RICHMOND TWP., Pa. -

The Richmond Township Supervisors and Planning Commission met on Monday evening to discuss ordinances that impact the development of the township.

Specifically, the supervisors reviewed "the steep slope ordinance," which serves in guiding decisions about what areas are to be preserved and what areas are dedicated to agricultural use.

Despite recommendations from both the township and county planning commissions that the supervisors not pass an amendment in favor of the large landowners and farmers in the district, the board moved forward with the revision.

Last week, the township planning commission moved to invalidate the amendment made to the ordinance by the supervisors.

Commissioners said the move to invalidate the amendment was the result of having been given three days to review the proposed amendment instead of the required 30 days. 

The supervisors and planning commission have had conflicting interests over the past few years in priorities of preservation, agricultural use, and residential development.

“We have to look at the shape of the township we have and the shape of the township we want… If you have good ordinances as a foundation there are a lot of other uses they will apply to,” said Linda Partridge, vice chairman of the planning commission.

Brian Wanner, chairman of the board of supervisors, said he called the meeting so the two boards could touch base and communicate better about making changes now and in the future.

Not only did the residents of Richmond Township express concern about the steep slope ordinance, but they were also concerned about the impact of raising tens of thousands of chickens in the backyard of a residential area.

In addition to expectations that the values of the surrounding properties will be negatively affected, there is also currently a water toxicology study being conducted on the potential impact an intensive agricultural operation such as this might have.

The board also discussed zoning proposals at 12 TC Lane and Vally View Blandon, Inc. 

Both are facing similar changes regarding the process for replacement of mobile home units that were removed due to deterioration.

No major changes are proposed because the locations are not expanding, and the variance hearing will be held on Sept. 9.