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Red Hill Discussing Zoning Amendments
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent

            The Red Hill Borough Council and Planning Commission held a joint meeting on Tuesday, June 25, to discuss amendments to the village overlay in the zoning ordinance for the proposed development of housing development on Hendricks Road.

            Like all negotiations, the process was one of give and take. The developers, represented by Chris Lash and attorney Ron Sebia, showed that they had ceded nine units in the interest of reducing density, bringing totals shown on the sketch plan 38 single family homes and 51 townhomes, instead of the previously planned 60.

            Red Hill Borough Council is permitting a cul-de-sac in the development, which had previously not been allowed in the zoning ordinance, with the addition of an emergency access point via the walking trail that would cut through the development.

            Of concern to the council and borough solicitors Marjorie Brown and Mark Hosterman was the removal of the Upper Hanover trail on the latest sketch plan, which had previously been on other iterations of the plan. Because the trail is located in the township, the developers said they "can't be held to it" without approval from Upper Hanover.

            Solicitor Brown stated that the trail was a concession by Red Hill in lieu of other recreational amenities, such as tot lots, and that the borough wanted to see it on the plan.

            Both parties agreed on ten foot trails to link up with other existing pathways.

            The borough council was able to come to a consensus on some of the amendments, but not all. Council member Kim Gery expressed concern about enlarging building coverage area on single family lots from 20% to 40%, while reducing the sizes of the lots from 7,000 to 6,500 square feet.  Impervious coverage would rise from 35% to 50%.

            Developer Lash noted that it was due to a trend of "people wanting big houses on small lots."

            The council also agreed to the increase of the number of single family homes in a row without a break from five to ten.

            The council generally supported reduction of the minimum lot size of the townhomes from 2,400 to 1,900 square feet, and an increase of the impervious surface from 65 to 70%. The townhomes may have a total of 20 units in a row without a break, or four buildings with five units each.

            The borough council and planning commission will hold a special meeting on July 9 at 7 p.m. devoted to further discussion of the development.

            In emergency management news, council president Doris Decker clarified that residents will need to register for the new county-run emergency notification system. Individuals who cannot sign up electronically may get a form from the borough office. The new system, which is free to the borough and has better GPS markers, will replace the borough's previous system called Code Red. 





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