The Van Wyck News
6 Number 20
||A Voice for Freedom||16 September 2014|
TreetopsTreetops is once again on the table, this time with a request from Lennar Homes to change the zoning from PDD6 to R30P with cluster development. The announced reason is to build an age restricted cluster development on the Treetops property. The request has no detail as to exactly what is proposed and was put forward by ColeJanest & Stone, the consultant for the previous project by Mattamy Homes. The obvious objective is to get the matter before the Planning Commission in October in the hope that County Council will approve it before this Council dies on 31 December and before the new Comprehensive Plan takes effect.
This is a good example of why we need the City of Van Wyck. With the City of Van Wyck this matter would come before the Van Wyck Planning Commission and the Van Wyck City Council, who would have the authority to decide whether this proposal fits into the City of Van Wyck or not. These bodies would be made up of people from Van Wyck who had been elected by and are responsible to the citizens of Van Wyck.
As it is this decision rests with the Lancaster County Council, which has no representation at all from Van Wyck in that the representative who is supposed to represent Van Wyck's interest is from Sun City and was elected by and is responsible to the citizens of Sun City, who outnumber Van Wyck citizens in District 1 about 4 to 1. The six other members of County Council have no responsibility at all to the citizens of Van Wyck.
With the City of Van Wyck, Van Wyck citizens have complete control over this proposal's fate. Without the City of Van Wyck, the citizens have no control at all over this project. What happens to the value and livability of your property if a developer puts 3000 age restricted residents next door? How many cars can your road handle?
Van Wyck SchoolsOne of the things that could be done if we had the City of Van Wyck is to create our own school system. Schools are going to be an ongoing problem for the Van Wyck Community as it grows. The Lancaster County School District will start busing Van Wyck students to Lancaster within the next few years as the Indian Land schools fill up with students living north of Collins Road.
There may be enough students displaced in this fashion to make it worth considering the establishment of a charter school in the southern Indian Land or Van Wyck area. As Van Wyck grows and the City of Van Wyck becomes a reality, Van Wyck may wish to consider establishing its own School District. It is not that hard to do and, since the Van Wyck School District would not be part of the Lancaster County School District and Van Wyck citizens would not have to pay Lancaster County School District taxes, would probably cost very little money.
We need to take control of our own destiny first with the City of Van Wyck so we can establish the kind of a community we want to have rather than becoming an expansion area for Indian Land. There is no question that a great community needs both good government and good schools working together. Right now Van Wyck does not have good government and is about to lose its good schools.
We need to take control of the situation while we still can. Right now County Council is determined to start putting cluster developments in northern Van Wyck where the Dave Lyle Extension needs to go. Taking control of our land use through the City of Van Wyck is the only way to stop this.
Sooner or later Indian Land is going to realize that incorporation of the City of Indian Land and setting up an Indian Land School District is the only viable solution for them. If Van Wyck does not have its systems in place before that happens it will be too late. The City of Indian Land will want to annex Van Wyck for expansion area, not agree to allow Van Wyck to incorporate on its own.
Why IncorporateBecause we can, and because if we do not incorporate now, we will soon lose the opportunity for good. Right now we have a small Incorporation Area that meets the State requirements for incorporation. Once incorporated, that area can annex adjacent areas to become large enough to be economically viable.
Van Wyck Now?
What do you need to do? If you are a registered voter living in the Original Incorporation Area, you need to sign a petition to hold an Incorporation Election. If you own property outside the Original Incorporation Area but inside the Annexation Area you need to sign a petition requesting annexation.
What is it going to cost? Taxes will be 5% of your assessed valuation per year to start. A $100,000 house is usually assessed around $2000; taxes would be $100 per year. A $250,000 house might be assessed at $11,000. The tax bill would be $550 per year. If you want to know exactly what your tax bill would be, email me your name and the property address and I will look it up and email it back to you.
What do you gain? You get a development policy written in public by local people who you can vote out of office if you don't like what they do. That's a big improvement over no control at all over land use, which is what you have right now. You will be free of the threat that County Council will step in and suddenly put a community destroying development in next door and there will be nothing that you can do about it.
Freedom is never free, but in this case it is not expensive and the benefits are real.