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Developer makes new request in Welty Road plan

August 17, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - WAM Enterprises Inc. asked the Washington Township Supervisors on Wednesday to amend its agreement for developing the Pifer Farm along North Welty Road and Washington Township Boulevard.

George Lulos and William Aiello, representatives of WAM Enterprises, of Lemoyne, Pa., claimed that there is "no way" to satisfy both the agreement with the township and the township's latest request that conservation elements be included in the design.

Lulos said incorporating the conservation elements would decrease the number of single-family lots in the development from 178 to 138 lots. Previously, WAM proposed to offset the money lost in building 40 less lots by asking that the township relieve them of paying $300,000 in impact fees.

On Wednesday, Lulos offered a second solution to the revenue lost in building less lots. In a letter to the township, Lulos and Aiello agreed to preserve three of the four requested conservation elements as well as proceed with their agreement to build a portion of Washington Township Boulevard and pay the required impact fees.

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Lulos stated that this plan would allow WAM to develop 151 single-family lots on the property and generate enough revenue to make his project profitable.

Lulos said the only way for WAM to profit off 138 lots would be to raise lot prices. Fighting a declining housing market, Aiello declared that charging more per lot would "be misleading ourselves into thinking we can get more than what the market would allow."

Supervisors were wary of the loss of the conservation element, which is a grassy knoll. Supervisor John Gorman said that this new proposal by WAM would not conserve enough open space by Conservation by Design standards.

WAM Enterprises and the Rachuba Group of Eldersburg, Md., partnered to develop Antietam Commons behind the Wayne Heights Mall. That project extends North Welty Road to meet the residential development on the 78-acre Pifer farm.

The developers donated 24 acres west of North Welty Road to the township and agreed to create $4 million of infrastructure, including the road extension, for the Antietam Commons project.

They were asked to use Conservation by Design standards while developing the Pifer farm. Conservation by Design is a method of development that preserves open space, while allowing the developer to build at a higher density.

The supervisors are considering incorporating Conservation by Design into their subdivision ordinance. The standards were first adopted in Franklin County, Pa., by Antrim Township and are being modified there.

Further discussion is anticipated at the supervisors' next meeting on Monday.

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