Bogged down? Not a problem for these turtles in East Cocalico

By on February 11, 2015

Bog turtles can now call East Cocalico a sanctuary township.

The supervisors at their Feb. 5 meeting approved a termination agreement with Gary McEwen of Red School, LLC and Berks Homes for no future development of the Rose Hill Plan. Surveys discovered bog turtles on acreage proposed for residential development in Phases 2 and 3.

The Rose Hill developers sold 106 acres to the U.S. Commodity Credit Corp. of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Approximately 60 single family dwellings are part of Phase 1,” said Zoning Officer Tony Luongo. “Phase 3 was to be the largest phase of the development.” Rose Hill is located on Route 897, about one-half mile off Route 272.

The loss of anticipated township revenue from the planned Phase 2 and 3 homes is offset by the increase in dwellings proposed by a different developer.

Photo by Michele Walter Fry Surveyors’ ribbons offer quiet testimony to proposed future development.

Photo by Michele Walter Fry
Surveyors’ ribbons offer quiet testimony to proposed future development.

Exton-based Genterra Corp. originally proposed 122 dwellings for the Fox Brooke Development on Route 897, across the road from Rose Hill. The current proposal is for 421 units.

In other business, supervisors conditionally approved purchasing a police cruiser, pending additional information being submitted.

“Our Crown Vic has over 100,000 miles,” said Police Chief George Beever, “and the two remaining 2014 cars have 30,000 on them.”

Supervisors also:

*Reported that no date has been set for a meeting for East Cocalico and West Cocalico to discuss differences relating to forming a regional police department. Township Manager Mark Hiester, reached by phone on Feb. 9, said: “We’re working with West to set up a meeting and still looking for a date that works.”

*Approved 2015 hauler agreements for B and D Roll-Off Services and Lebanon Farms Disposal. Hiester said these haulers pick up dumpsters and typically don’t recycle. Officials of the firms were reminded that recycling is the law and they need to do it according to the township’s agreement.

*Authorized Vertex, for $18,900, to complete emergency HVAC maintenance for municipal building problems which affect the north half of the first-floor office area. Employees in bitter cold weather need to use space heaters in the circa-1988 building and report it is difficult to maintain a comfortable working temperature.

*Approved the fourth annual Uberendurance Sports Half-Marathon Race on Saturday, April 3. Police assist as needed and organizers of the race reimburse the township for any additional costs incurred.

*Heard an update from Scott Russell, township transportation engineer, on replacing the two-lane, 45-foot-long Denver Road Bridge. Built in the 1950s, bridge use is 25 percent truck traffic. The bridge has started to rust, which weakens other supports in the structure, he said.

A “ballpark cost” for the bridge, and no other work entailed with the project, is $246,000.

“We’re not near talking completion date,” said Hiester. “We’re in the permitting and design phase and that could take the rest of this year.”

Supervisors adjourned into executive session for personnel matters. No other business followed.


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