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Liberty Estates begins to make progress

Susan Prasse

(5/1) By 2023, Liberty Township may be more than twice its current size if all goes according to the settlement agreement reached between the Liberty Township Supervisors and Wormald Companies.

After years of negotiations a conceptual development layout was signed by the developer Liberty Development Company, LLC, the Township Supervisors, and interveners in 2007. However the economic downturn of 2008- forced Wormald to temporarily place most of the project on hold. In 2011 Wormald reactivated a portion of the project and have since obtained preliminary approvals for the initial 70 lots.

At the April 7 Liberty Township meeting, supervisors and concerned residents listened to updates from Wormald, reporting that the project now consists of 569 lots (originally 1181 lots) for single-family detached residential dwellings on lot sizes ranging from 7,000 square feet to over 86,000 square feet, to be developed in 15 phases, some concurrent.

Wormald said they had obtained approval of the Liberty Estates preliminary plan in 2012 from the Township Supervisors. This plan covers the 70 lots on the west side of the overall project. These lots are approximately 2 acres each, as well as some of the overall open space depicted on the Concept Plan. The remaining 499 lots are within the area they are calling Liberty East; no plans have yet been submitted for this area. They are hopeful this will occur before the cold weather sets in again.

Wormald is coordinating tasks with the assistance of several sub consultants, one being the 72-hour well pump testing for onsite groundwater supply system. It includes obtaining permission from several adjoining property owners to place water-level monitors in their wells, before, during, and after test. Before testing can begin, Wormald said they need to track down several adjoining owners that are within a 1,500 sq. ft. radius of the test wells for permission before they can begin the testing. Results of the testing, along with the final application for the groundwater withdrawal will be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Wormald hopes to begin pump testing for ground water supply within the next one to two months. The time frame to begin selling and building homes will most likely be in the next 18-24 months from now, but this is dependent on agency response to our various forthcoming plan and permit submittals.

Wormald’s goal is to submit the preliminary and final plans by this fall. Given historical agency review timeframes, Wormald anticipates this to take 18-24 months (earliest for this to be around summer 2016 and latest around spring 2017).

The agreement also allows for some potential tax benefits to current residents. Because the roads will be maintained by the homeowners’ association, current township residents will not incur additional expenses to maintain the roads while new residents’ taxes will help pay for current road maintenance.

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