Dorrance Township Readies For New Residential Developments

At the September 12th municipal meeting Dorrance leaders heard news of 2 new subdivision plans.

Under the leadership of Vice Chair Bill Wengrzynek in the absence of Chair Gary Zane, the board reported that the developer of the Blue Ridge Trail Planned Residential Development will be applying for a hearing shortly.

It was announced that, “a letter was received from John R. Varaly advising that in all likelihood they will be ready to proceed with the Blue Ridge Trail PRD project in October.”

The project was presented in December and called for a PRD named ‘The Preserve’ containing 85 single family lots of less than one acre and 108 twin units for a total of 193 units over 351.63 acres.

The overall parcel measures 546.56 acres along Blytheburn and Prospect Roads, but due to slope and wetlands issues, almost 200 acres will be excluded from development.

At this meeting, Township Solicitor Donald Karpowich reminded the board that the first step of the planning process will be the public hearing to consider a Conditional Use designation on the project. That hearing must be before the Board of Supervisors.

“I will get together with them and schedule the hearing,” Atty. Karpowich offered, asking if the board would like to hold the hearing at the Dorrance Township Fire Hall to allow for a large attendance. Wengrzynek and Supervisor Kevin Gallagher agreed.

Also under discussion is an expansion plan for the Bella Vista development at the south-east end of the township, to the east of Route 309.

Surveyor William Heller and developer Dan Rochon explained the details of the project. “Right now there is only one way in and one way out. I’d like to create another way out,” Rochon explained.

Heller reported that the property is about 170 acres in total, but the initial phase will be approximately 35 acres carved into 10 residential lots extending north from an existing cul-de-sac.

Heller said the proposal for the residential plan begins by extending a road about 900 feet to a 90-degree entrance to Route 309. “Projecting out to the future,” Heller continued, “there would be a Phase 2 which would come out to about where Steinbrenner’s is now.” He said for planning purposes, the road could be extended to Hart Estates.

Karpowich noted that the property is now zoned for business, “This is B-2 right now –commercial. Because it was along 309 at the time, I guess they opted to make it B-2. So they will first come in to request an amendment or a change to the zoning map to R-1… This is just a sketch plan at this point.”

The solicitor added that the current residents have requested help with the existing entrance for school bus safety, so they would likely be pleased with the prospect on another access point. He also noted that Mr. Rochon has improved drainage at the cul-de-sac to abate storm-water issues. Further benefits will be enabled under the development’s potential to update that area’s storm-water management system.

In other business, the board accepted low bidder Pennsy Supply’s offer on installing a superpave scratch and leveling course on Ridge Road and a portion of Small Mountain Road. Three bids were received: Barletta Materials -$116,698; American Asphalt at $104,484.35 and Pennsy’s bid of $87,181.07. The overall length to be improved is about a mile Gallagher stated.

The board also approved the purchase of a 2016/2017 Sherwood Freightliner dump truck with plow and spreader in the amount of $131,203.25 under the state purchasing system. Thanks to a Local Share grant in the amount of $120,000, Dorrance will only have to contribute $11,203.25 to the purchase cost.

Emergency Management Coordinator Gwen Sakowski reported that the township won kudos for their performance in the PP&L Drill in September, saying proudly, “We passed with flying colors.” The group is now preparing for a federal drill scheduled for October 18th.

And finally Secretary-Treasurer Patricia Davis advised that the board’s next meeting will be held on October 10th.