Developer asks for relief from Antrim Township officials

— By PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

Tom Mongold, developer of Heritage Estates West, asked the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors for concessions on bonding the sidewalks. At the Sept. 11 meeting he told Fred Young III, Rick Baer, Pat Heraty, John Alleman and James Byers he was six years into the project and didn't have the money to bond sidewalks for all 78 lots in the current phase.

Zoning officer Sylvia House said staff recommended each lot be dealt with as a house was built, and no highway occupancy permit would be issued until the walkway was installed. Usually, the township wanted money upfront for an entire project.

"We would need $700,000," said Mongold. "We have to find collateral or put up money from elsewhere and we're having trouble finding that."

He advised that it was better to wait and install each sidewalk one by one, since they could be damaged during construction otherwise.

Byers was concerned if the development stalled halfway, there would not be a unified sidewalk system.

After discussion on options, the board decided to require all sidewalks be constructed or financial security established in five years or when the neighborhood was at 50 percent buildout, whichever came first. The board also would reevaluate the situation in five years.

Mongold said the whole project had been a headache, dealing with Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority, an excavator and the Borough of Greencastle. He bought the land at the top of the market and now just hoped to break even.

Matrix Development Group, owner of the World Kitchen property, asked for a modification to its subdivision plans. It wanted to be able to access the rear lot using the current access route from U.S. 11 instead of creating a new entrance. House said that fit with the direction Antrim was heading in its ordinance changes. Antrim wanted to limit the number of driveways entering main roadways, by encouraging shared use driveways.

Byers was concerned if the rear property ever sold. House replied that many businesses had maintenance agreements. Young thought PennDOT might do a traffic study if a new company went in the back, and determine a light was needed at the entrance. Then Matrix might choose to build its own road. On a 4-1 vote, Matrix's request was granted. Byers opposed.