The purpose of this information sheet to address and answer some common questions that have arisen about the proposed Bender Mill Subdivision project. While there may be more questions added over time, this information sheet can’t answer everything so we encourage anyone with other questions to call the office at 717-397-4769 and we will be happy to help you.
HISTORY AND TIMELINE
- December 14, 2019- Public meeting between Developer and residents to see the plan.
- January 27, 2020- Park & Rec Board review of the Official Map.
- October 13, 2020- Planning Commission meeting to review the Sketch Plan.
- October 26, 2020- Park & Rec Board review the sketch plan.
- January 4, 2021- Board of Supervisors meeting as an informational update.
- January 22, 2021- Planning Commission meeting to review and make a recommendation to the Zoning Hearing Board with regards to the Vested Protection Special Exception.
- February 1, 2021- Board of Supervisors meeting to designate the Township Manager to represent the Board of Supervisors at the Zoning Hearing Board meetings.
- February 3, 2021- Zoning Hearing Board meeting to hear the special exceptions for a Cluster Development and Vested Protection for a Cluster Development.
- March 1, 2021- Board of Supervisors adopt the Official Map
- March 17, 2021- Zoning Hearing Board decision for the Cluster Development & Vested Protection special exceptions.
- March 14, 2022- Preliminary SALDO and Stormwater Plans have been submitted to the Township for review.
- July 5, 2022- Time Extension Request submitted and granted at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
- April 1, 2022- Township Engineer Review Letter issued based on review of 3/14/22 plan submittal.
- August 3, 2022- Revised Plans submitted by Developer for review by Township & Township Engineer.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Public Notice Transparency and Opportunity for Public Participation
- How do residents have a voice in the project?
Residents are encouraged to attend meetings or share their comments with members of the various boards and commissions as well as township staff. The Developer has also been open to direct discussions with residents and has already fielded a lot of questions. You can email:
- Scott Wiglesworth, Stone Mill Partners email@example.com
- George Mann, Supervisor, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brandon Clark, Supervisor, Chair email@example.com
- John Wenzel, Supervisor firstname.lastname@example.org
- Missy Phelan, Supervisors email@example.com
- Allan Herr, Supervisor, Vice Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ryan Strohecker, Township Manager email@example.com
- Nate Taggart, Zoning/Planning Director firstname.lastname@example.org
- Can we be provided a PDF copy of the plans thus far that the board have been given?
Copies of plans on file are available upon request. There may be a charge for the copies depending on the format in which they are requested (I.e. paper copies, digital, etc.)
- Can we get more details on the December 2019 public meeting held by the Developer? None of the neighbors involved in the process were aware this meeting took place, but we’ve learned that 80 people attended.
The December 2019 meeting was a public meeting held by the Developer not held by the Township. Manor Township has no documents, plans, or minutes from that meeting as it was not a Township meeting. You may reach out to the Developer for specific details regarding that meeting.
Process Moving Forward
- What is the expected planning process?
The next step in the planning process is for the Developer to submit a preliminary subdivision and land development plan that will go through the Planning Commission process and Board of Supervisors process. After that, a final subdivision and land development plan will be submitted and will go through the same process.
- What is the role of the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors?
The Planning Commission (PC) serves as a recommending body to the Board of Supervisors (BOS). They will review any requested modifications and waivers of the plan by the Developer. Typically, with more complicated plans, this takes a minimum of two separate meetings.
The Board of Supervisors will review the recommendations of the Manor Township Planning Commission, Lancaster County Planning Commission, Township staff, emergency services and engineering letters. Once they are satisfied with the information provided, the BOS will call for a vote on the project.
- Which planning ordinances does the Developer now have to satisfy?
Subdivision and Land Development & Storm Water Management are the two main ordinances moving forward.
- Is the planning commission also responsible for comparing the Developer’s final plan (as opposed to the sketch plan the zoning board looked at) to the zoning ordinances for cluster development?
- Does the Planning Commission have broad discretion to add conditions to its approvals, for example related to improvements to nearby roads or something that would protect neighbors against loss of their well water?
No. The Planning Commission is a recommending body only.
- In the past, has public input on developments caused the township to amend plans significantly from draft to final?
Public input always help decision makers make better decisions.
- Mark Will mentioned hosting another public meeting in early May 2021; will that occur before or after the development goes before the Planning Commission?
The impression given to the Township is that the Developer will hold the meeting just prior to a subdivision plan submittal. That being said, this meeting is one being held and hosted by the Developer and not the Township so you should confirm the timing of this meeting with them.
- Does party status have to be limited to the residents touching the land?
Party status is something that only applies to the Zoning Hearing case and will not be relevant to future Planning Commission and Board of Supervisor meetings.
Special Exception and Maximum Number of Homes to be Built
- What is a “special exception”?
In the zoning world, the term “special exception” is a misnomer. It does not mean what the words say. A special exception is neither special nor an exception. Special exceptions are uses that are permitted by the ordinance under specific criteria. It is the applicants’ job to demonstrate that they meet the criteria outlined in the ordinance and the Zoning Hearing Board’s job to review the documents and testimony to determine if they actually do meet the criteria. In essence, by granting a Special Exception, there are no exceptions being made at all. The Zoning Hearing Board is simply determining that the ordinance criteria is being met.
- How many homes could be developed on the proposed 100 acres without the Cluster Development Special Exception?
