A proposed 550-unit housing and commercial development in the Village of Oregon complies with Manheim Township’s regulations, a land planner testified Monday night.
Over 100 residents, many of whom are concerned about the scale of the Oregon Village project, listened as Joel Young, the developer’s planner, explained why he thinks the development meets township guidelines.
It was the second night of testimony in the conditional use hearing. The hearing resumes Monday, Feb. 11 at Manheim Township Public Library with testimony from the developer's traffic engineer.
The developers, owners of the popular Oregon Dairy supermarket and restaurant, are proposing apartments, townhouses, one-story homes for older adults, a supermarket, a restaurant and banquet center, a hotel, a convenience store, shops and a bank.
The project spans about 75 acres on two adjacent sites: the current Oregon Dairy complex and the abandoned Shawnee resort, both along Oregon Pike near the Route 222 interchange.
Young said the project complies with the uses allowed in the village overlay zone the township created in 2014 for the Oregon Village Growth Area.
Sticking to the zoning ordinance’s phrase, Young said the project would not have “a substantial adverse effect” on schools, public safety, and public water and sewer systems.
But in questioning Young, resident Ken Birkett of 1369 E. Oregon Road, expressed doubt that the village would not suffer impacts.
Young said the village currently has about 55 homes. Under the project proposed by the Hurst family, the village would add 550 housing units.
“You think that won’t have any impact?” Birkett asked.
“I didn’t say there wouldn’t be an impact,” Young responded. “It’s a plan that works” and doesn’t create any substantial adverse effects that would conflict with zoning.
“You’re calling this a village?” Birkett asked.
“It’s Oregon Village,” said Young, a reply that drew derisive laughter from some in the audience.
“I hope you look up the definition of a village at some point,” Birkett said.
Earlier, Young testified that a water tank and pump station would be built to create adequate water pressure for the development.
Young also said that after he presented the plan to officials of Manheim Township School District, they asked that they be kept informed about the project’s progress to be able to plan for the possibility of increased student enrollment.
Young said the officials did not indicate that the development would create a substantial adverse effect on schools.
Concluding his direct testimony Young said the plan would be in the township’s best interest and not adversely effect the community’s general welfare.
The developer’s traffic engineer was prepared to testify after Young is cross-examined by those concerned about the project.
The township planning commission last month recommended approval of the project in a 3-1 vote.