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Cindy Mammarella, Guest Columnist

12/28/2003

I read with interest the story headlined, "Residents: Leave Sadsbury Township Alone" (DLN, Dec. 4), and a guest column written by Lem Mason titled, "A Blurred Vision of Sadsbury" (DLN, Dec. 8). Both expressed concerns of rezoning to permit high-density developments. Similar concerns and issues exist in the municipalities of the Octorara Area School District.

For example, in the Dec. 4 issue of the (Parkesburg) Post-Ledger, there appeared a letter to the editor from Jack Mariano expressing his concern over a 605-townhouse development proposed in West Sadsbury Township. Mariano wrote that, "even one-half of the proposed townhouses are intolerable."

Subsequently, in last week’s Ledger there was an article describing Bob Hume’s concern over Parkesburg Borough Council’s interest in rezoning property to permit a 300-plus residential development. More specifically, along with a 10-acre commercial area, this proposed project situated in the quarry area along Route 10 currently includes 62 acres containing 224 townhouses, 100 apartment units, and 36 single homes, for a grand total of 360 dwelling units.

When this letter sees print, a draft of a new zoning district entitled R4 will have been presented to the Parkesburg Borough Council. The R4 district is expected to permit a multi-use development to include high-density, mixed dwelling units, such as townhouses and apartments. The property anticipated to be rezoned to R4 happens to be the one on which the 360 dwelling units mentioned above are proposed.

I hope Mariano and every resident of the Octorara area focuses not only on the headline that screams, "605 Townhouses Proposed for West Sadsbury Township." They should become informed of all the proposed development in this region and the fiscally devastating consequences that may follow.

With a current enrollment of only 849 students in the Octorara High School, the 360 new dwelling units in Parkesburg will likely cause a need for additional school resources. One must also take into account the increased demand on borough services (i.e. trash and snow removal, police protection, etc.) that will be created by such a development. Let us not ignore the increase in traffic likely to occur along Route 10 that will be added to the congestion in that area that has become all too commonplace in the last year or so.

Not only does this scenario predict the likelihood for the need to increase school taxes, but it predicts the likelihood for the need to increase Parkesburg Borough taxes, as well.

Does the Octorara region need high-density townhouse developments in any of its municipalities? Residents should become informed about this issue, and attend their local government’s meetings. They should encourage and support their local officials’ efforts to create zoning that promotes smart, controlled development. Developer-sponsored zoning changes usually result in benefits to a select few, typically the developers!

They should be aware that a townhouse development may not only be proposed in someone else’s borough or township, but it may also be proposed in their own backyard.

The writer lives in Parkesburg.

İDaily Local News 2003 

Reader Opinion:

Name: Lem Mason                                                                             

Date: Dec, 28 2003 

 

Excellent editorial Ms. Mammarella!

People who think the developers' impending rape of the environment and assault on their quality of life is not going to effect them are the ones who will be the most upset when it happens to them...they do not realize that no one is immune from the high cost of lining developers' pockets at our expense. People need to realize that when developers, who are highly skilled in manipulating facts and people show their very pretty, professionally drawn plans at their slick presentations that really means higher taxes, more crime, more traffic and a lower quality of life.

Your last comment sums it up perfectly....I guarantee any of the developers who are assaulting our area with these high density travesties do NOT have this type of building anywhere near where they live. Why do you think that is?

 

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