Planners to reconsider zoning change to farms

January 11, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington Township (Pa.) Planning Commission on Monday was told it will have to start the process to consider the rezoning of two 78-acre farms from residential to agricultural.

Those same properties, both along a proposed section of Washington Township Boulevard, were rezoned in December 2005 from agricultural to residential.

However, the new board of township supervisors voted last Tuesday to start the process to have that decision reversed. The process includes review by the plan commission, a public hearing and additional consideration by the supervisors.


One of the farms is owned by Barry Pifer and the other by George Mason.

"We're stunned frankly by this action on the part of the supervisors. There has been no consultation, no early warning, no nothing. We question the integrity of the process," said George Lulos, a partner in WAM Enterprises.

Developer WAM Enterprises has a binding agreement of sale for the Pifer property.

The applicant for the latest rezoning is the board of supervisors.

"How can the applicant be the very board that's going to vote impartially?" asked Lulos.

Attorney John Lisko, solicitor for the supervisors, said he thinks the board has initiated zoning changes in the past.

In September 2005, the supervisors authorized Lisko to proceed with a roadway land acquisition agreement to purchase part of the Pifer farm for Washington Township Boulevard, a relief route proposed to alleviate traffic congestion on Pa. 16.

The township purchased 6.86 acres of land for the relief route, according to Lisko.

He said that purchase totaled $57,167.81.

There is a second agreement in place that the developers of both farms will build the section of Washington Township Boulevard that runs along the properties, said Lisko.

He did not know of any developer obtaining the Mason farm at this point.

The planning commission will take public comment on the matter at its next meeting, Monday, Feb. 13. The supervisors also will be required to hold a public hearing.

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