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Antrim Township OKs changes to land-use procedures

January 09, 2008|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Antrim Township Board of Supervisors approved proposed changes to its Land Use Permit procedures Tuesday night in an effort to make sure all new residential dwellings are within setback requirements prior to construction.

The township previously had residential dwellings surveyed "as-built" to check that buildings met setback requirements. This means the dwelling is surveyed after it is built.

"As-built is after the fact," said Supervisor Curtis Myers. "After there's already a mistake."

Under the proposed changes to Land Use Permit procedure, the site survey would be completed prior to the first floor being applied, according to Angela Garland, zoning officer and public works Inspector.

"So if someone is over the setback, they know before (it is constructed)," Garland said.

Larry Eberly, an Antrim Township resident and homebuilder, suggested to the board that a site survey should take place during the footer phase, before the foundation of a home is applied. A footer is the concrete platform that the foundation of a house sits on.

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"If you catch it at that point, it's only a few dollars to fix," Eberly said of setback issues that might be noticed after footers are put in for a home.

If a setback problem is found after the foundation is poured, it could cost thousands of dollars to fix, Eberly said.

At setback line is "the line between a property defining the required minimum distance between any enclosed structure and the adjacent right-of-way or other property line," according to Antrim Township's online Code of Ordinances.

Eberly said he does not believe setback issues are a major concern in Antrim Township.

However, during a hearing in September about Moss Springs Estates in Greencastle, setback issues were brought to the attention of the board.

Dale Angle, owner of a single-family home lot in the development, was required by the developer to have a 35-foot easement that would require a screen of trees between his lot and villa lots nearby. Angle was supposed to have 25 feet of that easement on his property and the remaining 10 feet would be in the backyard of three villa units.

However, after the villas were built, it was discovered that some of the villa lots were built slightly over the boundary line of the common area between Angle's lot and the villas.

The supervisors approved survey requirements during the footer phase of residential development and they are effective immediately for all new residential dwellings, Myers said.

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