By Maddie Lamonica, Staff Reporter
In April 2015, Waterloo Devon, L.P., Urban Outfitters, Inc. and Anthropologie,
Inc. completed a plan for a town square located at the former Waterloo Gardens and its neighboring properties named the Devon Yard.
Together these companies petitioned for the addition of an overlay district to Easttown Township’s Zoning Chapter 455, which would allow this property of the retail zoned area to allow residential living. If this passed, it would allow them to build a five story apartment complex with retail stores. These were drafted into an ordinance that has been amended over a series of meetings with Easttown’s Planning Commission.
Within the past year, signs that read “Save Devon Don’t Rezone” were put up by residents against the ordinance. In addition, Joseph Kohn, a lawyer at Kohn, Swift & Graf, offered to represent these people, free of charge. Kohn has lived in this area his
“The ordinance is longer than the U.S. constitution including all its amendments, which is unnecessarily complicated, when I first read it I knew I had to do something to help” Kohn said.
On Oct. 25 David Ziel, Chief Development Officer for Urban Outfitters, presented the modified ordinance to both the Planning Commission and many concerned residents.
“We have been working in a partnership with the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors and Devon’s citizens. It’s our hope that this new plan will meet the requests of
all these groups,” Ziel said.
The current plan consists of retail stores such as a 31,200 square-foot Anthropologie and a 3,400 square-foot Terrain, as well as two restaurants and a space which would
be rented out for events.
“I love these changes, this new plan is great, everyone in the neighborhood can walk there and it will get lots of use,” Devon resident Liz Ward said.
To the delight of the Devon citizens, the residential feature of the town square was removed. However, any property that resides in the overlay district can have residential
living built there if it sold in the future, which was the foremost topic of discussion at the meeting.
Avis Yuni has lived on Waterloo Road for over 30 years, which is next to the Devon Yard project. She was one of many people who voiced their opinion at the meeting.
“I applaud the applicant for removing the apartment complex. My fear is that the land could be turned into townhomes, which would make our neighborhood overcrowded. We do not need more people living in this area,” Yuni said.
There are two properties adjacent to the Waterloo Gardens that have been subsequently added to the overlay district, even though they are not a part of Devon Yard. These properties
would gain more building rights, which increases the property value.
“There’s no reason why these two properties need to be in the proposal at all,” Kohn said. “If the Board of Supervisors do approve the ordinance, there is a possibility that we
will appeal the decision to the Common Pleas Court.”
The next meeting will be held at Beaumont Elementary School on Nov. 1, when the Planning Commission will make its decision on whether or not they approve the ordinance. If they do, Easttown’s Board of Supervisors will then review it at a later date. If not, then it will need further revision.
Maddie Lamonica can be reached at email@example.com.