Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How long?

How long?
How long before the Cumberland Township Supervisors accept plans for a new project in the gorgeous farm fields located west of Herr's Ridge Road along US 30, between the Herr's Tavern and the Gettysburg Airport? We expect to hear this as the new location of the LeVan led effort to place a casino in the area. With a newly "appointed" pro-casino Deb Golden on the Board, can this be far off?

How long?
How long before people in Gettysburg get the point that something was rotten in the last planning commission meeting when a newly elected member, with a spouse on the Borough Council, railroaded a request for a zoning variance to allow a long vacant building to be put to good use? Said newly elected planning commission member and spouse apparently live in close proximity to the proposed location.

The applicants were the "apparently" homeless Licensed Battlefield Guides Association, who wanted to use the property for their headquarters and research library, but not as a location from which to start tours, and the Third Ward Concerned Citizens who wanted to share the property with the Guides as a location to get their start on a local Black History Museum. Both worthy causes, neither a source of noise or pollution, nor parking problems.

The building is zoned for medical office use, although requests made by the owner to the hospital for tenants resulted in no takers for the past two years. Normally, when an applicant requests a variance the board will suggest the path to achieve it, but here are two very worthy local groups willing to occupy and care for a building which has been vacant for over two years, and they were summarily dismissed by the new board member. This one makes Spring Grove smell like a daisy!

How long?
How long before the Gettysburg Times runs the Op-Ed piece submitted by local resident and Park Volunteer W. G. Davis? Davis wrote a piece that is heading toward showing up here since the Times doesn't have the gumption to run it. Apparently pointing out a bias by the local newspaper doesn't sit well.

Adams County leaders are upset with leaders of Frederick County, Maryland because the Maryland folks want Adams to build homes for the workers that will be flooding there. Old Fort Ritchie, a now-closed Army installation that sits on the Mason Dixon line and from there south along the east slope of South Mountain, is being developed. The developer, of course, like all developers, claims that he is bringing thousands of "much needed jobs" to the area, and those people will need homes. Hence the request to build and develop in Adams County.

We have asked before, what is wrong with all those lovely farms and orchards south of Emmitsburg along US 15? Why can't the needed homes be built there? Why tear up Adams County any more than it is already doing to itself? Specifially, we are talking about the areas around Sabillasville, and Monterey along PA 16 up on top of the mountain.

This is the second attempt by Maryland officials to hijack parts of Pennsylvania for what Maryland wants to build. Earlier, they wanted Pennsylvania to run a bypass around Emmitsburg to handle all the traffic ostensibly coming from commuters living in Carroll Valley who travel to and from US 15 each day. In reality, they want another route for the trucks that transit between US 15 and I-81 to the west.

Apparently no one, and we mean NO ONE is going to pave over Adams County except Adams County, and they'll do it THEIR WAY on THEIR TERMS! Frederick County: You are on notice!

What have you gone Joe Dimaggio?
We wonder what ex-Strabaddie Jay McDannell is doing these days now that he's out of the lucrative business of local government?

Say what?
It is refreshing to note that there has been no talk of the developers who will be building a BJ's on the property formerly targeted for the denied casino, and Straban Township wanting to get the Federal Government to lift what amounts to a deed restriction. Before there was to be a casino on that property, there was to be a Walmart.

Yes, we are talking about the property on the north side of US 30 across from Bob Monahan's illegally emblazoned Gateway Center. Walmart wanted the lot reconfigured with the addition of a small 14 acre parcel that Straban had "coincidentally" just acquired from the Feds for little more than some surveying fees. The acquisition was done under the Federal Lands to Parks program which gives former federal property to local governments [on application] if, and only if the land is A: used for recreational or educational purposes, B: budgeted for such use by the local government acquiring the property, and C: permanently made a part of the local government's property and never transferred to another party.

Part "C" above was the sticking point. And when Straban and Walmart approached the Park Service [the original conveying agency even though the parcel was owned by the FCC and used as an antenna farm], hand in hand, to request an exception to that restriction, the word hit the newspapers about the deal. It still stinks to this day. Contrary to Jay McDannell's statements, Walmart's option on the property did not expire before they pulled out of the deal, the bad press caused their pull-out.

Nevertheless, now Straban maintains a couple of ball fields on the parcel, exactly the kind of use the Lands to Parks program calls for. What a shame the Strabaddies had to have their feet held to the fire to keep it that way. How pleasant it is not to be revisiting this issue again for BJ's.

What gives?
Why is the Gettysburg Times now devoting so much time and effort to the Emmitsburg area? It seems of late that a lot of space on Page 3 in particular is being devoted to Emmitsburg events and issues. Is this some sort of effort to lure business and people from the Emmitsburg are up here to Gettysburg to live in some of the 20,000 houses due to be built here when the housiung bust gets turned around? Or is the Times attempting to put the Emmitsburg Dispatch out of busineess?

Stay tuned!


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Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear more about the casino. Any facts you'd like to share or is this purely speculation on your part?

GettysBLOG said...

Let's just call it informed speculation.