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Wormald Companies Submits Plans for Higher-Density Development in Fairfield/Emmitsburg Region

10/30/2003 - In response to land ownership questions about its proposed Community of Liberty, a planned residential development between Fairfield, Pa., and Emmitsburg, Md., Wormald Companies submitted higher-density alternate plans for the site.

The original plan calls for 1,140 homes on 710 acres in Liberty Township, Pa. A second plan submitted on September 29 includes 1,182 homes on 445 acres, and a third plan submitted in October calls for 106 houses on much of the rest of the acreage. The total of the two alternate plans together has 148 more homes than the original plan.

Save Our Liberty, a grassroots citizens' group opposed to the development, has built up support from more than 150 donors to hire legal counsel, a hydrogeologist, a traffic enginner and a planning expert. Explained Bill Packer, Save Our Liberty cochair, "In coming to Pennsylvania from its base in Maryland, the Wormald Companies avoids the cost of impact fees levied in their home state. Maryland fees for Wormald's initial plan would have amounted to approximately $8 million. Our state does not allow impact fees.

"SOL volunteers have contacted most residents in the township, as well as many others in the surrounding region, and the great majority of them are very worried about the tremendous number of homes Wormald plans to bring into our rural community. Citizens are gravely concerned that the developer's plans do not adequately protect the groundwater supply and the environment. They are also concerned about traffic, both within Liberty Township and through the town of Emmitsburg, and the need for a new school. Our township cannot require Wormald to pay for the cost of additional or improved roads, schools or emergency services that will be needed, and thus the burden will fall on our community."

Liberty Township supervisors will decide at their next regular meeting whether and when the public hearing on Wormald's first plan will continue. The lawyer representing the Wormald Companies had requested a continuance (delay) on the public hearing to enable his client to address issues regarding a strip of land that was included in development plans and is not owned by the developer. The supervisors' meeting will be held on Wed., Nov. 5, at 7:30 PM at the Township Building, 39 Topper Rd., Fairfield, Pa.

The Liberty Township supervisors can be reached at 717-642-3780. Save Our Liberty can be reached at 717-642-5156 or

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