Amity boards prepare for future development

Bogia Engineering, Inc., Wyomissing, recently studied 17 intersections in the township to determine the current level of service and graded each on a scale from “A” to “F.” The Amity Township Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted on June 18 a report that anticipates future development growth and has determined the necessary road improvements to maintain a Level E of service on Amity Township roads.

Gregg Bogia, president, said the traffic count data in the Roadway Sufficiency Analysis was then applied to three areas in the township that the township’s Act 209 Committee had recently determined to have future residential or commercial development through 2025.

Two of those areas are in Traffic Service Area (TSA) North: Old Swede Road in the area of Pine Forge Road, and at Toll Gate and Township Line roads.

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Possible road improvements that have been previously discussed by the township include aligning Weavertown and Blacksmith roads and installing a traffic signal, installing a traffic signal at Old Swede and Pine Forge roads, and aligning Nicholson and Toll Gate roads at Old Swede Road and installing a traffic signal.

Those improvements would correct the “failing turns” to a Level E.

The area between Old Airport and Amity Park roads is in TSA South. The report is referred to as the 2014 Land Use Assumption Report (LUAR), and updates the LUAR of May 2005.

Township Engineer John Weber said the development growth of each area was calculated with new population growth information as well as any proposed land development plans and each area’s zoning.

Twenty-five residential units would be possible on the 690 acres of undeveloped land between Old Airport and Amity Park roads, which is zoned Rural Conservation.

A total of 254 units are possible at three proposed subdivisions on 70 acres in the area of Pine Forge Road: 72 units at Arbour Green (an age-targeted community), 47 units at Glenwood Estates, and 17 (seven new) units at Pine Lane.

The land at Toll Gate and Township Line roads is zoned Light Industrial/Retail/Office and could accommodate 490,000 square feet of building area -- 196,000 square feet each for Light Industrial and Retail, 98,000 square feet for office, or 306 residential units.

Additionally, Weber said there could be 56 residential units in TSA South (Route 422), as well as 292,000 square feet of retail, 185,433 square feet of office space, and 288,933 square feet of Light Industrial.

New recommendations in the LUAR include: a traffic signal at Benjamin Franklin Highway and Toll Gate Road, the addition of a right turn lane from northbound River Bridge Road onto eastbound Benjamin Franklin Highway, and the addition of a left turn lane on eastbound Route 422 to northbound River Bridge Road.

After nearly 10 years of residential and some commercial growth, the traffic impact fees paid by developers has amounted to $1.4 million for Traffic Service Area North (TSA) 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. Boland said the work of the township’s Act 209 Committee, which was reconvened on Jan. 15 to update the LUAR, is now finished.

Bogia will proceed with finalizing the Roadway Sufficiency Analysis by the Aug. 13 Planning Commission meeting.

He will then draft a Capital Improvement Plan by Oct. 8, which would be finalized by the Dec. 10 meeting. Township boards could then proceed with preparing bid specifications for the capital improvements. Following an executive session, the board unanimously approved a one-year contract extension for Amity Police Chief Kent A. Shuebrook, from Feb. 3, 2015 to Feb. 3, 2016.

Shuebrook was hired on Feb. 4, 2009, following the retirement/resignation of Chief Noel Roy.

The board also approved to advertise that it has a vacancy at the Amity Township Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Supervisor David Hackett was absent from the meeting.