Act 209 Committee looks to the future

The task of Amity Township’s Act 209 Committee is resulting in more than to “enact, amend, and repeal impact fee ordinances and to charge impact fees to cover the cost of off-site road improvements necessitated by new land development,” as described by PennDOT.

Its purpose has increased to planning for future commercial and economic development and growth.

The committee determined on March 12 to study the intersections most likely to be impacted by future development.

They include intersections along Route 422: Limekiln Road (Amity Western Industrial Park on north Limekiln), Church Lane and Route 662, and north on Route 662 at Toll Gate Road, Pine Lane, Pine Forge Road, as well as Old Airport and Weavertown roads.

Amity’s previous 18-month long Act 209 study concluded in November 2005 with revised traffic impact fees for Traffic Service Area North set at $2,094.25 and $2,076.04 in Traffic Service Area South.

After nearly 10 years of residential and some commercial growth (from 2005 to today), the impact fees paid by developers has increased the funds for TSA North to $1.4 million and $144,000 for TSA South.

Township Solicitor Brian F. Boland said the funds must be contracted to roadway capital improvement projects beginning in 2015 through 2018.

2005 to 2015 was the length of the previous 10-year Roadway Sufficiency Analysis and Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) by McMahon & Associates, Inc., Exton.

The CIP estimated $11.6 million of necessary road improvement projects by 2015.

Some of those commercial projects, such as construction of a building by Reading Hospital on land at Toll Gate Road, never occurred.

Planning Commission Chairman and Supervisor, Paul R. Weller, said Reading Hospital had projected for too many building projects, many of which it didn’t start.

A $7.2 million Route 422 westbound road widening project was included in TSA South but also never started.

Current Act 209 Committee members include James Elliott, Keystone Villa at Douglassville; Thomas Brown, F M Brown’s Sons, Inc.; Richard Almquist, developer of Leaf Creek Farms, Old Swede Road; David Hope, American Crane & Equipment Corp.; Blair Gilbert, KW Commercial; Michael Tornetta, Tornetta Realty; Peter Wanner, Wanner Landscaping; Wayne Klein, Klein Transportation; Albert Degennaro, J. P. Mascaro & Sons, and David Fisher, Fisher Landscaping.

The committee agreed for township Engineer John Weber to distribute the new Land Use Assumptions Report (LUAR) to the surrounding municipalities’ offices and to the Daniel Boone School District for review.

Bogia Engineering, Inc., Wyomissing, will conduct traffic counts and compile the Roadway Sufficiency Analysis and the CIP.

The committee also agreed that revised fees must be “reasonable” and not to deter businesses.

“We’re somewhere at the beginning trying to move toward the end [of obtaining commercial and economic development and growth for the township],” said township Manager Charles E. Lyon.

Weber said the township population trend from 1990 to 2000 was 3.75 percent growth.

That number has dropped to .87 for 2005 to 2013, but had decreased to a quarter of a percent for 2010-13.

He said there has been 465,000 square feet of commercial development built in the township between 2003 and 2013.

The committee will meet April 9 to finalize the LUAR, and then on June 11 to review traffic counts.