Buildings & Permits • Development
With uncertainties regarding the economy, residential development is nearly stopped with little significant projects being proposed .The vicinity of the turnpike has already experienced the development of the Hampton Inn, the Holiday Inn Express and the conversion of the Econologe into a Comfort Inn. The Wawa has settled in to routine operation. Construction of the Springhill Suites is completed next to the Holiday Inn Express and the Rodeway Inn has been demolished to make room for a Dunkin' Donuts which is now open. Plans have been approved for another hotel behind the BP Amoco on the southwest corner of Rt. 663 and Quaker Pointe Dr. Pulse Technologies on AM Drive may soon be expanding. The largest building in Milford Township, a warehouse of close to 1 million square feet on AM Drive, is being used by a division of Georgia Pacific.
Residential development has come to nearly a stop after completion of Valley View, Spinnerstown Crossing, Miller's Run, Parkside (Allentown and Kumry Roads), Streamview (Allentown Rd) and Blackledge (Portzer). Plans have previously been approved for Brookfield (Pumping Station Road) for 106 dwellings. Milford Pointe (Milford Square Pike and Rosenberger Rd) started construction and came to a halt with the severe downturn of the housing market. Other plans are at various stages in the review process with activity being very slow (To track development activity, visit our home page on the Tuesday before last Wednesdays to review the planning agenda).
The Unified Master Plan for Milford Village, a mixed-use development around the Upper Bucks Nursing Home, received Conditional Use approval and each phase will require both land development and conditional use approvals.
This activity has been anticipated and plans have been formulated for the roads, sewer and water required. Of particular concern has been traffic impact. Over the past decade, Milford Township has developed a plan to protect the through traffic capacity of Rt.663. The basic concept has been to provide "reverse frontage" roads parallel to the arterial highway that can provide access to properties and prevent turning movements from degrading Rt. 663. At the same time, these feeder roads provide flexibility and multiple options for motorists to access local businesses and the turnpike without having to use Rt. 663.
The construction of the Progress Drive access to the turnpike and the widening of Rt. 663 was the first stage of the overall plan. Other elements include the extension of Progress Drive from Weiss Road to a signalized intersection with Rosenberger Road at Rt. 663. Plans have been developed and permitting is complete for a parallel road on the southside of Rt. 663 behind the Hampton Inn. This "New" Road will connect Quaker Pointe Drive to the Turnpike and construction has begun. Plans to connect the end of Milford Square Pike to Quaker Pointe Drive have been accomplished.
While the concepts are good, their implementation is difficult. These roads are being built by developers to accommodate their impact. But not all development interests have been cooperative. Some try to have the taxpayers or other developers pay for improvements. And the timing of private intensions can make coordination of the construction of a road over numerous properties difficult. Also problematic is the severe shortage of state capital improvement funding in the Quakertown Area and the uncertain progress in moving capital projects. We are working with our legislators and PennDOT Project Managers to further progress on the Portzer Road Connector and Rt. 663 bridge replacements at Allentown Road but fear these important improvements will be lost to "right-sizing".
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