By Bradley Schlegel
David Kessler told Oley Township residents Monday night that he's spent hundreds of hours over the last two years remaking a development deal along Friedensberg Road.
The board of supervisors granted final approval of DePaul Development Corporation's plan to build 117 age-restricted homes on 31 acres. The Meadow View Farms II subdivision was originally supposed to be spread over 120 acres that had been zoned residential.
Kessler eventually convinced JUDD Builders that building homes for people over 55 years old was best for both parties.
The supervisors favored the plan revision because it wouldn't affect the local school district, and the township will likely preserve 160 acres of open space as a result.
Kessler spoke regularly with Peter DePaul, of the DePaul Group, by phone and at his Blue Bell office. He said the toughest part was convincing the builder that the locale was ideal for adults over 55.
"I made them understand that clustering their residences made more sense," Kessler said.
Kessler figures the deal will generate between $650,00 and $700,000 in school taxes and between $800,000 and $900,000 in fees for the township, which the supervisor suggested could go towards preserving more open space.
Kessler also sugggested purchasing a new firetruck.
The township won't issue building permits until the developer receives a Highway Occupancy Permit from the state Department of Transportation.
A legal agreement mandates the DePaul Group to deed back the remaining 160 acres 30 days after the program is officially approved.
Kessler said the township could raise between $200,000 and $300,000 more by making four 10-acre plots available for purchase, including allowing a house to be built on a half-acre of cleared property.
Supervisor James Coker welcomed imput from the community and suggested a workshop to discuss the township's options after the land is returned.
"We don't have a monopoly on ideas," Coker said.
In other news
Coker lauded the performance of township police, who captured a man who burglarized three homes during the Oley Valley Fair's kickoff parade. Authorities responded to the call from the third house in just three minutes on Sept. 16 and arrested the suspect, who was being sought by police in Colorado.
The supervisors approved the 12th annual Oley Valley 10-mile and five-kilometer runs. The events, which are sponsored by the Oley Valley Youth League, will take place Saturday Nov. 5 at 9 a.m.
The Oley Valley Fire Company received permission to hold its Haloween parade on Oct 21 at 1 p.m. on Main Street. The raindate in Oct. 22.
A three-hour trick-or-treat period, from 6 to 9 p.m., was approved for Oct. 31.
The supervisors announced they would hold a budget workshop Oct. 28 at 7 a.m. A budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year should be submitted by the end of the month.
Contact reporter Bradley Schlegel at 610-367-6041, ext. 240 or