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Cemetery group sues supervisors over development

February 02, 2006|By JENNIFER FITCH

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Harbaugh Cemetery Association has again sued Washington Township over concerns associated with a 54-unit development known as Glen Afton Farm.

On Dec. 19, 2005, the township supervisors granted preliminary approval to subdivision and land development plans for the property owned by Elgin Properties Inc. of Towson, Md.

The association oversees Harbaugh Cemetery, which is adjacent to two lots in the development and across the street from several others.

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The notice of appeal, filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, indicates the cemetery association thinks the plans do not meet various requirements set forth by the township's ordinance.

Its argument is based on the width of a roadway, the number of lots abutting a private street and the supervisors failing to require a traffic study be conducted. There also is mention of stream crossing permits not issued by the Department of Environmental Protection.

The cemetery association, in the notice of appeal, claims the "supervisors abused their discretion in failing to determine if engineering or survey certifications for Maryland are required due to the fact that a portion of the plan is in Washington County, Md."

That comment references eight lots, which are across the state line in Maryland.

Carroll Sturm, chairman of the supervisors, said the township is compiling documents requested by the court.

"I think that at right now ... the court has asked us to provide a record of everything," he said.

The supervisors will then wait to find out their next step before addressing any of the specific issues, Sturm said.

Several years ago, the Harbaugh Cemetery Association and a group of residents fought a plan by Susan Elgin to build 169 homes on her property.

The cemetery association and residents contended that the township zoning hearing board, not the supervisors, should have granted variances for the project. The dispute went through several appeals, which eventually ended in favor of the cemetery association and residents.

The plans that received preliminary approval show the single-family homes situated on lots of about 2 acres.

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