FORKS TWP., Pa. – A local business owner is asking Forks Township to amend zoning around Two T's Golf Center in order to make way for a housing development.
Tom Dietzler, the owner of Two T’s Golf Center on Sullivan Trail, appeared Thursday before the Forks Township Board of Supervisors to present plans for a 59-unit, mixed-residential housing development on an 11-acre parcel along Kesslersville Road.
The parcel is currently zoned EC-1, or employment center district. Dietzler is requesting that the township amend the current zoning to SR-1, or suburban residential/mobile home. The land is made up of three lots with properties to either side zoned for residential, with the exception of one parcel which does not allow residential.
"What Mr. Dietzler is trying to do is develop this property in a responsible way," said Julie Wagner Burkart, the attorney representing Dietzler.
Plans call for 20 twin-home units; 16 townhouses; and two, two-story garden-style apartment buildings, each with 11 and 12 units — totaling 23 apartment units.
Should the proposed amendments be made, several other parcels would end up with a zoning change from EC-1 to SR-1. Those parcels include a portion of the existing Two T’s Golf Center, one acre along Kesslersville Road, Schweps Mobile Home Park, a 16-acre parcel of Bushkill Preserve and a commercial vacant parcel just under 10 acres.
A conditional use application has not been formally presented to the township planning commission but an Aug. 12 presentation has been scheduled.
"If we don't proceed on this, I will give the go-ahead for my real estate developer to proceed with the sale on the EC-1 basis," said Dietzler.
Several supervisors said they were averse to the idea of changing zoning while the current township's comprehensive plan is underway.
"I'm not inclined to make any changes right now until we take a look at that comprehensive plan," Chairman John O'Neil said.
"We just don't know if we were to do this, that it would impact all the properties in this district," Supervisor Dan Martyak said about a zoning change. "If we only do this lot, I have no idea that it falls into spot zoning. I'm not inclined to put up apartments in this district."
Dietzler initially presented plans and requested the zoning change before both the township planning and supervisors in a joint meeting in Dec. 2020.