The Van Wyck News
|Volume 5 Number 7
||A Voice for Freedom||6 July 2013|
A Van Wyck 4th of July
A bluegrass concert with free hot dogs followed by fireworks provided by the Van Wyck Volunteer Fire Department followed by a thunderstorm. Lots of people of all ages consumed 275 hot dogs, enjoyed a couple of hours of bluegrass and gospel music and a fantastic fireworks display. The thunderstorm held off until the fireworks were almost over. Some say that the Good Lord watches over Van Wyck.
Tax to the Max is BackA divided County Council took the opportunity to look over the budget a second time to increase the property tax levy to the maximum allowable under the law, implementing both this year's and last years unused increase. Not only are taxes maxed out, but the revenue estimates are dependent on optimistic economic assumptions to an unprecedented degree. This Council majority has not only maxed out taxes but also taken on considerable risk at a time when the fund balance is low due to overspending by the last Council. Councilmen McCullough, Carnes and Honeycutt and Councilwoman McGriff voted for the increase; Councilmen Bundy, Harper and Estridge opposed. From the majority, Councilmen Honeycutt and Councilwoman McGriff are up for re-election next year (2014); Councilmen McCullough and Carnes will stand for re-election in 2016. From the minority Councilman Estridge will be up for re-election in 2014; Councilmen Bundy and Harper will stand in 2016. This conduct needs to be remembered at the polls.
TreetopsThe Treetops development question has been put off until questions about the Cluster Development concept can be resolved. The earliest it will be considered by the Planning Commission will be at the 1 August work session.
Cluster DevelopmentThe Cluster Development concept will be voted on at the Planning Commission meeting on 16 July. A Public Meeting will be held prior to the vote. The proposal to be presented at the Planning Commission meeting will be a minor revision of the developer friendly proposal tabled at the last meeting.
Apparently the conflict of interest situation is more complex than previously thought. The developer which has the Treetops property under contract, Mattamy Homes, approached the Planning Department about rezoning the Treetops property, which is currently zoned PDD6. PDD6 has a requirement that 20% of the property be commercial, which will not be viable in the Treetops location. The Cluster Development idea was proposed, and the Planning Department indicated that it did not have the resources to undertake the writing of a Cluster Development Ordinance. It was proposed that Mattamy Homes hire a consultant to write the Cluster Development Ordinance under which the Treetops site would be developed. Mattamy Homes agreed and hired Brian Jenest of Cole Janest & Stone to do the job. Brian Janest is the landscape architect who designed the original Treetops camp, served as one of the original trustees of the property and failed to get the various restrictions placed on the property in the PDD memoriaized in the deed.
We thus have the developer, who plans to gross $400MM by developing Treetops, paying the landscapr architect, who plans to participate in $60MM in architectural fees available in the project, to write the ordinance under which the project will be developed. Further, the landscape architect is the same one who designed the original camp, served as a trustee and failed to get the property restrictions memorialized in the deed to the property.
Mr. Janest seems to be making money from all sides of this deal.
All are at the Community Center
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.