Treetops Rezoning Approval Procedure
The Treetops rezoning from PDD6 to R30P with a Cluster Subdivision Overlay was advertised in the Lancaster News today. The matter will be heard with a public hearing at the Planning Commission meeting on 18 February 2014 at 6:30 PM in the County Administration Building, 101 N. Main St., Lancaster. Those wishing to be heard will have an opportunity to address the Planning Commission during the Citizen Comments portion of the meeting at the beginning for three minutes and during the Public Hearing on the Treetops matter for five minutes. Those who want to speak must appear and sign up before the meeting starts. Speakers will be called in the order in which their names appear on the sign up list.
     Whether the matter is approved or rejected by the Planning Commission it will move on to County Council at either the 24 February or 10 March meeting as a proposed ordinance. In order for the rezoning to be effective County Council must pass the ordinance three times at separate meetings ("readings" ). County Council can reject the proposed ordinance at any of the three readings, in which case it is dead and cannot be reconsidered for at least a year. County Council can also remand the proposed ordinance to the planning Commission for rework and re-submission.
     The argument that Matamy Homes will be using is that as the owner or potential owner of the property their right to develop the property is protected from governmental interference without compensation by the fifth amendment to the US Constitution. The property cannot be developed under the present zoning (PDD6), so they have a right to change the zoning to R30P, which is consistent with other zoning in the area, and to use the newly passed Cluster Overlay, which is available throughout the County.
     Opposing this argument is the fact that the area has been designated as "an area where intensive development should be questioned" in the Comprehensive Plan passed last February, the poor condition of Van Wyck Road and the monstrous traffic problems on Rte 521 in the morning and it represents a $25MM capital requirement on the school system for new schools over the next few years. It may be possible to require an Environmental Impact Study. The property is in the path of the proposed Dave Lyle Extension.  We should argue that Matamy Homes not be allowed to choose the vendor and write the specifications for the traffic study and that the traffic study include Van Wyck Road south to Steel Hill Road and to the Rte 5 bridge as well as north to Rte 521 and Rte 521 north and south from Van Wyck Road.The traffic study should also specifically include the effects of other developments already approved along those routes.