Members of the Huntingdon County Planning Commission reviewed plans for a Morris Township development for a fourth time and approved amended comments at their monthly meeting Thursday evening.
The plans call for a adult-living community cottage land development with 81 cottages and a 14,560-square foot clubhouse. There would be community on-lot wastewater and a community public water supply.
The property, formerly known as Emily Estates, now Graystone Cottage Community, is located north of the intersection of Spruce Creek Road and Birmingham Pike, and will be geared toward those age 55 and older.
Owner and developer Jeff Long attended the meeting and addressed any concerns planning commission members had for the project.
Huntingdon County planning director Mark Colussy said the storm sewer infrastructure as well as the main roadways at the development have already been constructed with the exception of a connector road and cul-de-sac.
He also noted that while the proposal wasn’t consistent with the previous comprehensive plan for Huntingdon County, it is consistent with the new plan, Alleghenies Ahead.
“The previous plan designated this area as agriculture, but the new plan identifies housing choice as a need, thus the essence of this project appears to meet a need in the area,” said Colussy.
Some concerns, however, were brought up in light of the proposed final plan not meeting the criteria of the Morris Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance because of slopes and potential sinkholes exceeding 25% on the property.
Planning commission member Larry Mutti asked if there is the potential for the on-lot sewage systems to impact the water supply in the area, given that a significant amount of limestone is present on the property.
“We plan on putting a pump station in one of the lots on the property,” said Long.
Ron Rabena, planning commission chair, further commented that someone would likely be an operator at the pump to make sure water is treated on the property, and Long said there would be.
Colussy also noted the last sewage planning module was approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection in 2014 and the township approved it in 2017, so he asked Long whether the module would still be good for the final plan. Long said it is.
Planning commission member Raymond Barley was also concerned there were no plans submitted for landscaping of any kind. Mutti shared those sentiments.
“I don’t think it would be appealing to me if I were a client,” said Mutti.
Long added there will be landscaping that includes trees and shrubs.
“I think there will be a tree planted at nearly every lot,” said Long.
After reviewing the comments, they were approved to be sent to the Morris Township Planning Commission for final approval.
The original Emily Estates plan included 31 homes to be built by LifeStyle Custom Homes, a division of Cisney & O’Donnell Inc., Huntingdon.
Ground-breaking for the original development took place in June 2010.