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Developer agrees to consider conservation standards

June 28, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Frederick, Md., developer of a 59-acre property on Hykes Road in Antrim Township, Pa., has agreed to consider Conservation by Design standards, after originally requesting an exemption and saying it would reduce the number of homes from 132 to 85.

Brian J. Borth, president of BCS of Frederick, said he would work with township staff to determine how the development would change under Conservation by Design standards adopted Tuesday, May 30, by the township supervisors. Conservation by Design is a method of development that rewards developers who preserve open space by allowing them to build at a higher density.

A sketch plan for the BCS development, a mix of single-family houses, duplexes and town houses, was submitted in January and had been in part delayed over negotiations with a neighboring property owner for a right of way.

If the developer submitted land development plans now, he would be required to preserve at least 30 percent of the land as open space. Borth on Monday asked the supervisors to consider the sketch plan as his preliminary land development plan in an attempt to bypass an obligation to Conservation by Design.

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Angela Garland, township zoning officer, contended that the property has been pegged for development since 2003 and that the developer has been aware that Conservation by Design could be adopted.

"The owner just hasn't done anything with the property until Jan. 1, (2006)," she said.

Borth, at the supervisors' urging, agreed to fully study the effect Conservation by Design would have on his plans, starting with a site tour mapping the topography. The issue will then later be revisited, they agreed.

The supervisors later saw plans for the new government complex being designed on U.S. 11 to house administration offices, maintenance sheds, conference rooms and possibly magisterial district judge chambers and a police department.

The price tag for the project is between $4.5 million and $6.4 million now that 2,000 square feet has been taken off the core facility, Jennifer Greenlee of Newcomer Associates said.

The supervisors on Tuesday approved the footprint so that site design can start.

The proposal includes unfinished office space and just the exterior walls of a facility for a future police department.

"We don't really know what the future holds in the next 10 to 15 years," Township Manager Ben Thomas Jr. said, explaining that the plans take into consideration more staff members and about 12 police officers.

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