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Trees spark debate at hearing for Pa. subdivision

November 18, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A ridge of trees again has again gotten the Washington Township Supervisors in an argument with a developer.

The supervisors expressed concerns Monday about the possible clear-cutting of a few lots planned as part of Antietam Creek Estates, which is proposed between Pa. 316 and Washington Township Boulevard near the near Tyco Electronics Corp., formerly Amp.

Their discussions were reminiscent of those with the Gardner family looking to develop forested land on Mount Dunlop.

In Antietam Creek Estates, the township would be given 33.5 acres of open space for a recreation area.

"The plan shows a system of walkways, sidewalks and a pretty significant recreation area," said Stephen Patterson, an attorney for the developer.

Sketches for the 88-acre Antietam Creek Estates show 107 single-family houses, 48 duplexes and 78 town houses on land owned by Dan Long. The plan also includes six acres zoned commercially.

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The supervisors hosted a public hearing on the development Monday and are expected to grant tentative approval in the coming weeks.

A surveyor for the developer first looked at steep portions, then laid out road patterns, houses, storm water management and lot lines in the planned residential development. Township officials toured the property to select features they want to preserve.

Although Long assured the supervisors that the best trees are included in the open space to be given to the township, some of the board had concerns that quality trees might be lost on a few of the single-family lots. The two sides debated the matter for some time, with plans ultimately proceeding as drawn. Supervisor Christopher Firme asked to walk that section of the site in coming weeks.

Firme also asked whether Antietam Creek Estates's only access from Washington Township Boulevard could be better aligned with the B2M2 development immediately to the south. Representatives of the developer said they will engage in conversations, but can't make promises.

Also, the supervisors preliminarily agreed that they will take ownership of an old farmhouse on the property.

"It is a great example of architecture in that area," Supervisor John Gorman said.

An engineer will be evaluating the farmhouse to determine its structural integrity.

The developer of Antietam Creek Estates will be required to build 1,100 feet of Washington Township Boulevard.

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