Impact fees lowered in Pa. township

March 14, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Proposed transportation impact fees in Greene Township were revised downward with the elimination of some costly road projects, including a connector road between the Cumberland Valley Business Park and Pa. 997, but the business park's board of directors still wants the fees waived, reduced or capped.

Charles Jamison announced at the beginning of a public hearing Tuesday night that the board would not vote on fees that evening due to revisions in a transportation capital improvement plan on which the fees would be based. After public comment was taken, the hearing was recessed until 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 28.

Traffic engineer James Cullison reviewed changes made earlier that day in the transportation improvement plan, which lowered the fees in six of the seven transportation service areas, or TSAs, into which the township would be divided.

The figure for TSA 1, in which part of the Cumberland Valley Business Park is situated, was lowered from more than $3,000 to $1,871 per "peak PM trip," the estimated number of vehicle trips a residential, commercial or industrial site would generate during peak afternoon traffic.


The impact fee for TSA 2, which also affects the business park, was revised downward from about $3,000 to $2,043, Cullison said. The impact fees for the other TSAs ranged from $948 to $2,471.

Cullison said the revised impact fees assumed eliminating the connector road and other projects in the 10-year plan, including widening Walker Road. Before Tuesday's revisions, the transportation plan listed about $12 million in improvements.

The supervisors will consider approving the plan March 27.

Earlier on Tuesday, Letterkenny Industrial Development Executive Director John Van Horn said one proposed route for the road was from the park to U.S. 11 and to the Pa. 997 Scotland Bypass.

"It's been on a wish list for 10 years," Jamison said of the road. However, the project has never progressed beyond the discussion stage and faces several hurdles - acquiring of rights-of-way and federal and state funding.

For those reasons, Jamison said it was decided to remove that road from the transportation improvement plan for now. Van Horn asked that the connector road be kept in mind for future transportation planning because "portals that could be used for a connector road tend to get closed" by development.

The authority last week voted to ask for an exemption from the impact fees, Van Horn said earlier on Tuesday.

"The concern of the LIDA board is that it will create a chilling effect" on development at the business park, he said.

Van Horn cited an example of one proposed project for a car wash and coffee shop in the park. The developer paid $90,000 for the land, but the impact fee on the project was estimated at $98,000, he said.

Despite the lower fees, Van Horn said the board will still seek an exemption, lower fees or a cap.

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