LOWER MAKEFIELD >> Township planners on August 9 heard the latest vision for “The Point,” a triangular- shaped piece of land in the heart of historic Edgewood village.
Under the latest iteration of the plan, developer C.T. Troilo of Troilo Properties is now looking to develop the site exclusively with 17 residential units.
The latest informal sketch plan presented by Troilo would preserve and refurbish two existing boarded up houses - the stone Ishmael House at the point where Edgewood Road intersects Yardley-Langhorne Road and the Quill House next door on Edgewood Road. The Ishmael House would house one residential unit while the Quill House would have two.
The plan would also add three new residential buildings fronting on the Yardley-Langhorne Road - two four-unit buildings and one six-unit building with 1,000 square feet of living space in each unit.
“The number of units that we have come to is driven by the economics of site development. That is what we need to get in the black,” Troilo told the Commission.
A 23 car parking lot would be built behind the new residential buildings on the east side of the property and would be accessed off of Edgewood Road.
In addition, the developer is proposing to designate 11 shared parking spaces at nearby Veterans Park for any overflow and to meet its parking obligation under the township’s land development ordinance.
The shared parking may require the developer to secure a zoning variance since the spaces won’t be within the required 250 feet of any unit being used, according to township planning and zoning director Jim Majewski.
In addition, Majewski noted if shared parking is required at Veterans Park the existing gravel lot would have to be improved.
“In essence, they would help pay to have the township parking lot paved with the understanding they would have use of it,” said Majewski.
The sketch plan also incorporates spacing between the buildings and sidewalks for walkability, said Troilo.
“This is our latest idea,” Troilo told the planners, stressing that “this is just an informal sketch plan. No engineering has been done. We are just here for input and to hear whether the board thinks we’re on the right track and is something to look at and take it forward.”
After listening to the latest update, planner Adrian Costello encouraged the developer to include safe passage for pedestrians across Edgewood Road.
“The people living here are still going to walk to get something to eat and to go do things nearby. That intersection is going to be an issue,” he said, of the dangerous and problematic Edgewood/Yardley-Langhorne Road intersection.
An alternative may be a mid-block crossing, a mea that’s sometimes used to avoid problematic intersections, said Majewski.
“We’ve given you our thoughts. Hopefully it’s been helpful and you can move forward,” Planning Chair Tony Bush told Troilo.
Previous plans for the site called for a row of five double townhouses along Yardley-Langhorne Road and using the building at the point as a commercial use, possibly as an ice cream store.
The Ishmael House, however, was just to small to make it a commercially viable operation, said Troilo.
Planners also thought the double townhouses would have been too monolithic and too large of a structure for the streetscape and that the plan needed more of a village feel.
“We have attempted to keep these to scale, smaller than the DiLorenzo’s building and keeping more with the existing Quill house,” said Troilo of the proposed new buildings. “The three buildings might be a little uniform in a row and may need some tweaking, some movement,” he noted.
An earlier plan proposed demolishing the Quill House and using the site for parking. Township historians, however, nixed that idea in 2020 recommending denial of the developer’s request for a demolition permit.
The Quill house was once home to Yardley’s beloved World War II veteran, Danny Quill, who died in 2011 at the age of 96. Quill fought in one of the war’s largest, bloodiest and bitterest battles - the fight over Monte Cassino in Italy.