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Council has concerns over 468-unit town house project

April 12, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Borough Council on Monday night reviewed a sketch plan for a 468-unit housing project, but council members want to see it revised to reduce the number of driveways that would exit onto Mill Road.

DELM Developers LLC is proposing to build 444 town houses, six triplexes and 18 duplexes on the 45-acre property on the south side of Mill Road. The problem for some members of council was the driveways for the triplex and duplex units, which would be along Mill Road.

Councilwoman Elaine Swartz said she was "dismayed" to see the plan call for "24 driveways dumping traffic onto Mill Road with the traffic we already have."

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"I thought the idea was to have driveways facing into the development," she said.

"I don't buy 24 exits out onto that road at all," Councilman Robert Wareham said.

Councilman Glenn Manns said he had told residents in that area the development would create no new driveways along the road.

Lance Kegerreis, a Chambersburg engineer working for the developers, said the plan originally called for 52 town houses along Mill Road that would have been "rear-loaders," with vehicle access behind the houses rather than along the road. The plan was changed because council raised objections to that many housing units fronting Mill Road, he said.

Council President William McLaughlin suggested the developer come back with a new sketch plan combining driveways to reduce the number along Mill Road.

Phil Wolgemuth, the borough's director of planning, said the sketch plan reviewed Monday was the ninth from DELM. If the 10th resolves concerns raised by the council, he said the developer's next step would be to submit a preliminary land development plan.

The council also reviewed a subdivision plan for DELM to establish a lot on the property for a sewer pumping station to serve that development and additional development in that area.

In 2003, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., announced that a $578,000 federal grant had been earmarked to extend sewer lines down South Main Street and onto Mill Road to serve about 50 borough homes, according to Borough Manager Eric Oyer.

In anticipation of further development in the area, however, the borough had planned for a pumping station south of Mill Road. Oyer said the station will cost approximately $300,000 and could be built by the end of this year.

If the entire cost of the project exceeds the federal grant, Oyer said the cost will eventually be recouped from the additional hookup fees from the new housing.

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