Sunday, August 07, 2005

Big Bang Theory

August 11th is just around the corner. It won't be an ordinary Thursday night in Forks. The KINGS are on tap to present BOTH of their proposals for 380 acres in Forks' northern tier. They appeared at the last Planning Commission meeting with their first PUBLIC proposal, the one for 162 single family homes on 2 acre lots. This proposal is totally compliant with the zoning for the Farmland Preservation district and, if it goes forward, will be (read MUST BE by law) approved. Proposal #2 is the one we've all heard about and not seen. It has never been before a public meeting, never been shown to the public, but has been shown individually to STAFF and to select Supervisors and select Planning Commission members... oh, and to the newspapers too. This plan calls for 800+/- homes in the FP district. It's based on receiving approval for an OVERLAY ZONE and bringing the sewer and water lines into the FP (prohibited now) district.

Way back I read about Overlay Zoning. Its conception and intent are noble - to help preserve and conserve land. Well, naturally over time, altruistic things like this are deconstructed and used in the opposite fashion. The mere thought of 800 new dwelling units in Forks Township makes me ill. There are NO ROADS to get these new buyers into or out of our Township. There is NO ROOM in the schools for their kids (even if only half of them have kids.) And, one day soon, there will be no money in your pockets to pay your real estate and school taxes which will surely go through the roof. You see, when the development boom ends (when all land is taken) the developers' dollars stop flowing to the Township coffers. Yup, there is an end in sight. Taxes will go up. Can't be helped. Up until now, the Township has used developer fees to help keep the taxes down... while spending megabucks on new employees and new equipment. I'm not saying the expenditures are not necessary, just that until now, we have not had to pay for them. We will. You won't like it. I won't like it.

We can thank BoS Chairman Ackerman for attending the PC meeting on July 14th when the public (162 homes) proposal was on the agenda. He wants the other one, so as a question from the floor, he asked what happened to it. PC Chairman Vito Tamborrino jumped on that bandwagon so quickly that residents in the audience may have thought they were joined at the hip. Vito immediately told the developer to come to the next meeting and bring both proposals. Gee, and for a moment there, it looked like the "secret" proposal would never make it to the light of day. Interesting. One can see very clearly which of our Township officials are pro-800 homes. It's more difficult to tell which are NOT pro-800. They are quieter. The FANS are boisterous and pushy.

Everyone should be aware that Forks image as a farming community is quickly fading. The new billboard will read: Welcome to Forks where there's NO ROOM FOR GOATS!

1 comment:

Anne Tenna said...

H2O, water that is , came up on my radar screen last April. In an article by Morning Call's Joe Nixon, Cathy Kichline, Forks Township manager, was quoted saying "The current total water capacity is expected to handle capacity for all land zoned for residential use, but does not account for any expansion into the sparsely populated north that does not have public water and sewers and is zoned a farmland protection district." The Question being, how much will the extra capacity cost Forks Township taxpayers should the FP be rezoned?