Peters development’s revised preliminary plan recommended for approval

Harry Funk

The revised preliminary plan for a 43-lot residential development in Peters Township has been recommended for approval.

Lutz Farms is proposed for 26 acres straddling Thomas Road, southwest of Crossroads Church of Christ. Following the planning commission’s Jan. 14 vote for recommendation, the plan returns to Peters Township Council.

In September, council members tabled a vote on the preliminary plan, requesting a change in the way the streets accessing the development were configured. Originally, the entrances off Thomas Road were intended to be about 250 feet apart, but the revised plan includes a T-shaped intersection with the access streets, Lutz Farm Drive to the northwest and Hunters Crossing to the southeast, lining up directly across Thomas from one another.

The new configuration impacts a defined stream bed and stream bank, according to the developer’s consulting engineer for the project.

“Our initial layout attempted to avoid that,” Caleb Tabon, who owns C. Tabon Engineering LLC of Hampton Township, told the planning commission. He said an additional permit now is required from the state Department of Environmental Protection, with a correspondingly greater length of time for the review process.

From the standpoint of developer Theodore Taylor III, the revised design has the benefit of three lots added to the originally proposed 40, to be accessed by a cul de sac off Hunters Crossing.

The preliminary plan calls for Hunters Crossing, itself, to terminate in a temporary cul de sac at the property line. From there, the road could “be extended into the farm properties off to the southeast for any future development,” Seth Koons, the township’s assistant planning director, said.

He told the planning commission Michael Mudry, senior project manager with Traffic Planning and Design Inc., has reviewed the street realignment at Thomas Road, including with regard to the impact of more homes being built beyond Lutz Farms.

“It was his opinion that this would still be a viable and fine solution. He really didn’t anticipate any tremendous traffic impact on this intersection, even if those developments would occur, because they’re going to have their own exits to other areas of the township, as well,” Koons said. “Not everything is going to be funneled right into this intersection.”

According to a memo he sent to council in September, Lutz Farms homes “will cost $500,000 and up.” The project is in two phases, with the 29 homes to the northeast targeted for completion first.

The development is subject to a traffic impact fee of $1,500 per lot, adding up to $64,500. The township implemented the fee system in 2008 “to ensure that the transportation system is available and adequate to support existing volumes of traffic and traffic projected to be generated by new growth and development.”

Koons noted that one of the lots is intended as a separate piece of property and also will be subject to its own impact fee.