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2 Springfield trustees say housing plan doesn't fit in township site

Two Springfield Township trustees who often spar over various township issues, agree on at least one thing: A proposed residential development off Hill Avenue doesn't fit the township master plan.

Trustees Robert Floyd and Susan Meek told developer Scott Wenland Tuesday that the proposal for 36 homes laid out in two straight lines off Hill Avenue are on small lots and are too close together for the 18.95-acre parcel.

But the trustees voted to defer action until the Jan. 22 meeting at the suggestion of trustee Walt Taube, Jr., when a new township board is seated. Marylin Yoder and Robert Bethel will replace Mr. Floyd and Mr. Taube, who did not run for re-election.

Geraldine T. Miller, who lives on Layer Road near the project, said the lots proposed with 75 feet of frontage are much smaller than the one acre sites she and other area homeowners have occupied for years.

“You are going to put 36 houses on a little piece of land,” she said. “It is time to control development.”

Another resident said township maps once envisioned a connector street for the site with another interior street, not simply a street with a cul de sac proposed by the developer.

Trustees have been asked to approve the site as a rural residential planned unit development. It is zoned rural residential.

Ms. Meek told the developer she couldn't support the proposal because the township's master plan designates the area for homes with at least an acre of land. The site is north of Hill, about a quarter mile west of King Road.

Mr. Floyd said he didn't like the project and the township master plan intended to have developers consolidate small parcels to form bigger rectangular subdivisions rather than long, narrow development sites.

“I am concerned that this strip development, I will call it, is not what we were trying to accomplish,” he said, adding that it could set a bad precedent for the area. “We are going to end up with a mess out there.”

Mr. Wenland told trustees his zoning request for single-family homes with two-car garages would generate less traffic than what the current zoning allows.

“This would be a better proposal at least for the traffic and the amount of traffic in and out of Layer Road,” he said. “It seems to me the traffic is the focal point that everybody has been worried about.”

If he cannot get approval, he said he may have to consider building bigger homes on the site with three-car garages that he said would generate more traffic.

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