Council unanimously voted Thursday to begin the process of expanding a small portion of the sewer service area at the request of a township resident.
The request came to the council in mid-March in a letter to township Manager Adam Brumbaugh from property owners Phil Hawk and Candace Smith. In the letter, Hawk and Smith identify their property off Evey Lane, requesting the inclusion of about 4.8 acres in the forest-zoned section of the township.
The owners cited that sewer service is superior to relying on their existing septic system, the letter said, adding that the route for the proposed lateral is direct, running to Apple Court in the Nittany Orchards subdivision.
Because the requested lots are zoned forest, senior planner Mark Holdren said, even if the properties were redeveloped, the maximum potential is two single-family homes.
“Really, the question staff is proposing to council is how do we want to move forward, if we do want to move forward, with this sewer service expansion,” Holdren said.
Council has two options to amend the regional growth boundary and sewer service area, Holdren said. First is through Centre Region Council of Governments General Forum approval. The applicant would complete a development of regional impact report, which would be reviewed by the township, Centre Regional Planning Agency and the General Forum.
A yes-vote by five municipalities would be needed to approve the expansion.
The second option, he said, would be to utilize some of the 50 equivalent dwelling units that were allotted to each municipality through the 2013 implementation agreement. The allotment was established to give municipalities the ability to permit minor expansions of the RGB and SSA.
The applicant would still complete a DRI, he said, which would go before the council, the CRPA and possibly the township’s planning commission. The township would use two of its allotted EDUs for this expansion.
Brumbaugh recommended use of the EDUs, saying this is “exactly the type of situation that was contemplated when that allowance ... was considered.”
Members of the council agreed, voting unanimously to use the township’s allotted EDUs in order to expand the SSA.
In other business, Brumbaugh reported that a long-running suit against the township has come to an end. A lawsuit started in 2012 sought compensation after the township refused to allow several billboards in the township citing ordinance restrictions.
“There has been a final resolution in that matter,” Brumbaugh said, “effected by the fact that the motion to revise the court’s order granting judgment on the plaintiffs who made that motion was actually rejected. That effectively terminates the case.”