JACKSON TWP — Opponents of a potential development vow to take action to prevent any construction that harms surrounding areas.
An online petition posted to thepetitionsite.com on March 15 by Harmony resident Josh Meeder has more than 800 signatures as of today.
Township manager Chris Rearick said Creative Real Estate Development has indicated that it may submit a land development proposal in the next few months for property bordering Mercer Road, Wise Road and Route 19.
In the meantime the developer has submitted an application for grading on the property and plans to dump soil there that will be excavated from a recently approved Murphy Tractor business along Route 19.
In the petition, Meeder claims that any development on the property would harm the flood plain, wildlife habitats, historic sites and property values.
Part of the property is in the flood plain designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and residents are concerned that filling in and developing this land would make potential flooding worse.
During the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the Connoquenessing Creek flooded causing damage to homes and businesses.
Meeder said both his home and the Center of Harmony building, which he owns, are on Mercer Street and would be damaged by flooding.
The petition may be the first of several measures taken by a newly formed group of residents and business owners who are concerned with developing near the creek.
“We will employ every legal and ethical means of stopping the fill of this area and any destructive, irresponsible development in the area,” he wrote on the petition website.
Their goal is not to prevent any development, but to work with the township and developer to ensure responsible development, he said.
Creative Real Estate owner Don Rodgers said the study he submitted shows that no flooding will occur and that his opponents will not be able to alter his plans.
“Our science proves it’s not going to flood them. I have my state permits to fill the site. The state will not issue permits if it’s going to cause problems to adjoining property owners,” he said.