Supervisors mull over proposed Orchard Road development

By on September 11, 2019

A proposed development off Orchard Road was the subject of discussion at the Sept. 4 Warwick Township Supervisors meeting.

The Orchard Road project has been under consideration in the past few years, as developer Randy Hess seeks to create a subdivision plan for the 49-acre R-1 property off Orchard Road near Newport Road.

Chris Piehl of RGS Associates detailed the sketch plan, which calls for 70 single-family homes in what was described as a “tricky plot of land,” due to steep slopes and other issues.
Due to the challenging topography, the development is expected to have an entrance and exit into Orchard Road, with a meandering layout that attempts to follow the rolling slopes.
Based on the initial plan, there would be four cul-de-sacs and one stub that ends at an adjacent farmer’s property — the Gerhart farm which is slated to be preserved — so there would be no plan to extend that road that stops abruptly.

The Santo Domingo Creek runs nearby and there is a very steep incline that backs into another preserved farm off Pine Hill Road. The owner of that farm is Mike Fyock, who attended the meeting to express his concerns about potential stormwater runoff.

He reported that there are already issues with stormwater runoff, and even though the plan calls for a detention basin, he was unsure if that would be enough.

“We are in the preliminary stages of this plan,” said Hess, who has brought the concept before the Warwick Township Planning Commission for consideration. The Planning Commission offered a number of recommendations that they intend to follow.

Warwick Township Manager Dan Zimmerman (standing) and Alex Piehl of RGS provide information on the proposed Orchard Road development.

One of the concerns was that there is only one entrance into the proposed development, which could impact emergency access. The Brunnerville Fire Company would be the first responder and they are suggesting an emergency lane along the PPL power lines.

The development would be connected to public water and sewer, with access off Orchard Road.

Supervisors asked what the price range of homes would be, and Hess said that they would be in the current affordable range for single-family homes, which would bene around $300,000. Each lot would be around 15,000- square-feet.

Hess explained that there had been suggestions that areas of the development be consolidated, so that challenging hills and woods could be avoided. To do that, there would need to be smaller homes and properties, possibly some as semi-detached homes.

“The market is strong for single-family traditional homes,” said Hess, noting that for the sake of sales, he wanted to build the type of homes that are in the demand. “Smaller lots might not have as much appeal.”

Developers will be continuing their plans, taking into account the suggestions made by the Warwick Township Planning Commission and supervisors. Next up will be the preliminary subdivision plan for the development.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

3 Comments

  1. Susan Cardwell

    September 12, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    This makes me sad. I haven’t lived here long, but I don’t think we need to be cramming more people in to small spaces. I also think it would destroy the beauty of that land. I love driving on Orchard Road and looking at the natural landscape of the area.

  2. Bobbie

    September 14, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Less is more‼️ We are turning the coolest small town into anything but. Not against progress but SERIOUSLY- we need to keep and preserve what put us on the map to begin with‼️ Money hungry development is not needed- PLEASE do not destroy Lititz and area

  3. Michael Diemer

    September 14, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    I agree with Ms. Cardwell.

    The additional run-off is a horrible problem
    that won’t be handled properly.

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