A dramatic vision for the future development of the Route 202 corridor in Solebury Township took a significant step forward Tuesday as the Board of Supervisors offered at their monthly meeting a first glance at the proposed Solebury Square commercial/residential complex.
The project in its current form would virtually double commercial space in the immediate area — from the New Hope Lodge on Route 179 to Hermitage Drive on Route 202 — and add hundreds of residential apartments.
The Supervisors say they’re trying to proactively manage the inevitable future development of Route 202, while preserving the township’s heritage and environment.
“We don’t want to end up with the sort of hodgepodge of incongruous buildings that you see along so many commercial corridors,” said Board of Supervisors Vice-Chair John Francis. “With a good plan in place, new projects will fit in with the look and feel of Solebury.”
Township consultants McMahon Associates and Derek & Edson developed their conceptual draft of the plan based on feedback from residents and businesses who responded to the board’s request for input on the future of the 202 corridor.
Supervisors see Solebury Square as a “walkable village of civic spaces and green landscapes, consistent with the architecture and landscaping of the township’s historic places.” They emphasized that the presentation was not a formal plan, but rather a “preliminary vision” for integrating land use and improving local transportation that would include commercial development, apartments, senior living spaces, and townhomes, along with expanded pedestrian and biking trails.
“There is no deadline here,” said Supervisor Robert McEwan. “We will continue to revise our plans until we reach an eventual consensus that will place township administrators and board members in a proactive position in any discussion with private developers.”
“My hope is that by providing visual images of one possible approach, our residents will be better able to tell us what they do and don’t want to see in the 202 corridor,” explained Supervisor Chair Mark Baum Baicker.