Manor had hoped to construct the 48,000-square-foot facility at the site on Spur Road and Huntingdon Pike. The facility was to include a 30-bed unit specializing in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease.
The company needed a special exception to put the nursing home on the tract, which is zoned for residential use.
The request was fought by the Lower Moreland Board of Commissioners and many neighboring residents, who feared that the facility would contribute to traffic problems.
In other business, the board held the second of three scheduled hearings on a variance request by the Beasley Broadcasting Group, which wants to construct three radio towers on a 42-acre tract at Welsh Road near Rye Valley Road. The site is zoned for industrial use.
Locally, the North Carolina-based company owns WXTU-FM (92.5), a country music station, and WTEL-AM (860) in Jenkintown.
Beasley wants to build three, 199-foot high broadcast towers in the township to serve as a second set of towers for WTEL-AM. The station's current towers are in Norristown, but the Federal Communications Commission only permits their use from dawn to dusk. The Lower Moreland towers would be used
from nightfall to sunrise, allowing the station to broadcast continually.
During the more than three-hour hearing Monday, two representatives from the Pennypack Watershed Association testified that they supported Beasley's plan.
David Witwer, executive director of the Watershed said that the three towers and roadway planned for the land would use less than 2 percent of the site.
Beasley also plans to donate approximately 80 percent of the land to the Watershed, according to Witwer.
The land would give the association one half of the land needed to complete the Green Ribbon Trail of the Pennypack stream and valley preserves that run
from Willow Grove to the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia, he said.
Witwer said the proposal would have minimal impact on the site's wetlands.
In addition, David Robertson, also of the Watershed, said the plan provides open space and preserves the last known swamp with uncommon plants in the southeast part of the state.
While both Witwer and Robertson praised the plan, both admitted that they had no knowledge of the effects of radioactivity that could be emitted from the towers.
Merl E. Rinehart, a broadcast consulting engineer representing the township, testified that radio waves are the ones "we know least about."
There are inconclusive studies that say long-term exposure can lead to leukemia and other forms of cancer, he said.
Rinehart said that the radio waves sent from the proposed towers could damage equipment found in the intensive-care unit of Holy Redeemer Hospital, cause problems with a nearby company's computer system and cause interference with high-tension lines that power the commuter rail line at the southern portion of the property.
Although he said that the waves could cause problems, Rinehart later said that there were "techniques that could be used to solve virtually any interference problem."
The board's next meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 28.