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Council turns down Eluma hearing request

(2/15) The Carroll Valley Borough Council declined to at their February 11 meeting to reset a date for a public hearing to amend an ordinance that would essentially benefit a proposed multi-hundred unit housing development.

An attorney representing Eluma, Inc. requested the hearing in the effort to continue to make progress towards being able to ultimately submit land development plans to the borough.

The hearing would be for the council to reconsider the adoption of revisions to their zoning regulations pertaining to cluster development.

The council already failed to approve the draft changes at a public hearing during their November 11 meeting, an effort which failed for lack of a motion to approve it, and the council instead directed that the draft be sent back to the borough Planning Commission for reevaluation and a renewed recommendation to council, if any.

Because the reevaluation of the project is still in the hands of the planning commission, the council took no formal action on Eluma’s request to reschedule a hearing at their February meeting.

Additionally, Councilman Neil Abrams said, aside from zoning issues, he still wanted to see a number of issues concerning the development which remain unanswered, such as 1) seeing "something in writing" regarding Eluma’s offer to upgrade the sewage treatment plant; 2) how the infrastructure would be phase into place, and 3) what checks and balances would exist if developers of a given phase default.

"I’ve probably been one of the thorns in your side," Abrams told the attorney regarding the progress of the proposed zoning amendments.

The development being proposed is by Eluma, Inc. would be located on a 107-acre wooded site bordered by Sanders and Tract roads and butted-up against the borough’s K-section residential area.

The developer is seeking approvals that would allow them to construct the development in phases consisting of a potential variety of housing types, depending on what types the housing market would support during each phase.

Eluma has a circa-2006 approved 107 single-family home, and is further "armed" with a court order which mandates that the municipality provide the development with sewer service. Under the current ordnance, the development plans could be changed to build more than 500 homes, with sewer connections paid-for by the town by virtue of the existing court order.

The company has proposed to overhaul the existing sewer plant, incorporating the connections at their expense as part of the current proposal.

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