail strip center.
Resident input: Several residents attended the meeting, inquiring about buffering, stormwater, traffic studies and impact on property values. Barnhart said the development would increase property values.
Council input: President Carrie Smith said she is “excited” for the project but is aware that it will have “a lot of impacts.” She encouraged developers to schedule meetings with residents, noting those in Quaker Hills would be most impacted by the project. Council member Dan Ostrowski said it’s a good move for the borough to bring in revenue following a recent tax increase. Vice President Lauren Hauck said she likes the plan and the density, and expects the developer to work closely with council and the planning commission.
Quotable: “This is a huge project which significantly impacts the character of the borough,” Hauck said.
Timeline: The project would be built in phases, Barnhart said. He and other representatives agreed it would be 18 months to two years down the road to obtain all the necessary approvals from the state Department of Transportation, planning, zoning and the conservation district. Once approved, the first phase would be completed in a matter of months.