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Pa. planners delay action on requests for 381 homes

March 13, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington Township Planning Commission on Monday delayed its decisions on 381 homes that are part of four land development plans, joining with township staff in encouraging developers to be more thorough in submissions.

The three planning commission members present at the meeting favored a staff recommendation that time extensions - required on plans in the works more than 90 days - be granted less leniently.

Some land development plans, including those for a 500-unit development on 187 acres, have been sitting in the township offices for a year or longer, staff said.

Earlier this month, the Waynesboro borough engineer lamented that developers submit plans moments before the deadline to be considered by the Waynesboro Planning Commission.

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The township's contracted engineering firm, C.S. Davidson Inc., received revised plans for two residential developments last Thursday. The engineers did not have time to review them and make a recommendation, representative Eric Gladhill said.

Developers at the township planning commission meeting requested clarification on the submittal process and ways to expedite parts of it like approval from the soil conservation district.

Thirty-six multifamily units in an addition to Sheffield Manor will require sidewalk design and safety-based changes to a temporary swale before going before the planning commission next month. The planning commission will recommend whether to approve the submittal, which will go before the Washington Township Supervisors for their consideration, along with bonding for the project.

The condominiums are part of one of the first-ever mixed-use planned residential developments under review by township officials.

"This is a very, very tricky site," Township Manager Mike Christopher said. "In order to do it right, I'm asking for the appropriate time."

In addition to the multifamily units, M&H Construction has submitted plans for 134 single-family homes to further expand Sheffield Manor.

The only submission to receive planning commission approval on Monday was the subdivision of a lot in the Wharf Road Industrial Park in Zullinger, Pa. The lot divided in two is owned by Michael Corp. and has been eyed by a machine company and spiral staircase manufacturer, officials have said.

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