On May 15, the LNP Editorial Board endorsed the Oregon Village project (“Smart growth”), despite serious problems and community concerns that remain unaddressed. Good development serves the needs of the community, but this project’s developers ignore these needs. The Manheim Township Board of Commissioners should deny the conditional-use permit for this proposal.
Manheim Township needs housing that working families can afford. The housing shortage and cost burdens on families are urgent problems. No cost estimates for the housing in Oregon Village have been provided; it’s unlikely that employees at the on-site supermarket could even afford to live there. If average township families can’t afford it, then the development fails to satisfy the needs of the community.
Residents need to be able to navigate the township’s roads safely and efficiently, but instead fight daily traffic snarls caused by too many cars. The development would potentially add at least 1,000 car trips per day. The developers propose a Belmont-like “solution”: widen the Oregon Pike/Oregon Road intersection to six lanes. This will fail to handle increased traffic, and will negatively impact area farmers.
Manheim Township has an obligation to protect its natural resources. The development will increase runoff, endanger a pristine trout stream, and add to air and noise pollution, choking the lungs of our children and driving wildlife away.
This project would only benefit the developers, at the expense of the community. The needs of the community are clear, and the sprawling, gargantuan Oregon Village proposal doesn’t address them.