Township cannot fix hole in development

Shawn Hardy

A hole in the ground in Shadow Creek Estates is a private property issue and Antrim Township has no authority to resolve it.

A letter with that information is being sent to the development's homeowners association as a result of discussion by supervisors Tuesday night.

The president of the homeowners association for Shadow Creek Estates talked to supervisors about the hole at 1059 Jason Drive at their June 26 meeting. It appears to be from a broken storm water pipe in the development off Williamsport Pike.

Lou Chillemi described the hole as 2 to 3 feet wide and about 5 feet deep. He said it is being covered up by a plastic swimming pool.

"If I was a kid, I would look under it," said Chillemi. "It's an accident waiting to happen."

He was looking for help in figuring who is responsible for fixing the hole. Supervisors determined the township cannot do anything after talking with Sylvia House, zoning and code enforcement officer, and solicitor John Lisko.

It remained unclear who should address the problem after House explained the history of the property and the pipe. She said original plans for the development showed a drainage swale and that is how the lot owner purchased it. The drainage pipe was added years later by the developer of phase 4 of Shadow Creek.

Lisko asked if the HOA document says anything about maintenance of common facilities. While a note on the plans says the homeowner is responsible for what's on their property, the pipe was not on the property when it was purchased.

"I'm not sure there's anything we can do legally," said Lisko, noting sinkholes are common in this area.

Supervisors indicated they would be setting precedent to fix a problem on private property.

"We have to let the HOA know we have no teeth in this area," said Supervisor Rick Baer, noting the developer is long gone.