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Lytle Farms hinging on sewers; Londonderry, developer discuss costs for 1,600 new residences

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 6/6/18

There may be movement on a proposed 1,600-home project in Londonderry Township.

Work on Route 230 — including the proposed Lytle Farms housing development — has come up in discussion …

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Lytle Farms hinging on sewers; Londonderry, developer discuss costs for 1,600 new residences

Posted

There may be movement on a proposed 1,600-home project in Londonderry Township.

Work on Route 230 — including the proposed Lytle Farms housing development — has come up in discussion several times during recent Londonderry Board of Supervisors meetings.

On June 4, township manager Steve Letavic said that the township continued to work with the development’s potential developer.

“There are some issues we’re trying to resolve relative to infrastructure,” Letavic told the board.

In an interview after the meeting, Letavic said the main issue was public sewer costs. He estimated that it would cost approximately $5 million to equip the property with public sewer. He said the developers need to make sure that the development will support the cost of sewer.

The proposed housing development would add 1,600 homes, townhomes, apartments and a business district on Lytle Farms on Route 230, just across the Swatara Creek from Middletown’s eastern edge.

The development could nearly double the population of the township, which currently stands at about 5,200.

In 2009, the land was sold to Tuck A Way II LLC for $4.6 million.

On May 7, Letavic said that he and township engineer Andrew Kenworthy have been working to get “infrastructure” to Lytle Farms.

He said they had a meeting later in the week with Derry Township Municipal Authority to “talk to them about the possibility of them accepting the lease proposed from the Lytle Farms development with DTMA.”

In an interview, Letavic said the township was still working with Derry Township Municipal Authority on a potential agreement to provide sewer services. He did not anticipate that an agreement would come before the board anytime soon.

“That’s going to take time to put together,” Letavic said.

Currently, most Londonderry residents have on-lot water and septic systems; Letavic said few people have public water and sewer.

“In fact, we made a very deliberate decision through our planning process not to extend [public] water and sewer townshipwide because we do not want townshipwide development. We want to keep development where we think it belongs, which is along the Route 230 corridor,” Letavic said. “It gives us the ability to create a tax base while maintaining the rural nature of our municipality.”

In June 2017, Letavic and Kenworthy told the board that they met with DTMA. According to the minutes, DTMA was interested in providing sewer service to the Lytle Farms development depending on whether there was long-term plant capacity, if they would have to add on to meet Londonderry’s Act 537 plan and how the sewer lines would be funded.

Londonderry’s Act 537 Plan — the Department of Environmental Protection’s program for present and future wastewater treatment — calls for public sewer lines along Route 230.

In an interview in 2016, Letavic told the Press & Journal that the plan required homes within 150 feet of a public sewer line to be connected to the system.

In an interview, Letavic said Pennsylvania American Water will provide water to the development.

“We’ve been working on a water line, and that will be down there probably next fall at the latest,” Letavic said.

The Lytle Farms development is one of two housing developments proposed in Londonderry Township. A second 900-home development called School Heights Village was proposed to be constructed behind Saturday’s Market.

He said the School Heights Village development was still in the discovery phase.