The Lancaster Town Board on Monday night approved a 205-unit townhouse complex off Juniper Boulevard that will feature a clubhouse, pool and dog park.
The board’s approval of the Pleasant Meadows Apartments was one of a handful of small development issues the board handled with little fanfare.
The board’s unanimous approval of the Pleasant Meadows Apartments submitted by Mark D. Stevens came after the board first declared the project would not have a significant adverse environmental impact on the area.
At first, the townhouse Pleasant Meadows development, to be built on the east side of Juniper Boulevard, about 1,000 feet north of Walden Avenue, faced a smattering of questions from resident Mike Fronczak.
Councilwoman Donna Stempniak defended the project. She said it was a better fit than a previous plan that had called for research and development office buildings that ended up not being viable during a sputtering economy.
The townhouse plan also contains fewer units than originally had been mentioned and which could have numbered as many as 250 units, she said.
The town ended up rezoning the property to allow for apartments, which town officials said will be better than office buildings. The development will not have subsidized housing, which also had been considered at one point but scrapped.
“We felt residential properties were better than having businesses in there,” Stempniak said, calling it a good development for Lancaster. “I am much happier with 205 than 225 and 250 … It’s 100 percent better.”
Councilman Mark Aquino also termed it “a better plan” than was first proposed for the site.
Town leaders also held a public hearing Monday on a recommendation to amend the town’s zoning code to add permitted uses within a townwide neighborhood business zoning district that would allow for a mixed development of smaller retail businesses with apartments built above them.
Only resident Lee Chowaniec spoke, noting that he favored the proposal, as long as mixed use is included.
Stempniak has been an advocate of the change, noting the benefits of having smaller businesses in town, with apartments located above them. The board cited no significant adverse environmental impact from such a development and is expected to likely approve a local law allowing the zoning amendment when it meets in early October.
After the meeting, Stempniak noted that Paul Stephen contacted the town last spring about a plan to develop a mixed retail and residential project near Stone Hedge Drive that could feature five apartments above retail space. The site is now vacant, but his idea has been pitched as a small-business incubator, she said.
In other project approvals, the board voted that no significant environmental impact would result from the proposed construction of a 22-single-family home subdivision known as the second phase of Hidden Pines to be located south of Branch Way. Plans have been submitted by DJC Land Development.
In other business, the board set a public hearing for 7:15 p.m. Oct. 7 in Town Hall on community development block grant funding projects for 2014-15.
The town set Halloween trick-or-treating hours from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31.