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Township, farmer near deal over trees

December 02, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - On Monday, the Washington Township Supervisors and a Pa. 316 property owner inched closer to a compromise concerning trees that could be lost as homes are built on his farm.

The proposed solution for Antietam Creek Estates would allow for discussions with individual property owners as building permits are issued. If those property owners feel they need to remove trees, they could be required to plant others on the affected ridgeline.

The supervisors again delayed any approval decision on the 88-acre planned residential development so lawyers on both sides can negotiate the details of the agreement.

Land owner Dan Long and his representatives joined the supervisors and their solicitor in bickering for some time about the tree cover on a handful of lots in the proposed 233-home community. Some supervisors felt that removing the trees would create erosion problems for the hill and nearby creek.

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Township Manager Mike Christopher eventually suggested the compromise.

"See, what you said makes sense," Long said, generating laughs.

Earlier, he criticized the supervisors, saying they were badgering him over when the township will have 1,100 feet of Washington Township Boulevard stretched across the south end of the development.

"What (trees) are you going to preserve where your bypass is going through? My farm was fine until you wanted your road," Long said.

Extra trees will line the $16.7 million relief route, Supervisor Christopher Firme said.

Township Solicitor John Lisko explained that local law has provisions about tree cover in planned residential developments.

"We need some sort of landscaping plan, according to our ordinance, to prevent the erosion. ... This is a PRD, and we have regulations," Lisko said.

"Our job is to do what we can to protect the resources left in this community," Supervisor John Gorman said.

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