Low Density Residential Flex Zone without Cluster Developments requires a minimum lot size of 15,000 sf. (1 acre = 43,560 sf)
43,560sf/15,000sf = 2.9 lot per acre density
2.9 density x 100 acres = 290 homes
- Does the joining of the acreage to 100 acres place the development into a new category of exception?
No, the minimum required lot area for a cluster development is 2 acres so both parcels exceed that minimum requirement. The cluster development vested protection special exception applies to developments containing 100 or more dwelling units. Without combining the two lots, the larger of the two tracts would allow for at least 100 units.
- Conditions on Zoning Hearing Board approvals
- Why did the township attach conditions #2 and 3 to the ZHB approvals on 3/17? These were negotiated with the Developer to enhance the community and help the Township achieve MS4 goals/objectives going forward.
- Regarding #2, the walking path, what is the township’s interest in adding it… is it part of a larger trail?
- Regarding #3, who would determine what the streambank restoration plan looks like and who would be responsible for executing it?
The Township and Developer would be working together on this project to achieve MS4 goals/objectives.
Expected Additional Analysis on the Development- Environmental, Traffic, Health, Noise, Light
- When will a comprehensive Drainage Water Management study be performed?
During the Subdivision/Land Development process. The plan is thoroughly reviewed by the Township Engineer and staff for compliance with the Storm Water Management ordinance.
- When will a comprehensive Traffic Impact study be performed? In addition to traffic of the new residents, will the study factor in additional traffic of school buses, UPS, FedEx, Amazon, trash haulers, and routine service trucks?
Traffic studies are a requirement as part of their Subdivision/Land Development plan. Trip generation numbers, as part of a traffic study, use a calculation that averages all traffic for the neighborhood.
- Can the Township require that construction activity be limited?
To an extent that is reasonable.
- What are Township requirements regarding non-invasive street lighting, decrease light pollution?
This will be discussed through the SALDO process but we would request that the Developer have a similar lighting plan to what has been built on Bank Barn Ln. We certainly understand that this area of the Township enjoys the stars at night.
- What happens to the residents who have wells/springs if they are damaged or disrupted during land movement/detonation? Is the Developer responsible for ground water?
Should a well be adversely impacted, the remedy would be between the Developer and the landowner.
- Can the Township require the Developer to plant a pine tree buffer (minimum 6-8’ height) or a green space between the new development and adjacent properties?
Perhaps. Individual landowners could also make this request of the Developer.
- Can Bank Barn Lane remain a cul-de-sac for foot and bike traffic only to preserve the rest of Letort Manor. The development already has 3 other exits why is Bank Barn Lane considered so important as an entrance for cars?
It has always been planned for Bank Barn Ln to be an exit/entry for the new development since Bank Barn Ln was developed and designed. It was clearly shown on the Carol Dr/Hess Home Builders Subdivision Plan that the Bank Barn Ln cul-de-sac is to be temporary until the Barley tract is developed. There is no interest in reversing that plan.
- If Bank Barn Lane becomes an entrance to the new development, can the Township prohibit construction traffic through Letort Manor?
The Township Public Works Director will work with the Developer to determine accessible construction routes in and out of the development. As of the date of this answer, it seems unlikely that Bank Barn Lane is the best route for that.
General Development and Plan Questions
- Was the property rezoned?
No. The Barley Farm has been zoned RL1 Low Density Residential/Flex Zone for 40+ years. The Township has maps dating back to 1975 showing the property in this zoning classification.
- What happens if the Developer does not fulfill what they have proposed? What repercussions are there and how are they held accountable?
The Township requires financial securities to be paid upfront to ensure the Developer completes the project as approved (should it get approved).
- Can the Township require that the Developer be liable for loss of property value if an adjacent property owner sells after the new development construction begins?
- What is considered open space? Does it include roads and the drainage basins?
Zoning Ordinance Definition: OPEN SPACE, COMMON OR PUBLIC (CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT)
A parcel or parcels of land, an area of water, or a combination of land and water, within a cluster development designed and intended for the use of all residents of the development (common open space) or the general public (public open space), not including streets and walkways, off-street parking areas, areas with no public accessibility, setbacks, and areas at other than ground level. Open space areas may include floodplains and drainage basins. Common or public open space shall be substantially free of structures but may contain such improvements as are appropriate for recreational use by the residents or the general public.
- Regarding the proposed path, where is the destination?
The Township is proposing a walking path be designated along the creek that would connect to the sidewalks of the new development and the proposed new land on the west side of the West Branch of the Little Conestoga.
- Why is a bridge over the land proposed?
This is due to the land that the Township owns and connectivity to the development. It must cross the stream.
- What is the plan to ultimately connect it to?
The development has connections proposed at Bender Mill Rd, Dublin Dr, Money Hill Rd, and Bank Barn Ln.
- The fix was in, this is all about greed/money, and don’t the Supervisors have the Developers best interest in mind?
The Supervisors zoned the property to RL1 decades ago and the plan has been to target Township growth in this area. Ultimately the Township had no control over when the land would be sold or who would end up acquiring it. The Township will hold the current Developer to the same standards and processes it would hold any other developer, business or resident to as it relates to the SALDO, Storm Water and Zoning Ordinances.
- Are decisions being made behind closed doors?
No. Decisions are made at public meetings during Zoning Hearing Board and Board of Supervisor meetings. They are the two decision making authorities.