Concerns in Community About Proposed Apartment Development in Fort Washington

A proposed apartment community at 451 Bethlehem Pike in Fort Washington is on the agenda for tonight’s (August 22nd) meeting of the Whitemarsh Township Planning Commission. The agenda reads:

SLD#01-15 VFW at Fort Washington, LTD, 451 Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA; Zoning Text and Zoning Map amendments for new Transit-oriented Development District; Continued Discussion.

If you can’t picture this address, it is basically where Lafayette Avenue Connector intersects with Bethlehem Pike near Germantown Academy. The developer proposing the project is Harth Builders.

A community group is concerned about the project and held a meeting last week where the attendees were provided details on the proposal development and language to use when expressing concerns to elected officials. The points of contention are:

  • The project would be built partially on a FEMA designated flood plain
  • The bad traffic in the area can only get worse since the proposed development is directly across from the Lafayette Connector Road
  • The proposed development is on an urban sized scale and the architecture is wall-like with only a 25 foot set back from Beth Pike
  • Harth’s Transportation Oriented Development concept allows for potentially up to 250 units versus current Village Commercial zoning which would only allow 30 units. I think 30 town homes is more appropriate for the space and for the community.  

The two organizations leading the opposition are the Historic Fort Washington Rescape Committee and the Fort Washington Historic Society.

We will have more information on this and a report after the Planning Commission meeting.