A mixed-use affordable-housing development is moving forward in Norristown despite opposition from some residents.
The plan calls for 96 one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as 5,000 square feet of retail space, at DeKalb and Airy Streets. Sixty units would be reserved for low- and moderate-income residents.
The site is now a parking lot owned by Montgomery County. The county deemed it underused, and in February agreed to transfer ownership through a profit-sharing redevelopment deal.
The developer, Pennrose Properties, has obtained substantial public subsidies for the project.
In hearings, an op-ed article, and an online petition, opponents have argued that Norristown has more than its share of affordable housing and that the project would reduce parking and not help revitalize the downtown area.
The online petition had 332 signatures before Tuesday night's zoning board meeting. The board voted unanimously in favor of the project, with no comment.
After the vote, about a dozen people stormed out, shouting "Disgrace!" and "The town is dead!"
Councilman James Mullane said most of the opponents were angry about losing what had long been free parking.
"We need this property back on the tax rolls," Mullane said.