Evening Sun Reporter
housing development that could nearly triple
Liberty Township's population should be
denied because planned residential
developments are not permitted in the area
where it is proposed, according to the Adams
County's Office of Planning and Development.
The planning office
has recommended Liberty Township supervisors
deny plans for Liberty Valley and issued a
36-page report Wednesday detailing why it
came to that conclusion.
Corp. wants to build a 1,181-dwelling
development on about 445 acres along Crum
and Tract roads. The plan calls for a retail
town center, a new township hall, horse
stables, open space and equestrian, walking
and biking trails.
The community will
include 596 single-family homes, 273
townhouses and 312 condominiums.
Condominiums will average $155,000 in price;
townhouses will average $215,000. The
single-family homes will range from $245,000
the director of the office of planning and
development, said Liberty Township's zoning
ordinance does not allow Liberty Valley,
which is a planned residential development.
developments - which combine several
different types of housing, such as
single-family houses and townhouses, in the
same project - were allowed in Liberty
Township's general use zone. In 1985, that
type of development was removed from the
zone, but the requirements remain in the
ordinance, Schmoyer said.
"We don't think the
intention is to have them at all," Schmoyer
said. "We're just not comfortable with how
the ordinance reads and whether this is
allowed at all."
shocked Ed Wormald, director of operations
for The Wormald Companies, which owns
Liberty Development Corp. Thursday evening.
He said he did not have a chance to review
the office's comments.
He said planned
residential developments are allowed in the
"We're real pleased
with the Liberty Valley plan, and we believe
that it fully complies with the zoning
ordinance and, you know, we're anticipating
approval in the next month or two," he said.
The report from the
planning office also raises questions about
water resources and the possible impact on
wells that serve nearby homes, a concern
raised by residents when Liberty Township
officials were reviewing Liberty Development
Corp.'s first proposed development, The
Community of Liberty.
withdrew those plans after a title issue
arose on a piece of land that bisected the
proposed site. Instead, they decided to
propose two separate developments, Liberty
Valley and Liberty Estates, a 106-home
subdivision for which plans were submitted
The developer has
drilled two wells that pump 100 and 150
gallons per minute and could be enlarged to
yield 600 to 800 gallons per minute to serve
the proposed homes.
The report says that
information does not ensure pumping water
for Liberty Valley will not negatively
affect neighboring wells.
"We are concerned
that approval of the proposed (planned
residential development) and the adjacent
Liberty Estates subdivision are just the
beginning of a major 'urbanization' process
within the valley east of Ski Liberty, and
that groundwater supplies could easily be
depleted in the future," the report reads.
"The township should ensure that there is a
'backup plan' in effect if water quality or
quantity problems should occur."
The planning office
report also says Liberty Valley is
inconsistent with the township's
comprehensive plan. The development is in
the middle of the township's largest
potential agricultural preservation area and
the comprehensive plan says higher density
developments should be permitted in the
residential, not rural areas.
Plus the county's
comprehensive plan sets the land where
Liberty Valley is proposed aside for very
low density development - or one dwelling
for each 20 acres. At that ratio, 22 houses
would be built on the property, not 1,181.
supervisors will take the suggestions from
the county office of planning and
development into consideration when they
make their final decision for Liberty
Valley. Township engineer William Hill said
he plans to give his recommendations at the
upcoming township planning commission
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