Plans by local developer Nic Zawarski & Sons to build a three-story apartment building on the site of a shopping center on Broadway were advanced by Fountain Hill Borough Council Monday.
Council voted 6-1 to grant the proposal preliminary final approval on the condition that it is approved by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and other parties involved in the planning process.
The plans had already been given the green light by the borough’s own planning commission.
According to information submitted by the developer, the building at 950-960 Broadway will contain 12 apartments. It will be surrounded by a 24-space parking lot and landscaping that will reduce the amount of impervious surface on the property currently.
In addition to the six-unit shopping center, a vacant building at the corner of Broadway and Hellener Street that once housed a bank would be demolished in order for construction to begin.
Councilman Will Rufe–who was the only member of borough council to vote against conditional approval of the plans–asked builder Terry Zawarski whether his company had considered a mixed use proposal for the property, which is currently home to a handful of businesses that include a Colombian restaurant and a laundromat.
Zawarski said a project at that site which would have combined residential and retail uses was discussed, but “it became an issue with complying with (the borough’s) parking ordinance.”
“The parking requirements were just too overwhelming,” he told Rufe. “It just didn’t seem prudent.”
Zawarski told council the building will contain both one- and two-bedroom units ranging in size from approximately 1,000 to 1,400 square feet, which will be of average size for this market.
The plans Zawarski submitted to the borough did not require any variances because they fully comply with the zoning in that part of the borough, codes enforcement officer Keith Zehner said.
In other business, acting borough manager Jason Quarry announced that with the opening of school just weeks away, the borough is seeking to fill a part-time crossing guard position that has been vacant for nearly five years.
The crossing guard for Fountain Hill Elementary School has a weekday schedule of 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. throughout the school year.
The pay rate for the position has been increased to $15 an hour. Applications are available for download from the borough’s website and once completed may be returned to Borough Hall, 941 Long St., Fountain Hill, PA 18015 or emailed to cl***@fh****.org or cl****@fh****.org, along with a resume.
Quarry also provided an update on road work in the borough.
A lengthy project involving improvements to Broadway is progressing, with PennDOT officials talking about possibly paving the road in about a month’s time, he told council.
A road reconstruction project on Sioux Street is also scheduled to begin Aug. 14 and continue until early October, Quarry said. A letter about the project was recently mailed to affected residents.