Whether or not an underground parking garage planned for an apartment complex on Jacksonville Road is restricted for its residents could determine the development’s ability to move forward.
The Hatboro Borough Council, during Monday’s conditional use hearing for 301 Jacksonville Road–known as the former Cosmopolitan Motors–made it clear that they did not want the bulk of parking to be earmarked for residents.
James Cassidy, an architect with C2 Architecture Inc., said he had planned to designate 135 of 168 spaces as resident-only parking. Those restricted spaces, he said, would be part of an underground parking garage.
“It’s labor intensive but putting in the parking underground is what makes the project possible,” Cassidy said, adding that the leasing office would determine which tenants would park where. “You want to give the tenant the best space, closest to where they live.”
The Council asked how the remaining 33 parking spaces on the surface would be adequate for staff of the office and retail space and where tenants’ visitors would park.
“It’s a legitimate question,” Council President John Zygmont said, adding that Hatboro Lofts, which the development is being modeled after, does not restrict parking.
The planned 1,400-square-foot café, for instance, calls for one parking space for every four seats, Councilman Bill Tompkins pointed out.
Cassidy said he was “flexible” and had planned to offer designated parking as an amenity to residents of the 87 units after hearing feedback from the Hatboro Planning Commission.
“If that’s a major issue, we can un-restrict them,” Cassidy said. “We can work this out if it’s restricted or not.”
The council took no action on Monday and has 45 days to render a decision. The governing body said it would be discussed during the Sept. 9 committee meeting and voted on during the Sept. 23 council meeting.
Mixed-use developments are permitted in the borough’s heavy industrial district provided applicants meet specific requirements. In order for the project to move to the land development phase, it first must be granted conditional use approval.
The issue of restricted parking is not “specified in the zoning,” Tompkins told Patch after the meeting. But, since the site lacks on-street parking on either side of the street there’s “no easy overflow” parking available, he said.
Should the project advance with resident-only parking, Tompkins said that the 33 parking spaces on the outside of the garage “going to be very competitive.”