When plans were approved for the Wyncote subdivision in the '90s, the Planned Residential Development (PDR) ordinance required street trees be planted on both sides of the new roads every 50 feet.
An agreement was negotiated and a landscape plan developed to allow fewer street trees, in exchange for additional trees being planted in clusters for a reforestation effect.
According to Lower Oxford Township Supervisor Ron Kepler, there were supposed to be 450 trees and shrubs and 63 street trees planted in phase one of the project, and 1052 trees plus 56 street trees in phase two. Phase one is completed and some work has been done on phase two, but the numbers of trees appear to be far short of what was promised.
If the PDR plan was followed with a street tree every 50 feet, there would be 211 trees on the one-mile road in the development, but Kepler counted just 23 to 25.
"Clearly, our engineer is saying there's not enough street trees," Kepler said.
"The only excuse I have is it's been 10 years and we've been through three engineers and honestly I couldn't count 450 trees," Kepler said at the April 12 township meeting. "Some of the phase one trees are planted in phase two."
Adding to the tracking problem is the fact that many homeowners have had their own landscaping done and added their own trees.
Kepler reported that he had spoken with the original developer, James Pepple, and asked for receipts to show how many trees were purchased for the site. So far that has not happened, but Kepler indicated he would try to set up a meeting to try to resolve the issue.
The township has a maintenance bond on the new road in the development, but it is unclear if any of that money could be used toward street trees.
Phase two has changed ownership since it was originally approved, and now the zoning officer reports that there has been an inquiry from a new developer about purchasing the remaining lots. If that occurs, the township expects to enforce the landscape plan.
New development-A new development that has come before the supervisors is a proposed 136-lot subdivision on 255 acres on the west side of Forge Road, north of Calvary Road. The homes will be on two-acre lots, with 48.3 acres of open space in the development. It will be served by public water with on-lot sewers.
Wilkinson Builders requested, and were granted several waivers including a maximum block length of more than the allowed 1,600 feet, and street grades at intersections that are not level.
There will be fire hydrants in the new development that residents will have to pay for with an additional fee added to their taxes. Currently, there are four hydrants in the township and residents within 1,000 feet pay a fee for that service.
As this time, the fee for each hydrant served area is calculated separately, so that the developments with more homes near the hydrant pay less than those with fewer homes.
Kepler has proposed changing the ordinance so that everyone within range of a hydrant would pay the same fee, making it easier to collect. Under the new proposal, the total cost to the township of all the hydrants would be divided by the total number of homes in range and all would pay that fee. Houses that are not served by fire hydrants would not be taxed.
Vacancies-In other business, the board appointed Jack Rucker to fill a vacancy on the Planning Commission. There were four candidates who submitted resumes and were interviewed for the post.
One of those was Jim Pierson who was instead appointed to be one of the township's representatives to the Oxford Area Recreation Authority. Kepler, who resigned due to time constraints, previously held that post.