Build-out study will show limit to development in Milford
Hearing on zoning changes continues: Final amendment to be put before the public on April 1

The Milford Township board at Tuesday's meeting: secretary and tax collector Viola Canouse, solicitor Anthony Magnotta, vice-chair and road master Gary Williams, chair Gary Clark, and zoning officer Shawn Bolles (Supervisor Penney Luhrs was absent) (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

By Frances Ruth Harris
MILFORD — A build-out analysis now underway will show how proposed zoning changes will affect Milford Township.
Build-out is the maximum development permitted by zoning. It's of special interest now that Legend Properties intends to build three apartment buildings on 20 acres where Route 6 meets Route 209.
Current zoning does not allow this degree of development, but Legend is seeking a change in code. Its representatives say a new central sewage system, now being studied, will allow much more development than is possible now.
Legend Properties lawyer Jason Ohliger said the build-out analysis, now being done by Nancy Sarcinello, Sarcinello Planning and GSI Services of Swarthmore, Pa., will determine the maximum number of housing units possible. Legend's plans show an intention to build 108 units.
"If each of the parcels that could qualify for the increased density if all built out as multi-family residential housing units, (the analysis will show) how many units would this actually be," Ohliger said.
Supervisor Gary Clark said Tuesday that no more than 100 units will be built, whatever the build-out analysis says.
Anthony Magnotta, the township solicitor, said the build-out analysis will show how the proposed buildings would affect Milford.
Zoning changes still in fluxA hearing that began Feb. 4 continued on Tuesday, with the public asking many of the same questions posed earlier about how an influx of new residents will affect the township and Milford Borough. The proposed zoning changes will be put before the public at a hearing continuation scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, April 1.
Clark read some of the proposed changes at Tuesday night's meeting, but he was interrupted and never finished reading.
Only part of the amendment is on the record. Former township supervisor Don Quick asked for a copy after the hearing. But secretary Shahana Shanin told Quick that, according to Clark and Supervisor Gary Williams, she was not to give a copy to anyone.
Shanin told the Courier that the proposed amendment is four pages long. The county and township planning commissions may revise the amendment further before the April hearing, she said.
Magnotta said the draft amendment will be sent to the planning commission next Tuesday.
More questionsMembers of the public repeatedly asked Ohliger why he made his presentation before the supervisors and not before the planning commission, which meets again on March 4. Ohliger said the planning board did not make a decision on the project. He said he thought the planning commission made errors and violated the Sunshine Law.
Ohliger said he'd explained everything many times and wouldn't revisit the topic, but ultimately did when pushed by questions from the public.
Many of the questions came from residents of the borough, not the township.
Pete Clooney wanted to know if "your own planning commission" would see the new proposal.
Ohliger said that, by state law, the planning commission must see the proposal.
Peggy Emanuel asked, "If we can have no plan without a sewer, why do we have to decide this proposal now? Why is Legend presenting this?"
Ohliger said his clients want to move forward. If the zoning change is not made, he said, Legend could build according to the current code, which would mean commercial development only, not housing.
Kimberly Kane said Legend was putting the cart before the horse. A traffic study is needed, she said.
Ohliger said plans are merely preliminary, and that Legend is not seeking final approval.
Dan Klein said the apartments would be too expensive for locals.
David Wineberg wanted to know if the zoning changes proposed was a new idea.
Supervisor Clark said regulars at township meetings know the subject has been under discussion for months.
After the hearing, two township residents said they were tired of borough residents taking over their meeting.
Website in the worksClark said he had wanted to postpone the meeting because Supervisor Penny Luhrs was visiting her daughter in Texas.
The crowd asked how long before he'd learned of Luhrs' plans.
"A few days," he said.
Some in the crowd groaned.
Clark said Shanin is working on the township's new website, where cancellations and other vital information will be posted.
Viola Canouse takes a tumble Township secretary/treasurer Viola Canouse fell while putting supplies away after the meeting.
She said she'd tripped on a cord. The men in the meeting room finally heard her calling, and they came and helped her up, she told the Courier.
She made it home okay, although she was shaking for some time.
She experienced some pain in her legs and chest but said she felt okay overall, and would be fine in one more week.
Canouse said she'd been the secretary-treasure for 41 years and the tax collector for 58 years.
Related storiesPlease see these related stories at
"Tell us the worse: Public asks about new housing development proposed for Milford"
"Public has a chance to comment on zoning change that would sharply increase development"
"Milford-Westfall sewer connection would be good for business, advocates say"