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Developers want their impact fees returned

December 17, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington Township Supervisors are expected to lend consideration tonight to a development company's request for the return of impact fees.

In most new township housing developments, those fees are assessed at $2,714 per lot when a land-use permit is issued.

Some developers, like Accent Developers in this case, have an agreement to build a portion of Washington Township Boulevard in exchange for the impact fees. Washington Township Boulevard is a $14.3 million relief route being built north of Waynesboro.

The township has been holding onto an estimated $50,000 to $60,000 of Accent Developers/Ryan Homes impact fees for the Spring Run development near the intersection of Stottlemyer and Gehr roads.

Representatives of Accent Developers recently said they would like to have that money returned.

Although the boulevard's construction is not complete, the developers have already done approximately $250,000 worth of roadwork, R. Lee Royer said.

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Also, the township would still have the developers' bonding for infrastructure in that development, Dave George said.

However, the township supervisors' attorney said he is litigating a case from nearby Antrim Township, Pa., where only half a road was built. Bonding cannot be easily used for that effort, Solicitor John Lisko said.

"He makes it sound like bonding doesn't mean anything. You're not just protected. You're protected four or five times," George said.

Bonds cannot be used until they are close to expiring and they can be affected by the financial wherewithal of the developer, Lisko said.

In a worst-case scenario, "they go bankrupt. We're in federal court. We're going to have a very difficult time collecting on our bond," he said.

The impact fees should be released when the road is complete, Lisko said.

"I don't know what the cost will be if the township has to bid it out or do it ourselves," he said.

George said the reputations of the people involved in the project should be a consideration, since they are area businessmen that he said would not walk off the job.

"I think we have one of the nicest developments in Washington Township," George said.

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