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Fairfield to confer with Hamiltonban on proposed future road map

Richard D. L. Fulton

(6/9) Progress of a proposed Fairfield Borough official map will be partially contingent on input from Hamiltonian Township/

The borough Planning Commission decided at their June 9 meeting to consult their neighboring township regarding possible connectivity of proposed roads depicted on the current borough draft map.

The proposed official map would establish what the borough would like to see in the way of public resources (such as roads and parks) established at the developersí expense whenever new developments would be proposed.

Concerns about designating future roadways in the borough that had no assurance of future connectivity was brought to the attention of the commission by David Sites, representing the Landis family holdings in the borough.

One of the proposed roads was shown as crossing a northern portion of Landis property and then dead-ending at the Hamiltonban Township line. Sites said the family "doesnít like the dead end in the middle of the field on the west end," Sites said. Sites also commented on some other areas of connectivity as well.

He said if the borough doesnít establish an agreement now between the borough and the township to follow through with connectivity - down the road Ė the chances of future boards agreeing would be "slim to nil. Iíve seen this happen (where multi-municipality agreements didnít pan out)."

Sites also question the process by which a land owner could seek relief from the vision-turned-mandate in the future, if future boards decided to interpret the map as "written in stone."

"I understand youíre trying to be visionary," he told the board. "Youíre saying this is not a taking (of land without just compensation). Iíd argue that point."

"I donít have any objection to the concept (of establishing an official map), Sites said. "I just want to make sure everybody comes out on the winning end" and no one has to "fight to reinvent the wheel" in the future under its guidelinnesd.

County Planner Robert Thaeler said the official map, and its enabling ordinance, would not be regulatory, as such, but merely "sets in motion procedures to achieve a desired end." He said a property owner may end up before the zoning hearing board for a change, but it would not constitute the seeking of a variance, in his opinion.

The planning commission agreed with Sites about conferring with Hamiltonban on connectivity, and with assuring there was a viable option for property owners to seek a change at odds with the map.

The board otherwise took no formal action on the proposed map and ordinance at the meeting.

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