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No Third Second Chance for Rock Hill Farm Developer

From the Desk of Bruce E. Mowday

Bruce Mowday is an award-winning author and newspaper reporter. He has authored more than 20 books on history, sports, business and true crime.

Twice development plans have been filed for Rock Hill Farm with the Willistown

Planning Commission that are not only incomplete but are contrary to township rules and regulations. The latest plans submitted by the developer do not conform to the requirements of the zoning and subdivision ordinances and therefore should be denied by the Planning Commission.

Some of the reasons the plan should be rejected include:

  • A Planning Module has not been included. The module would explain how the project will meet wastewater (e.g., septic system) requirements based on soil testing. Without this vital requirement, the application remains fundamentally incomplete. Without this information the location and even the number of lots cannot be determined.  A plan doesn't get more fundamentally incomplete than that.

  • The plans do not preserve agricultural land as required. It puts development right in the middle of Class I and II Agricultural Soils; the best in Pennsylvania.  And, it does not protect the scenic view from South Valley Road by using ridgelines to shield development from view, which is also a requirement.

  • The lots in the middle of the project do not have the required street access and therefore also likely fail to meet other dimensional requirements.

  • Certain of the existing residences do not appear to meet the requirements to remain as dwellings on the main lot.

  • A conservation easement is proposed so that the "conventional" lots in the center of the tract can avoid conditional use hearings; but no detail is provided nor is there a designated easement holder.  

  • Stormwater planning is incomplete.  

Obviously, the current plan is highly defective. The township should immediately reject the proposal. There should be no “third, second chance!”

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