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Glen Afton opponents show signs of discontent

March 05, 2002|BY RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Brian and Mary Millin sat in the back of the room with their three small children. Their twins fidgeted as all 2-year-olds do.

The Millins, who live on Edgemont Road, were at the Washington Township Supervisors meeting Monday night as part of a show of force. They and about 60 of their fellow township residents sat silently in the meeting room, their signs speaking for them.

They were there to show unity in the fight against Glen Afton Estates - 133 single-family homes and 33 duplexes to be built on 138 acres of farm fields in their Harbaugh Church Road neighborhood.

The supervisors approved the development in December against the recommendation of the Franklin County and Washington Township planning commissions.

The supervisors said the development met the township's requirements.

Residents filed suit against the supervisors in a case scheduled to be heard Thursday morning in Common Pleas Court in Chambersburg, Pa.

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Supervisors Chairman Paul Benchoff declined to talk about the protest, saying the case was in litigation.

The Millins said they moved to the township to get away from the urban sprawl of Anne Arundel County, Md., only to meet up with it again.

They echoed the complaints of those who fight such battles - traffic, overcrowded schools, rising taxes, services too inadequate to handle the growth.

"We moved here to raise our children in a quiet place," Mary Millin said.

Protesters sat with signs in clear view of the supervisors. The signs carried such slogans as "Farm Crops Not Houses," "Listen to the People," "Our Schools Are Full" and "It's Time to Resign."

The supervisors ignored the audience as they worked their way through their regular meeting agenda. The short meeting was adjourned 20 minutes after the opening gavel.

The protesters have raised about $6,000 for legal fees. They hired attorney Hubert X. Gilroy of Carlisle, Pa., to represent their cause.

"Our goal is to raise $10,000," said Christopher Firme, who lives on Charmian Road.

Gregory Small, a leader of the protest group and a plaintiff named in the suit, said Monday's protest was held to show the supervisors that the residents are united in their opposition to the development.

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