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Development deal in the works

May 09, 2001

Development deal in the works



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

A Washington County man who wants to build a housing development on land he owns near Williamsport has agreed to make changes to accommodate residents of the area who have been critical of the plan.

The concessions are conditional on opponents to the project agreeing to contractual language stating they will drop their opposition to all phases of the development, property owner R. Lee Downey, a former Washington County Commissioner, said Tuesday.

It's too early to say if the opponents will agree to that plan, said Gary Baker, a spokesman for the opponents, said Tuesday.

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"We are considering a compromise solution and will look to lock in if the community is agreeable," he said. The opponents will hold a meeting to see if anyone objects to the idea, he said.

The first phase of Tammany Heights North is to include 12 duplex lots and two single-family lots off Virginia Avenue on property along the southeast quadrant of Interstate 81 and Interstate 70 and west of Route 11.

The first phase of the project was on the agenda at Monday's meeting of the Washington County Planning Commission.

Downey said the matter was tabled until next month after a few people, including himself and Baker, commented. About 50 to 60 opponents attended, Downey and Baker said.

Downey said he agreed to drop plans for a 72-unit apartment complex. He hasn't decided what he will put in place of the complex, he said.

He also agreed to put planned single-family housing units near existing single-family housing, Downey said.

Baker has said local residents feel that if Downey is going to build in a community of single-family housing then he should build single-family housing.

Downey and Baker said they will meet before next month's Planning Commission meeting to address concerns about the project and to see if an agreement regarding concessions can be worked out.

Baker said he will try to have an answer to Downey's proposal within one month.

County Commissioner Bert Iseminger, who is an ex-officio member of the Planning Commission, said the first phase of the project probably would be approved next month since Downey has met all county requirements.

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