Anything is possible when a community comes together.
Several months ago, Jack Gulati, representatives from Olsen Design Group Architects, and others presumably employed by Gulati, attended Lower Alsace Planning Commission and Township supervisors’ meetings to provide informal notification of plans for building a massive 55+ community on Stokesay Property along Spook Lane, Hill road and surrounding areas. Similar to the plans submitted in 2015, the new plans are equally disturbing and continue to pose a number of risks to the community, its residents and local wildlife. It is important to note that Stokesay has already begun a significant deforestation process on the property potentially as a kickoff of their proposal.
These new plans propose four level residential buildings made up of 11 hybrid building units and 44 cottages for a total of 308 residential living spaces and massive parking areas. The community has voiced several concerns about plans like these if approved. Some of the concerns include:
Water runoff – several people who live near the bottom of the mountain have voiced concerns about runoff and other water drainage issues that exist with the current state of the mountain. With the number of trees and land that would be displaced by the acres of parking lot in the plans, these issues would likely become significantly worse.
Wildlife – check out the gallery and our Facebook page for a look at some of the wonderful animals that live in and around the proposed plan area. The wildlife, trees and environment in general are a delicate balance. Disrupting the already shrinking wooded areas would impact all these animals and countless more. Several animals in the area are vulnerable such as the common box turtle (also pictured in the gallery) several bat species, and potentially many more. The decreasing numbers of wild turkeys in the area are also of concern as they seasonally cross the area.
Spook Lane – Spook Lane is a busy winding road. There are dozens of accidents on this road yearly with its current traffic levels. This would only get worse as more traffic is added with nearly 300 more homes in the proposed plans. The road would also likely need expanded over time forcing residents to pay for the bill with additional taxes. The larger issue with expanding Spook Lane is the number of houses and properties that are close to the road. Several homes could potentially be consumed by eminent domain to expand the road meaning current residents (some life-long) would need to relocate.
When asked whether TIF financing was being proposed as it was in 2015, Stokesay responded that it will not.
These plans are likely to change and could be worse. Updates and potential formal plans are slated to be presented at an informational meeting at the September 1st, 2021, Planning Commission at the Lower Alsace Township building. If you feel strongly about the risks above or for other reasons, you are encouraged to attend and learn more. The October 6th Plannig Commission meeting will allow for public comment. See you at the upcoming meetings…