The board of supervisors at its meeting on Monday authorized the Harner Farm rezoning request for public hearing on Sept. 18.
Aspen Whitehall Partners LLC submitted a rezoning application to the township on May 10.
The rezoning request is for the 71.4 of Harner Farm’s 102 acres that are for sale.
The zoning designation of those 71 acres is rural agricultural and corridor overlay, and the land is currently being used for farm-related and orchard uses. Harner Farm is located along West College Avenue and is bisected by West Whitehall Road.
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Aspen is requesting that the zoning be changed to a mix of 44.6 acres of commercial, 22.5 acres of single-family residential and 4.3 acres of two-family residential.
The proposed commercial zone would be along West College Avenue on both sides of Whitehall Road, with the single-family residential meeting it and extending to the back of the property. The two-family residential zone would be located in the back corner of the property near Bristol Avenue.
“I don’t know if I’m for or against the rezoning request because I don’t know enough about the developer’s plans for the land,” said Michelle Spiering, president of Golden Orchards Condo Association. (Golden Orchards is adjacent to Harner Farm.)
It doesn’t seem like there’s an opportunity for the community to voice its opinions and have meaningful input into what will be built on the land, she said.
“I want any development on this land to have a positive impact on current residents, the developer, future store and business owners and the future residents of this area,” Spiering said. “I want the development to enrich and grow our already wonderful community.”
She asked the board to gather specific information from the developer about its plans before the public hearing and approval of the rezoning request.
Justin Mandel, of Aspen Whitehall Partners, said that will all be addressed as part of the land development process.
Harner Farm has been around since 1945, and it will continue to operate on its remaining 30 acres.
“It’s just getting more and more difficult to do the kind of farming that we do here,” owner Dan Harner told the CDT last year. “It’s essentially a downsizing operation — we’re going to tighten everything up.”
The hearing will be held during the regularly scheduled board meeting at 7 p.m. at the Ferguson Township Municipal Building.