The Sanatoga interchange at U.S. Route 422.

LIMERICK PA – Adoption of an official road map for neighboring Limerick (PA) Township, being considered next week by the Limerick Board of Supervisors, may have an impact on future real estate development in Lower Pottsgrove.

The Limerick board, in an advertisement published Tuesday (Jan. 11, 2011) in The (Pottstown PA) Mercury newspaper, said it would conduct a public hearing and then consider a resolution to accept an official township road map during its Jan. 18 meeting at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, 646 W. Ridge Pike, Limerick PA. The meeting is open to the public.

The map, created by Limerick’s engineering firm, Pennoni Associates Inc., designates and reserves “areas for future streets, and other municipal facilities,” according to the published legal notice, and indicates “future street locations (and) intersection improvements within the Township.” It’s intended to give developers and land owners guidance by showing where and how Limerick looks to place roads and public utilities in coming years.

Likely to be included in the map are features affecting the development of properties on the Limerick side of the Sanatoga interchange at U.S. Route 422. Parts of the interchange are divided by the border line that separates Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove.

The two townships have collaborated since last year on creating a mutually acceptable, coordinated plan for real estate development at and around the interchange. Back in June (2010), both hired Norristown PA-based landscape architects Simone Collins to create detailed maps that show how road and other improvements on each side of the townships’ line would match up to enhance traffic flow and land use.

Consequently, the guidance offered by Limerick’s official map – if adopted as expected – for its western edge are known to and probably will be embraced by Lower Pottsgrove leaders. For future developers in Limerick, it locks much of that guidance into local law, as allowed under the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. Even so, the proposed road map ordinance gives supervisors the flexibility to change the design when a need arises.

Copies of the map and accompanying ordinance are available for public review, according to the legal notice, at Limerick’s municipal building, as well as at the offices of The Mercury, Hanover and King Streets, Pottstown PA; and at the Montgomery County Law Library, located in the lower level of the county courthouse in Norristown.

Related:

SANATOGA PA – With little discussion, an agreement to cooperate with neighboring Limerick (PA) Township in “planning and development” of a master plan for the Sanatoga interchange at U.S. Route 422 was unanimously approved Thursday (May 21, 2009) by the Lower Pottsgrove Township Board of Commissioners.

A similar measure has already been approved by the Limerick Board of Supervisors, Rodney Hawthorne, Lower Pottsgrove township manager, told commissioners during their second monthly meeting in the township municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd.

Lower Pottsgrove’s resolution, No. 814, does not commit it to any decisions or financial expenditures, township Solicitor R. Kutz Holloway noted. “It’s just the first step in the process,” he said, an acknowledgment that the townships “are going to work together.”

The proposed Sanatoga Springs development, shown in this artist's rendering, is one of many plans suggested for the interchange.

The proposed Sanatoga Springs development, shown in this artist's rendering, is one of many plans suggested for the interchange.

The interchange, around which a huge amount of commercial and residential growth is expected in coming years, is divided by the townships’ common boundary line. The municipalities anticipate it will cost tens of millions of dollars to re-work the highway’s exit ramps, widen existing roads, create a feeder or frontage road system, and install traffic control systems there.

Potentially as important as their common need for funds, however, is the indication from officials in both townships of a common interest in land use, zoning issues, development standards, and possibly even marketing of the interchange as a visitor destination. Those and other topics likely will be subjects of interest in the master plan collaboration.

In the recent past Lower Pottsgrove has been seen as somewhat further along than Limerick in planning components for the interchange. However, Limerick earlier this year completed its township comprehensive plan and Lower Pottsgrove continues to refine zoning language for its interchange district, so it’s hoped coordination can be a simple task.

Related (to Sanatoga interchange development):

The Sanatoga interchange at U.S. Route 422, as seen from overhead in a Google Maps satellite image.

The Sanatoga interchange at U.S. Route 422.

SANATOGA PA – Lower Pottsgrove wants help in looking at the bigger picture that is the Sanatoga interchange of U.S. Route 422, township Manager Rodney Hawthorne said Wednesday (May 13, 2009). That’s why the township Board of Commissioners is looking for an outside consultant to potentially assist with legal and planning issues surrounding interchange development.

Board members gathered Tuesday afternoon (May 12, 2009) in the township municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd., to hear presentations from two Philadelphia area firms that could provide those kinds of services. No decisions were made on hiring either, and few costs were discussed, Hawthorne reported. “It was more to find out what they might do for us,” he said.

Township resident Patrick “P.J.” McGill of Rivendell Lane, in an e-mail received Wednesday by The Post, said he, reporter Michael Hays of WhatsThe422.com, and candidates running for election to the board were the few audience members present. “What would one expect at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday?,” wrote McGill, who earlier had been critical of when the meeting had been scheduled.

Lower Pottsgrove and neighboring Limerick (PA) Township, both of which have interests in and control portions of land surrounding the interchange, are attempting to cooperate on handling traffic, development, sewage and waste water, and zoning on both sides of their mutual border.

Already announced plans for retail and residential projects on Limerick’s side of the interchange, and projects known to be coming to Lower Pottsgrove’s side, likely will require an investment of tens of millions of dollars in highway and infrastructure improvements at the 422 exit. Neither township alone can afford those costs, and both in the past have expressed their concern about the area’s future if they fail to regulate its growth.

Hawthorne estimated Lower Pottsgrove could have an agreement on working with the Limerick Township Board of Supervisors ready by its commissioners’ May 21 (2009; Thursday) meeting. A similar resolution would be considered by Limerick supervisors at a future meeting, he added.

Coincidentally, during a Limerick Township primary election candidates’ forum Wednesday – from which WhatsThe422.com reported live via Twitter – Limerick’s efforts to obtain federal economic stimulus funding for interchange highway work was among the topics of discussion.

Satellite map from Google Maps

Editor’s note: Information in a portion of this story resulted from tweets received at The Limerick Post’s Twitter account. Feel free to follow us on Twitter @jzlomek.