SWAN Newsletter #2

June 26, 2006


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Triple Crown Corporation (TCC) requested the rezoning of the 32.8-acre portion of the 48.36 parcel of Stray Winds Farm that is in Susquehanna Township from R-1, Low Density Residential, to R-2, Medium Density Residential. The 32.8-acre portion is the planned residential area, the remainder of the 48.36-acre parcel is the portion under contract with St. Margaret Mary Church and that area will remain R-1. The request was approved.

Mark Disanto, Chief Executive Officer of TCC, previously had two meetings with the Planning Commission and had been requested to show how the area could be developed under the existing R-1, under the proposed R-2, and under the Conservation District Overlay (CDO). He showed sketches of each, with R-1 having 56 homes with 20,000 sq. ft. lots and no open space; R-2 having 74 homes with 8,000 sq. ft. lots and 6.5 acres of open space; and CDO having 54 homes with 8,000 sq. ft lots and 50% open space. Mark DiSanto argued that with R-1, the 20,000 sq. ft. lot requirement left no open space, with the CDO, the open space requirement left room for only 54 homes, so R-2 provided opportunity for more homes with still 20% open space.

As TCC has committed to pay toward improvements in Lower Paxton Township for the development of Stray Winds Farm, TCC committed to pay the entire cost of intersection improvements in Susquehanna Township, at Progress Ave & Paxton Church Road estimated at $111,000; and at Progress Ave & Linglestown Rd, TCC would pay a portion of the cost, $5,000.

The Dauphin County Planning Commission representative said they were not in favor of the requested change, preferring the CDO and that the future land use plan showed low density in this area. Mark DiSanto said R-2 is low density, even though it is called medium density. The county was concerned about emergency access roads and Mark DiSanto said the land development plan would show provisions for access to Sturbridge Road to the North and possibly to Paxton Church on the South. R-2 allows for 4 units per acre. But Mark DiSanto said because of the nature of the site, the 74 homes shown, which is 2.2 per acre, was all they could get on and they might lose a couple to provide for access roads.

Bob Grubic, Township engineer with HRG, had reviewed the plan and stated it was in substantial agreement with the Township’s Comprehensive Plan and the future land use plan. He said he supported the request to change to R-2.

After some further discussion, the Commission voted unanimously to approve the rezoning.