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Greene Township to assess impact fees

March 30, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - The Greene Township Board of Supervisors this week became the second municipality in Franklin County to approve transportation impact fees to help pay for road improvements made necessary by rapid growth.

The fees in the township's seven transportation service areas, or TSAs, are based on the estimated cost of anticipated road improvements in each area, according to the ordinance adopted Wednesday by the board. The fees are based on the number of trips a development is expected to generate during peak afternoon traffic.

For new homes, the fees range from $2,531 in TSA 4, which borders Chambersburg and Guilford Township, to $1,086 in TSA 7, which is in the township's less densely populated eastern end. For commercial or industrial projects that create more traffic than a residence, the fee is based on the number of trips each would generate during peak afternoon traffic.

The ordinance goes into effect April 3, Supervisor Glenn Shetter said. The transportation capital improvements plan on which the fees were based was approved Tuesday.

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"We feel this is a very, very equitable plan for everyone involved," Shetter said.

The township has had an interim impact fee of $1,000 since Oct. 17, 2005, Shetter said. For new houses and businesses, the impact fee is paid at the time the developer gets a land use permit to begin construction, he said.

The board of directors for the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority had requested that its Cumberland Valley Business Park in TSAs 1 and 2 be exempted from the impact fees, or that the fees be lowered or capped. Executive Director John Van Horn said the fees could negatively effect the authority's ability to sell properties for businesses that would have high volumes of traffic.

Supervisor Charles D. Jamison said earlier this week the fees paid by commercial and industrial developers will be determined by a consulting firm hired by the township.

Shetter said no specific concessions were made to the authority, other than lowering the fees as the 10-year, $12.7 million transportation capital improvements plan was changed.

Van Horn said earlier this week the fees in TSAs 1 and 2 now set at $2.065 and $1,503, respectively, had been in excess of $3,000 as recently as a month ago.

Shetter said the township removed a proposed connector road from the business park to Pa. 997, as well as plans to widen Walker and Letterkenny roads to include a center turn lane.

Dan Wolfe, a community planner with the Franklin County Planning Office, said Washington Township is the only other municipality in the county to adopt a transportation impact fee.

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