Board OKs plan; group could appeal
March 15, 2017

ADAMS TWP — More than 60 people attended the supervisors meeting Monday night when the board voted 3-2 to give tentative approval to the controversial Hickory Glen planned residential development.

Attorney Patrick Auth, representing the residents in the Saving Rural Adams group, said after the meeting that he would likely appeal the supervisors’ approval to Butler County Court.

The Weaver Master Builder plan would see 50 homes on half-acre lots on a 59-acre former farm on Pearce Road.

Many residents disagree with planned residential developments, or PRDs, being placed in the township’s rural-conservation zoning district.

PRDs can supersede the existing zoning under certain circumstances, which the residents opposing the high-density plans don’t think have been met.

A number of residents pleaded with the supervisors to vote against the tentative approval of Hickory Glen.

Clay Morrow said under the rural-conservation zoning, 38 homes could be placed on the property where Hickory Glen is being planned.

He said the plan would cause 20 percent more traffic on Pearce and Three Degree roads. “There is no benefit to the township,” Morrow said.

Tina Wilson said she and her husband, William Been, are good, Christian people.

“In all of our years, we have never brought harm to anyone, but we stand up for ourselves when necessary,” Wilson said. “We are asking the supervisors to stand up for your residents. Please, please stand up for us. It’s important.”

Been reiterated the point he has often made about Hickory Glen as well as Cypress Fields, a PRD approved by the supervisors last month.

“(PRDs) are totally alien to the rural construction of the area and the rural intent of the area,” Been told the supervisors. “This is driven strictly by financial gain rather than in the interest of Adams Township.”

Supervisors Tom Franceschina and Linda Lees voted against tentative approval while Russ Ford, Ed Vogel and Donald Aiken voted in favor.

The approval is contingent upon the developer improving Pierce Road and installing sidewalks.

Attorney Brenda Sebring, representing Weaver Master Builders, said after the meeting that the developer appreciates the vote.

“We are very grateful for the time and attention spent in reviewing and approving the tentative plan,” Sebring said.

Rob Crouthamel, the property owner who formed Saving Rural Adams, gave a prepared statement after the meeting regarding his thoughts on the tentative approval.

“We are disappointed with the supervisors’ decision to approve this plan, which is clearly counter to the public interest,” the statement said. “Through their failure to enforce the subdivision and zoning ordinances, the supervisors are undermining the principles of smart growth and causing harm to existing residents and taxpayers.”

The developer must return to a subsequent township meeting to garner final approval for the plan.