The Van Wyck News
|Volume 5 Number 6
||A Voice for Freedom||19 June 2013|
FY 2014 County BudgetThe Council Finance Committee met on 18 June and decided to eliminate the 500% increase in the Plan Review Fee because it made Lancaster County more expensive than surrounding counties in the total coat of building permits for large projects. The Committee then decided that the projected increase in the number of building permits during FY 2014 would offset the $800k revenue loss due to the withdrawal of the Plan Review fee increase. It should be noted that the increase in the number of building permits was there all along, just not included in the budget previously.
The Committee then decided to fund additional Sheriff's deputies and paramedics for EMS and pay for the increase in expense by imposing an additional 1.5 mil property tax increase. The total property tax increase is now 4.7 mils, the maximum permitted under state law including the 2 mils not used last year together with the maximum increase allowed for the current year.
Left untouched in the budget is the additional planner and second rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan for $170k. This is about 0.65 mil of property tax that is very likely to be wasted since the process being used is the same as the process that did not work last year.
Tax to the Max is back.
TreetopsThe Planning Commission met on 18 June 2013 and tabled the Cluster Development Ordinance in response to the negative information received at the Public Meeting. The matter will be reconsidered at the 16 July meeting along with the application to rezone the Treetops property to the Cluster Development Ordinance. Several Van Wyck residents spoke at the Public Hearing in opposition to the Cluster Development Ordinance.
Cluster DevelopmentCluster development is looking more and more like a retirement plan for developers, especially as applied to sites like the Treetops site, which have a large amount of land that cannot be built upon.
In round figures, say we have a 600 acre site with 200 acres not buildable because it is in a lake, a flood plain or a creekbed. That 200 acres is open space no matter what development system is used to develop the property. Normal residential development (presently 1.5 du/acre) will build 600 homes on lots averaging 30,000 square feet. Cluster development (2.5 du/acre) will build 1000 homes on lots averaging 18,000 square feet, obviously a much more profitable situation.
The argument goes that the cluster development will have to integrate the open space into the community and the residential developer might just build a fence around the unbuildable property and leave it. My response would be that the residential developer should be required to integrate unbuildable property into the community as a matter of course.
If the County is going to regulate development it is taking away some of the property rights of the owners, and in return owes the owners a reasonable residential experience, with homes that are well built, with required infrastructure in place and unbuildable property appropriately integrated into the community and taken care of. If the UDO does not provide this, the UDO needs to change.
All are at the Community Center
2 July CDC MeetingFeeding the Hungry
7:00 PM. Prepare for 4 July event.4 July Bluegrass and Fireworks
Bluegrass 7 - 9 PM. Free hot dogs, chips and drinks Admission is free ; donations are welcome. Fireworks begin at 9 PM courtesy of the Van Wyck Fire Department. Bring chairs for the Fireworks.
Donations to Lancaster County food programs have fallen off recently. The recession increases the number of people facing hunger and the need for food. The Van Wyck Press is happy to transport food to the agencies serving the needy in Lancaster. If you have food that you would like to donate and would like us to transport it for you, let me know.