LOWER FREDERICK PA – Township supervisors expect to spend opening minutes of their board meeting Tuesday night (Sept. 5, 2017) to discuss a proposal that conservation experts claim would strengthen and preserve area farms as both businesses and a way of life.
The Board of Supervisors has worked for several months to draft a law creating an agricultural security area that consists of acreage generally devoted to farms “within or near” the township borders, according to a legal advertisement published on its behalf. Its three members will vote on the proposal following a 5:45 p.m. public hearing in the municipal building, 53 Spring Mount Rd.
“Agricultural security areas are intended to promote viable farming operations over the long term by strengthening the rights of farmers to farm, and the farming community’s sense of security in their use of the land,” the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association explains on its website. “Landowners in (a security area) receive protection from local laws and ordinances that would unreasonably restrict farm practices, as well as protection from condemnation,” it added.
The hearing is free to attend and open to the public. Anyone with an opinion on the topic also will be allowed to offer written or oral comments to be considered by supervisors. A copy of the board agenda, of which the hearing is a part, is available for viewing on the township Facebook page, here.
Lower Frederick’s agricultural security area would encompass farms covering more than 600 acres, owned by about 30 individuals, couples, families, and companies, as well as Lower Frederick and Perkiomen townships and Schwenksville borough. A list of the owners, the parcel numbers of the properties involved, and their respective acreages, was included in the legal notice most recently published Aug. 24 and appears below:
- AFZ Development LLC, 380002461003, 37.07 acres;
- Jansson, Josephine, 380002463001, 9.08 acres, and 380002464009, 47.76 acres;
- Kenney, Ellen & Diane, 380001171006, 4.09 acres;
- Livezey, Mark & Christy, 380000559006, 28.65 acres;
- Sacks Family Farm, LLC, 380000676006, 96 acres;
- Roth, James & Judith, 380002468005, 9.81 acres;
- Bird, Terry, 380001174003, 10 acres;
- Keyser, Harold, 380000538009, 10.08 acres;
- Barber, Lorry, 380002191003, 77.15 acres;
- Pepe-Shennan, Chloe, 380002335102, 14.04 acres;
- Schweikert, Hans & Bensinger, Sherry, 380002335201, 11.13 acres;
- Oelschlager, Victoria, 380002150008, 13.12 acres;
- Schroyer, Steven & Rosemary, 380000376009,13.61 acres;
- Luyben, William & Janet, 380000199006, 37.66 acres;
- Stewart, Aaron & Stephanie, 380000211003, 13 acres;
- Blyan, Jennifer, 380002326003, 15.46 acres;
- Orfe, Daniel & Elizabeth, 380001054006, 0.86 acres, 380001048003, 5.89 acres, 380001052503, 10.43 acres, and 380001045105, 0.42 acres;
- Barrett, Jeffrey & Elizabeth, 380001045006, 7.76 acres;
- Spade, Brenda, Vincent & Emma, 380002113009, 11.13 acres;
- Burk, Barbara, 380001057102, 10.25 acres;
- Ruby, Susan & Robert, 380002821003, 18.88 acres;
- Hilbeli, Daniel & Megan, 380000887605, 16.12 acres;
- Lev, Ellen, 380000886003, 12.04 acres, and 380000887506, 5.91 acres;
- Keown, Lily, 380000625003, 39.50 acres;
- Gaines, Gerald, 380000250009, 7.98 acres and 380001510009, 4.32 acres;
- Halter, Charles & Rosenoelle, 380001628008, 4 acres;
- Renninger, Franklin, 380002494105, 14.15 acres;
- Lower Frederick Township, 380002491009, 1.28 acres;
- Schwenksville Borough, 200000046006, 0.86 acres, and
- Perkiomen Township, 480000439008, 2.31 acres.
Supervisors Bob Yoder, Ron Kerwood, and Terry Sacks apparently believe the hearing will move quickly. They’ve budgeted only 15 minutes for it on the agenda, although it will likely run as long as necessary to ensure all who want to comment receive their opportunity.
The hearing will be followed at 6 p.m. by an hour-long information session about the proposed Goshenhoppen Creek Overlay zoning district. The regular board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Related (to the Lower Frederick Board of Supervisors’ Sept. 5 meeting):
- Lower Frederick Considers Farms Preservation
- Lower Frederick Cancels ‘GC Overlay’ Hearing