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Supervisors endorse 500-unit development in Antrim

April 19, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - A 500-unit planned residential development along U.S. 11 won tentative approval from the Antrim Township (Pa.) Supervisors on Tuesday, provided the developer, Molly Pitcher LLC of Hagerstown, makes 20 conditions part of its final plans.

Those conditions range from the conservation of existing trees to reducing the amount of proposed commercial space from 155,000 square feet to 70,000 square feet.

The development, on 163.81 acres north of the state line, would have 141 single-family houses, 104 duplexes and 255 town houses, according to plans on display Tuesday.

Plans showed the development provides for approximately 40 acres of open space with areas designated for basketball courts, a tot lot, soccer fields and picnics.

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"They have reduced the amount of commercial traffic, and they have eliminated the apartments in this development," Solicitor John Lisko said.

Officials said the revised makeup of the development could reduce the amount of traffic by 30 percent. Engineers had originally said there could be 700 vehicles traveling between U.S. 11 and the development during the peak evening hour once all the houses are built.

The developer will have to return to the supervisors for final approval of the planned residential development. Then land development plans must be submitted for each phase to be built, Lisko said.

Construction could take eight to 12 years, Anne K. Anderson from the engineering firm CEDG of Mechanicsburg, Pa., said at a public hearing Feb. 28.

Residents, the supervisors and representatives of the developer on Tuesday tossed around a number of ideas to better the traffic flow both accessing and within the development.

The leading proposal, to extend one of the development's roads 1,600 feet to Ridge Road, yielded mixed feelings.

Supervisor Curtis Myers encouraged the connection, saying it would provide additional access to the development and perhaps ease the burden on U.S. 11.

"How much more can Route 11 take? We've already talked about four red lights between there and the state line," he said.

Others expressed concern about inadvertently creating a major thoroughfare to Interstate 81.

"I'm not interested in turning a development into a bypass, thruway ... for people who don't live there," Supervisor Bob Whitmore said.

One of the revisions to the plans was a road connecting the planned residential development to the Cedar Brook development, which is adjacent to its southern end.

A planned residential development contains a mix of housing types and designates a required percentage of land to open space and/or recreation. Antrim and Washington townships in Franklin County, Pa., are looking to eliminate planned residential developments in favor of a method of development known as Conservation by Design.

The Antrim Township Supervisors have scheduled a hearing on Conservation by Design for 7 p.m. May 30 in the Rhodes Grove Conference Center on Browns Hill Road.

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