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Supervisors Approve Controversial Heritage Village

Despite pressure from the planners to reject the land development plan for the proposed Heritage Village independent living community, the Upper Nazareth Board of Supervisors approve the plan, 4-1.

After three hours of presentations, discussion, debate and comments, the approved the land development plan for Morningstar Senior Living Inc.'s proposed independent living community, Heritage Village.

Morningstar Senior Living Inc. also owns .

Scott Sylvainus, vice chairman of the board and a member of the township Planning Commission, was the lone dissenting vote.

The community for seniors would lie near the township's border with .

The Planning Commission voted 5-0 to recommend supervisors reject the plans, saying they don't comply with zoning, density and open space requirements, according to a report in The Express-Times.

Back in November, planners and the township's zoning officer over housing density in the proposed 143-unit Heritage Village, which spreads across two residential zoning districts that have different standards for density, or how many houses may be built per unit of land.

Zoning Officer John Soloe feels the developer should be allowed to “meld,” or average the housing density standards of the two zoning districts -- one an R-2, the other an R-3 -- to set the density standard for the project as a whole.

He bases his opinion in part on the method supervisors used to determine open space guidelines for the project last year.

“It's my opinion that the density should be melded, just like open space,” Soloe previously said. “If we melded the open space, we need to meld the density.”

The Planning Commission believes the Upper Nazareth zoning ordinance does not allow for melding of density standards between different zoning districts.

Despite pressure from the Planning Commission, supervisors -- his interpretation would stand.

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