NEWS

Antrim Township starts Hykes Road work

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

Improvements to Hykes Road began Monday. Antrim Township roadmaster Mike Condo reviewed the timeline for upgrading the entire road, from U.S. 11 to Williamsport Pike, to the board of supervisors June 24.

Valley Quarries had been hired for the construction, which will include three weeks of installing drainage pipes under the road. Paving follows, with the road widened to 22 feet in necessary sections for a consistent surface. Antrim administrator Brad Graham said the work should be done by late August, and lanes would always be open for traffic, though at times could be rerouted.

Supervisors John Alleman, James Byers, Rick Baer, Fred Young III and Pat Heraty heard Condo’s request, based on a petition from residents, to drop the speed limit on Filer Road from 35 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. They authorized advertising the change, with Byers voting no. He said he had never supported lowering speed limits because it was so hard to ever drive 25 miles per hour.

Cedarbrook Homeowners Association (HOA) board members Steve Fretz, Jeff Walker and Jason Gerhart presented three requests to the township, since all of the properties in the development were sold. They wanted a metered power supply at the intersection of the entrance at Hykes Road East and U.S. 11, so the HOA could install street lighting; for paving to be completed to facilitate plowing in the winter; and to finish the sidewalks, especially handicap accessible ramps at the intersections.

Zoning officer Sylvia House responded that the entrance was at the engineering stage, but a traffic signal was not required until the adjacent Molly Pitcher PRD (planned residential development) was completed. A roundabout was under consideration as well. She agreed that paving should be done but there were bonding issues with the developer. She had a meeting scheduled. Finally, the sidewalks met the land development plan specifications, but her department was writing new regulations which could affect future installations.

Zoning request

Tom Shook was the applicant in a zoning change hearing that evening. Antrim was represented by solicitor Linus Fenicle.

Shook asked that 70 acres, which would become Phase 4 of his Melrose Meadows development, be rezoned from Agricultural Residential to R-1, Low Density Residential. Under AR, the minimum size lot could be 80,000 square feet, about two acres. In R-1, the smallest lot could be 15,000 square feet.

The Antrim Township and Franklin County planning commissions opposed the zoning change, House said. She also had a number of objections. A change would not fit Antrim’s Comprehensive Plan, Shook’s land on the west side of Grant Shook Road was currently in ag security, the road was rural and not designed for higher density traffic, Franklin County had determined the area had a high quality watershed and prime soils, and a rezoning would set precedent for other areas.

“Where do you draw the line?” House asked. “Once the property is there, it’s hard to deny the second one.”

Byers agreed, wanting to look at what was the best use of the land. The supervisors had 90 days to make a decision, and chose to table action.