Logan gives waivers to developer

The Logan Township supervisors recently waived bonding requirements for the developer of a single house, triggering a discussion about whether such bonding requirements are necessary in the township’s subdivision and land development ordinance.

They’re necessary, because they’re required by the state’s Municipalities Planning Code, said solicitor Larry Clapper.

Prior to enactment of the MPC in 1968, developers could build housing projects and fail to provide adequate roads — or inadequate community water or sewer lines — leading to residents of those housing projects eventually pressuring their elected municipal officials to spend taxpayer money to build decent replacement roads or to install proper water or sewer lines, according to Clapper.

The MPC compelled municipalities to require developers either to construct roads — and if applicable, public water or sewer lines — that meet municipal standards, so they become part of municipal infrastructure, or else to post bonds to cover the costs if the municipality needs to build them, Clapper said.

Otherwise, municipalities are not to approve builders’ land development plans, Clapper said.

The MPC requires “mud-free access,” Clapper said.

At the recent meeting, Supervisor Dave Rhoa questioned the need for the ordinance provisions, saying he thought they could hinder development.

Waivers in particular cases are the only way out, Clapper suggested.

The developer who made the recent request was a legitimate candidate for waivers because the proposed project involved just one house, the lot already has access to a public road, as required by law, and the developer has no intention of turning over the road or other facilities to the township, Clapper said.

Because those facilities will remain private, public funds aren’t at risk — as they would be if those facilities would become public, Clapper said.

The road for which the developer requested a waiver will provide what is essentially secondary access, Clapper indicated.

Logan Township’s consulting engineer had no objection to the waivers, said Township Manager Tim Brown.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.