HDC MidAtlantic has reached a settlement with the neighbors fighting against construction of The Apartments at College Avenue.
The agreement was worked out by the two sides’ legal counsel and is confidential, said Bernadette Hohenadel, an attorney representing HDC.
It ends a legal battle that started more than a year ago when seven residents of West Chestnut Street and Elm Street filed an appeal challenging the variances granted by the Lancaster city Zoning Hearing Board for the project, alleging that the board acted improperly. Two of the appellants later dropped out.
In March, Judge Margaret Miller dismissed the appeal, saying it had been filed prematurely.
The neighbors appealed Miller’s decision to Commonwealth Court. In a countermove, HDC challenged the appeal as frivolous, and asked Miller to require the appellants to post a bond of at least $3.1 million before moving forward.
“Appellants are attempting to cause delay with the hope that Adamsburry will be unable to secure financing and be forced to forego its properly approved development plans,” Hohenadel wrote in a petition filed on HDC’s behalf. “Adamsburry” refers to Adamsburry Associates. the affiliate that HDC created to develop the College Avenue project.
Miller was scheduled to hear arguments on the petition on April 21. With the settlement, that hearing was canceled, and the Commonwealth Court appeal was discontinued.
The appellants’ legal counsel did not respond to a message seeking comment.
The $23.4 million Apartments at College Avenue project will yield a five-story building with 64 one- and two-bedroom affordable apartments, including a dozen that will be handicap-accessible.
They are aimed for households with incomes between 20% and 60% of Lancaster County median income, or $11,000 to $45,000 per year.
HDC is working to complete its financing by May 31, the deadline for securing $1.25 million in low-income housing tax credits it is receiving from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.