But some said the zoning ordinance was too vague and favored the developer.
Brad Pransky, a community activist with expertise in zoning and development, told the commissioners that he liked the proposed reuse, but that "we have rushed this through at a tremendous rate. I think we need to take a beat and look at some of the issues."
In a July letter to the township, the county Planning Commission said the ordinance needed clearer language, and might be challenged as spot zoning because it applies to a single property.
Several residents were concerned with the density of the project - as many as 250 hotel rooms, 250 condos, or a combination totaling fewer than 500 - and how it would increase traffic on the surrounding two-lane roads.
"We already have people lining up for about half an hour at rush hour," said Joseph Gilbert, who lives on Ashbourne Road.
Scott Laughlin, speaking for the township Planning Commission, recommended that the commissioners approve the zoning change, but only with provisions to give the township more control over details such as open space, building, and view of the property from the street.
Commissioner Harvey Portner said those issues would be worked out later, when the developer submits more detailed master plans.
Commissioners Art Haywood, Daniel Norris, and Ann Rappaport voted against the ordinance. Portner, Charles McKeown, Morton Simon, and Andrew Sharkey voted in favor.
Muayad Abbas, a founding partner of Apeiron, they are leaning toward roughly one-third hotel and two-thirds condo. Under the ordinances' calculations, that would be 100 hotel units and 200 condos.