Planning commission focuses on Warriors Mark development

The Huntingdon County Planning Commission has some questions about certain proposed Warriors Mark Township subdivisions. The commission met Wednesday night to discuss those concerns.
The land developments in question were submitted for approval by developer John Gilliland. Two are located along Route 550 near the Durbin Farm (Ridge View II, Elizabeth Acres), while three more are further north, along Dungarvin Road (Ashley Acres) and Dry Hollow Road (Gillbrook Farms Phase I and II).
Designs for the first three subdivisions mentioned were prepared by Mease Associates, while the latter two were drawn up by C & E Engineers.
Planning commission director Richard Stahl presented the plans and pointed out several disparities between the proposals and township ordinances.
“None of these plans adhere to the township open space ordinance,” Stahl explained. “Also, street specs in some of these proposed developments are not consistent with township regulations.”
According to Stahl, Warriors Mark Township’s open space ordinance holds that, with regard to major subdivisions such as these, 50 percent of the land must be held out as open space. In all five plans submitted by Gilliland, tightly-fitted lots are shown and no effort is made to preserve open space.
As a result, Stahl noted that Gilliland’s plans further bucked township regulations as too many individual lots are framed for each of the five developments.
“The Ridge View II subdivision (located on the west side of Route 550) is 69.46 acres,” Stahl explained. “The plans call for 28 lots, but township ordinance allows for only 12 lots.
“The Elizabeth Acres subdivision (directly across Route 550 on the east side) consists of 44.85 acres and designs show 15 lots. This plan, by ordinance, is only permitted seven.”
Similar problems exist in the other three proposals, according to Stahl.
Plans for all five subdivisions include new streets which would be turned over to the township after final construction. However, Stahl pointed out that street shoulders on three of the plans are not wide enough.
“The shoulders are only three feet wide, while township specs call for four-foot wide shoulders,” he said.
Street shoulder width on the Gillbrook Farms Phase I and II designs, prepared by C & E Engineers, did satisfy township rules.
“Why are there so many inconsistencies?” questioned commission member Larry Mutti. “I could see one or two, but there are several rather important problems with these proposals.”
Stahl suggested that Gilliland may be questioning the legality of certain township ordinances. Commission member Ron Rabena noted that by submitting the plans and receiving a refusal, Gilliland may be attempting to build grounds for litigation.
The commission plans to submit their recommendations to Warriors Mark Township.