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Washington Township planners weigh additional housing proposals

November 13, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - A 182-unit development with a mixture of housing types has been proposed on the former Barlup farm north of Waynesboro.

The Washington Township Planning Commission reviewed early sketch plans on Monday for the property near Tyco Electronics Corp., formerly Amp, on Pa. 316.

Owner Dan Long has proposed building 110 single-family houses, 72 duplexes and one commercial entity on 88 acres.

"This is a second go-around to get something on paper," said H. Mark Bard, of Chambersburg, Pa., surveying company All Land Services.

The single-family houses are proposed on lots that range from half an acre to one-third of an acre, he said.

The proposal was submitted as a planned residential development, which requires the township to host hearings prior to the final decision by the Washington Township Supervisors.

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Washington Township Boulevard "comes out at the old red schoolhouse that sits up on the hill," said Jerry Zeigler, who manages the township's land development plans.

The development would be accessed by Washington Township Boulevard - a relief route being built in phases - as well as a road shown on the old railroad bed in the area.

"They're retaining the old farmhouse," Zeigler said.

In other business, the planning commission reviewed, but then tabled a proposal by developer and Waynesboro Borough Councilman-elect Ronnie Martin for seven houses on 15 acres adjacent to his Walnut Knolls development.

He requested the cornfield be rezoned from agricultural to low-density residential earlier this year, but the Washington Township Supervisors nixed his request on a 3-2 vote.

In his earlier pitch, Martin said he could build affordable housing if allowed to build at a higher density than what is permitted in an agricultural zone. In that zone, houses must be built on lots a minimum of two acres in size.

Martin, on new plans, has shown most of the houses accessing an yet-to-be-built extension of King Street. One has a driveway stretching from Prices Church Road.

Planning commission member Elena Kehoe questioned why the driveway would be acceptable when previous discussions were that the right of way there is narrow.

"All the stuff from the rezoning is irrelevant, and there you have urban sprawl," Township Manager Mike Christopher said, looking at the proposal projected onto a large screen.

Planning commission member Robert Peiffer commented on the earlier proposal having less expensive housing on the smaller lots. Martin had said he could build 37 single-family houses priced from $200,000 to $250,000, but added that he would come back with 2-acre lots if denied for rezoning.

Common sense says that bigger, more expensive houses are built on bigger lots, planning commission member Melvin O'Dell said.

"He said he would, and he did," O'Dell said.

Planning commission member Lisa Donohoe said the new proposal leaves open space in the agricultural zone.

"It's still open land, although not usable for much," she said.

The planning commission, on a 3-2 vote in July, recommended that the rezoning be denied by the supervisors, who had the ultimate decision. Peiffer and O'Dell voted against the rezoning's denial, but Kehoe, Donohoe and Randy Kuhn were in favor of denying it.

Supervisors Christopher Firme, John Gorman and Carroll Sturm voted to deny the rezoning request, while Supervisors Paul Benchoff and C. Stewart McCleaf voted to allow it.

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