16 March 2023- The Franklin County Commissioners today voiced their opposition to a proposed 676-unit apartment complex in Greene Township.
In December, Metropolitan 4 LLC of Wyomissing applied for a conditional use permit to develop 70 acres of vacant farmland in the Guilford Hills area of Greene Township. The property is currently zoned R-1 low-density residential, a designation that allows for single-family homes or buildings containing a small number of housing units. Metropolitan 4 LLC’s application asks Greene Township to authorize the development of a 33-building apartment complex featuring a mix of 676 one- and two-bedroom garden-style units.
“Zoning decisions fall under the purview of each municipality. However, as Franklin County’s elected leaders, it is the commissioners’ responsibility to look out for the best interests of our residents at all times,” said Franklin County Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller. “This proposed development contradicts best practices for smart, harmonious growth in our community.”
In expressing their opposition to the proposed apartment complex, the commissioners cited the county’s comprehensive plan, which outlines responsible land use strategies that include suburban residential development in areas aligned with existing transportation and infrastructure investment.
“A project of this magnitude would create a population density and traffic volume that far exceed the current infrastructure capacity in this area and could have severe consequences,” said Commissioner John Flannery.
The proposed development also contradicts the county’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, adopted by Greene Township in 2018. Specifically, the apartment complex would be located within the inundation area for Long Pine Dam, an A-1 high hazard dam. A high hazard dam classification indicates that the loss of life would be substantial or that economic loss would be excessive to residential, commercial and agricultural areas should a dam fail. According to Metropolitan 4 LLC’s site plans, five of the 33 buildings are located entirely within the Long Pine Dam inundation area; a sixth building is partially in the inundation area.
“We cannot, in good faith, support this project,” said Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski. “We hope that, given these factors along with growing concerns within the community, that the Greene Township Supervisors will make a decision that is in the best interest of our community and local residents.”