Sunday, December 19, 2004

Here We Go Loop de Loop...

Yes, Forks Township is not the only municipality with residents who care about their surroundings. Lower Nazareth has citizens who fret and worry too! Attorney Thomas D. Aristide, a Lower Nazareth resident, wrote a very telling piece (in the 12/17/04 edition of the Express Times) on the tragic effects of sinkholes created by new developments on existing property owners. YES, who pays? This is recommended reading for all of us.

The point is, developers come and developers go. We stay. We pay. Easton's Mayor Mitman tried to establish a "contingency fund." It was rebuffed. A Forks resident has suggested this same thing at a couple of Board of Supervisors' meetings. He was ignored. In my humble opinion, this isn't a TODAY problem. It's a TOMORROW problem, and a BIG one too. Forks will be given many new roads in many problem areas. Some of them will break. Some of them will break in front of our homes. What then?

Development is inevitable. That's not in question here. What is in question is responsible development with proper consideration for those who have already chosen Forks Township as their home. Existing residents should NOT be ignored nor should they be victims. We are a community of intelligent people. Our elected officials are not dumb. Why are they so adamantly ignoring the future? Maybe "Progress is the Future" is right... that Forks is an Oligarchy... a community governed by the privileged few. That would explain the "sinkhole blindness."

2 comments:

It's a FAC2 said...

Fac, thank you for pointing the article out that attorney Thomas D. Aristide wrote in the Express Times. This is a wonderful article. It is good to know there is someone out there that cares about existing home owners that have lived in an area for a number of years and may be effected by the numerous amount of construction. It is to bad we cannot get township Supervisors in all townships more concerned about this issue.

Progress is the Future said...

I am going to agree with you on this one, for the most part: I agree that damage created by new development should be remedied by the development, and not by those that are existing bystanders.

However, such a “contingency” needs to be addressed as Mr. Aristide suggests, via bond, not as an operating line item under a municipal budget.

It is not the responsibility of the Township to correct development problems (e.g. fill in sinkholes), but rather to serve the public’s common interest by legislating policy to prevent foreseeable problems from occurring in the first place, or to reasonably minimize the impact of likely issues related to new activity.

The Township cannot prevent sinkholes, nor can it predict them. 99% of the development occurs and no sinkholes arise. Additionally, geological studies are futile in that they cannot even attempt to fill the void of unpredictability.

Therefore, the only reasonable course is to require bond for new development’s predisposition to create sinkholes. It would be foolish for the township to sit on cash “in the event of” something like that happening.

A few months ago a sinkhole occurred on George Street near Old Mill. No development has happened there for 30 years. These incidental sinkholes are easy to remedy, and the township can cover such costs with little impact.