Builder Seeks Zone Change For Townhouses

Posted: October 23, 1986

A developer is seeking the East Whiteland Board of Supervisors' approval for a zoning change to build 36-unit townhouses off Sugartown Road. The proposed development would encompass 3.6 acres in East Whiteland and 0.8 acres in Malvern.

Developer John Mullen asked for the township planning commission's recommendation Monday night, but the commission deferred action until it received comments from Malvern officials. He takes his request to the supervisors at 8 tonight.

The triangular property juts up into East Whiteland from Malvern. Mullen is asking the Board of Supervisors to change the zoning of the northern section of the tract, in East Whiteland, to match the zoning of surrounding tracts to the south, in Malvern. The Malvern zoning calls for 12,000-square- foot lots, and the East Whiteland zoning requires lots of 22,000 square feet. Mullen's project calls for 12,000-square-foot lots.

The only entrance to the property would be from Sugartown Road in Malvern. One of the reasons Mullen has given for his zoning request, is that railroad tracks just north of the 4.4 acres separate the property from lower-density housing. Two townhouse developments, Landmark and Charleston Green, are south of the Mullen property on Sugartown Road.

Planning commission chairman Ronald Knabb said, "It looks like a piece of spot zoning (if you look at the East Whiteland map), but if you take it in the context of Malvern, it's not." Spot zoning is when a municipality changes the zoning of an area for no other reason than to accommodate a developer.

Knabb requested that Mullen obtain comments about the plan from Malvern officials before the East Whiteland planning commission took a stand. Mullen said he would do so.

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