Hamiltonban supervisors cleared the way for a conditional-use hearing later this month to consider a proposed Roman Catholic hermitage adjacent to Swamp Creek. The hearing is slated for June 18, at 7 p.m. in the township meeting room.
The plan calls for a development that will include 10 cottages, each for a single hermit who, according to the Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, will spend much of his day in prayer in or near the cottage. The plan also calls for several larger buildings for administration and use of the community.
“We will have to discuss (the application) and come up with conditions,” Supervisor Robert Gordon said at the board’s meeting Tuesday night.
“The commonwealth has expressed some concerns with Swamp Creek Lane,” Gordon said. Although he did not elaborate on his comment, the state Department of Environmental Protection is considering whether to issue a permit that will involve treating septic waste with chlorine and spraying it in the forest. The plan has engendered some concern from township residents who have pointed out the development’s proximity to Swamp Creek, a state designated Exceptional Value fishery.
Township solicitor Matthew Battersby said the hearing will be the time for public comments about the application. Following the hearing, the supervisors will discuss the hearing results and formulate a decision about whether and with what conditions to approve the plan.
“We will not be making any decisions at the hearing,” Gordon emphasized.
The supervisors also reaffirmed scheduling of a public meeting on June 24, at 7 p.m. at the Fairfield Fire and EMS Hall, when the proposed new zoning ordinance will be formally presented. The venue was chosen to accommodate an expected group of township residents who have previously exceeded the capacity of the township meeting room.
In other business, the supervisors accepted a $79,200 bid from Hammaker East, of Fayetteville, for asphalt seal coating and related materials for work to be done this summer. Roads schedule for sealing are the remainder of Mount Hope Road from where work stopped last year, lower Gum Springs from Mount Hope to Iron Springs roads, Zoo Road and Moritz Road.
An anticipated bid for line painting the township’s roads was not received, prompting the supervisors to decide to rebid that project.
The supervisors also:
• Granted a septic pumping exemption for an Orrtanna property that has no septic system but is connected to the public “Pennsylvania American Water Company treatment system in Franklin Township.
• Agreed to join the Adams County Council of Governments effort to share legal fees in an attempt to negotiate a new contract with Comcast Corporation for services the company provides to township customers.
Also noted was the first “Music in the Park” live music and open mic session to be held Sunday in the Hamiltonban Community Park.
The next meeting of the Hamiltonban Supervisors meeting will be a workshop on June 25, at 7 p.m. at the township meeting room, 23 Carrolls Tract Road.