Published On: Sat, Jun 22nd, 2019

Plan for Solebury Square development on Route 202 takes first step forward

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.

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  1. I moved to Solebury several years ago because it is scenic, quiet, and rural but with charming small towns and villages. There has already been so much development along the 263/202 corridor and as others have mentioned an increase in traffic as a result. I did not move here to live alongside a 5 lane highway. The best use for the land would be open space with bike and walking trails. Some parts of the plan, like aligning Shire Drive with the entrance to the Giant, and adding sidewalks and bike trails to connect the area to the existing housing (North Pointe et al) and also to downtown New Hope make sense. But massive retail and residential development does not.

  2. DavidFordCooper@nyse.com' D says:

    They plan to build over 600 new housing units. Has any consideration be given to what kind of influx in student this might have on NHS schools? How much of this plan will taxpayers be responsible for? I’m not too keen on new taxes for a project that will cause the schools to then turn around and levy new taxes to support an unexpected swell in students. Especially after the schools have overshot their budget 5 years straight and raised taxes 5 years straight. This was all with a shrinking student body.

  3. mikepovo@gmail.com' Mike says:

    The road noise on 202 between Sugan and Kitchen caused by tractor trailers going 50 mph is incredible. Can the council use this renovation to propose sound mitigation measures since they are looking to expand 202 only yards from North Pointe homes. It already sounds like the turnpike back there. Not to mention trucks barreling by the crosswalk at Sugan and 202.

  4. DavidFordCooper@gmail.com' D says:

    Do you want a PF Changs, because this is how we end up with a PF Changs….

  5. vandommelen.art@gmail.com' Annelies says:

    So many empty stores already in both towns. Why would this help anyone? Look what happened to Trenton when malls started popping up and Flemington with liberty village,and box stores along 31. Haven’t we learned anything. Leave the towns alone to exist as they are. They are having enough trouble against Amazon. Why would we want this?

  6. hondatwentyohtwo@gmail.com' Pete says:

    Love the idea that this is a preemptive strike against hodgepodge development (think: SuperWawa). And it would certainly be welcoming if it comes out as pictured. I have to agree with some other comments though about existing vacancies. I don’t see this as much different than Penns Purchase (area across from Peddlars Village) which is almost a ghost town and would be except for a few big name anchor stores that are undoubtedly able to take a loss to have a presence there. Logon Square was similarly a ghost town for years (decades?), although now seems to be filling up with some services (medical, legal, etc). Why would adding more square footage for retail make anything different. Feels like we’re doubling down on something that already doesn’t work.

  7. diannamarie@verizon.net' Dianna says:

    There’s so many retail stores in New Hope and lahaska, that have closed over the past few years, it could turn into a bunch if vacant stores. Put something else that the community really needs there.

  8. New Hope used to be a destination, particularly for weekenders. For more than 20 years, my brother and I distributed event Flyers throughout the area and there were plenty of business places to accept them. They no longer exist. That was “the look and feel of so Solebury.” That should still be the look and feel of Solebury. What this kind of plan will do is create a suburb, not a destination.

  9. Romacowboys@gmail.com' Michele says:

    Just what we need. More congestion. More people. Isn’t the reason we live here is BECAUSE there is so little business and commercial business? I HATE THIS

  10. Amy@viaspartners.com' Amy says:

    There is way too much traffic on 202 and the road is a complete disaster filled with potholes. I agree with person’s comments about Peddlar’s Village. Bad idea.

  11. I can’t say I’m thrilled about this. My condo faces 202 & is just yards from it. I can’t imagine adding more traffic, noise, exhaust fumes and delivery trucks passing in front of my home. We had to stop opening windows a few years ago. It has become almost unbearable as it is. In the past 25 years the noise level from the increased traffic, including some tractor trailers and large trucks hitting all those potholes sound like bombs going off. I can’t imagine what this will do to increase traffic and air quality, not to mention how more congestion will effect our local emergency vehicles and our first responders response times.

    What stores could possibly be added that we don’t already have or need within a 5-10 minute drive between New Hope & Lahaska, and how will it effect local business owners to have increased competition? I moved here to get away from the city, not to be surrounded by one. I’m probably not the only local to notice all the empty stores in the area and what looks to me like many of the open ones are not packed with people spending money. I see tons of people walking around, but few are carrying purchases. How many of the people who will staff those stores & other facilities will find affordable housing here? I would think very few so that too increases traffic. I know I sound like a stick in the mud, but people who live here have to be considered too.

    • Ltffas@comcast.net' Tom says:

      Well said “Confused”, I couldn’t agree more. Have lived in the area for eleven years and still don’t understand why Penns Purchase can’t generate business. We don’t need more of that!

  12. Bcurrie@niecelumber.com' Bruce Currie says:

    You don’t have to go to PV to see empty stores! Traffic is a real and current problem.

  13. As previously said, Peddlers Village is just about hanging on…no more retail, no more homes, offices,etc…..Rt 202 can not handle any more traffic that stretch is in very poor condition….let’s stop development before it’s too late n there will b no more open space in an already congested area….

  14. Mcarey222@gmail.c' Mike says:

    About time somepne seriously started planning for future. Been talking about enhancing NH for years. Let’s all agive this a chance. Obstacles will be overcome Kudos.

  15. jgc51486@gmail.com' Jeanie says:

    Sounds awful, who is reaping the benefits?

  16. thasluprus@thraml.com' Sandra says:

    Lahaska/Peddlar’s Village is half empty. Why the need for more commercial space? Hundreds of residential apartments? Let me get the For Sale sign up now!

    • Bchurchills@ail.com' Barbara says:

      I could agree more. I’ve lived in Solebury for well over 20 years and have watch numerous stores/shops close and not reopen. I’ll say our Giant Food Store needs serious management training or replacement as the store has continuously degraded over the past 10 years despite their “renovation”—it’s brutal. How about replacing that with a Whole Foods or something similar and please don’t say we don’t have the population to warrant it! Let’s get peddlers village fully occupied with successful store/businesses as well as the dead pockets and closed stores around Logan Square and keep the commercial real estate from building even more residences (condos or apartments, God forbid) on what little space is left in our beautiful community. Let’s improve what we have…not add more. We don’t need an influx of people! We need stores and places for all our people and visitors to go to and enjoy.

  17. Susanshaffer@comcast.net' Sue says:

    I certainly hope that the current,bumper to bumper traffic from Buckingham to New Hope will be addressed in this plan. Commuters are already tearing through the local roads and. neighborhoods trying to figure out how to avoid the jam.

    • Rcgaynor@mail.com' Bob says:

      True. I can’t imagine the congestion on narrow, single-lane, hilly 202 if there was a “destination” location in that area. It would only be feasible if 202 were widened considerably.

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