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Township committee to study impact fees

January 22, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington Township Supervisors took the first step Monday in passing an impact fee ordinance by approving $9,600 for a feasibility study to determine if the fees would work in the township.

Any money the township realizes from impact fees can only be spent on roads that the developments affect, Jerry Zeigler, code enforcement officer for the township, said Tuesday.

Also, the supervisors sent out a call for volunteers to serve on a seven-member transportation advisory committee to be appointed to oversee the study and come up with what is called a land use assumption report. The report will project where and when future growth will occur in the township and what impact it will have on roads that serve the new developments, Zeigler said.

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The consultant hired to do the study will review recent rezoning decisions and the township's comprehensive plan and speak with developers of potential projects, Zeigler said.

Once the study is in the hands of the supervisors, they will decide if impact fees are needed and how much to charge each dwelling unit.

"Our best guess at this time is anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000," Zeigler said.

State law also requires the township to develop a capital improvement plan on how it will spend the money it receives from the impact fees, including a schedule on when the new roads will be built.

Pennsylvania's Municipal Planning Code allows municipalities to spend only the money received from impact fees on recreation and roads.

Last week, the township planning commission announced its support for a plan to charge $300 for each dwelling unit in new developments to support the township's recreation needs.

The impetus for impact fees comes on the heels of the rezoning of more than 1,000 acres of farmland in nine developments for commercial, single-family and multi-family projects.

The rezonings pave the way for a major shopping center east of Waynesboro off Pa. 16 plus housing developments for as many as 1,400 units.

The supervisors granted rezoning requests to the first three developers in December and to the remaining six on Monday.

Owners of the developments have agreed to give the township 100-foot wide strips of land through their tracts for a five-mile relief road that will connect their developments and serve as bypass to carry traffic off Pa. 16 around Waynesboro.

The developers will pay to build the section of road that runs through their properties, a total of about four miles, Zeigler said.

The township will pay to build the remaining one-mile section, Zeigler said.

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