Tuesday, January 22, 2019


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Concerns Remain for Proposed Red Hill Development
Written by Candace Perry Correspondent

                With a new sketch plan for a possible Hendricks Road development in Red Hill and Upper Hanover presented to the Red Hill Planning Commission, one of the priority issues is parking for future residents and their guests.

                Ben Goldthorpe, representing the developer Select Properties, introduced a new sketch plan for the development at the June 16 meeting of the Red Hill Planning Commission.

                A group of concerned local property owners were on hand to hear the presentation. Goldthorpe stated that the plan reduced the number of townhomes from 200 to 160, and had increased parking from 150 spaces, on the earlier plan, to 185.

                He further noted that that this reduction of units had allowed for increased open space, and a "modified layout."

                Goldthorpe also said that the developer had reduced the number of waiver requests, and had increased walking trails in Upper Hanover and added playing fields for use by the homeowners.

                Borough engineer Ryan Kern said, "There are still a number of waivers being requested."

                The in-lieu-of open space fees would total over $1.2 million dollars, an option provided to developers if they cannot reach the open space requirement in the borough. Most of the open space for the development would lie in Upper Hanover Township.

                In spite of the increased parking in the plan, borough officials still find it to be inadequate. Each unit has one space in the driveway, a space in the garage, and another within 400 feet of the home.

                Commission member Tom Diascro provided photos of the Preston Court development in Red Hill on the recent Memorial Day weekend, to show numerous cars parked in the street. He noted that residents do not want to walk a distance to their homes.

                "This is going to cause friction within the development," said commission chair Dave Schiffgens. "We all know they're not going to use the garage to park."

                The current parking on the plan is also perpendicular, which is not permitted under the Red Hill subdivision and land development ordinance.

                "I wouldn't mind seeing some parallel parking on streets," said Schiffgens. The developer is also asking for a waiver for the proximity of driveways and parking spaces near intersections, which were quickly deemed a safety issue.

                The sketch plan shows increased recreational facilities for the development as a whole. The new plans features two tot lots, one in Red Hill and one in Upper Hanover.  Because of the size of the development, the borough may ask for recreational facilities other than tot lots.

                Two issues of great concern to nearby property owners are storm water management and traffic.  Goldthorpe noted the addition of more rain gardens that are "minimal in terms of their look" with a depth shallower than traditional retention basins.

                Engineer Kern said that the rain gardens "look more like a landscape area." These areas would need to be maintained by the development's Homeowners' Association and inspected regularly by borough officials.

                Though not included in the sketch plan phase, the issue of traffic was raised. Kern said that work on Hendricks Road is now contingent on the building of the Glenwood Chase single family home development which is slated for the opposite side of the road. The planning commission is operating under the assumption that Glenwood Chase will not come to fruition and that the road and traffic issues will need to be addressed.

                Commission chair Schiffgens stated, "As you leave here tonight, you hear us saying 'Parking is still a problem.'" Goldthorpe also will be presenting the new plan to Upper Hanover official.





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