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Former Girl Scout property eyed for agriculture


A 149-acre property in Haycock Township that residents had feared might become the site for unwanted development may now be seeing new use for farming.

At their March 4 public meeting, supervisors acknowledged receipt of an Agricultural Security Area (ASA) application from the new single-family owner of the former 237-acre Freedom Valley Girl Scout property, off Richlandtown Road. Most of the former camp lies in Haycock, with the balance in East Rockhill.

“They’re looking at doing some farming there,” said Supervisor Henry DePue. ASA designation protects farm properties from nuisance complaints such as odor during fertilizer application, and can also be a step toward preservation.

In 2015, a sketch plan calling for subdivision of the property into 116 residential units and related common buildings was withdrawn. Feedback from the community had convinced the prospective developer it had grossly underestimated the costs for building on the rocky terrain and providing sewer service.

At the time, township officials also noted there was already local precedent for properties more than half that size, including one that also straddled two townships, to be owned and occupied by single families.

Also at the March 4 meeting, supervisors awarded contracts of $170,000 for paving, and $73,000 for oil and chip sealcoating, to Asphalt Maintenance Solutions, LLC (AMC) of Center Valley, which was the sole bidder.

The paving job, for “just about a mile” of Haycock Run Road, was noted as one of the township’s “biggest projects ever,” with most usually stopping at less than half a mile. Officials added that AMC had performed well for the township in the past.

During her Haycock Township Community Center report, Dawn Kline said that the center’s first “make and take art” event had gone well, with a group of children and adults showing up on Feb. 14 to make valentines.

Another event will feature teaching how to paint a portrait of a pet from a photo, and Kline encouraged residents with other ideas for “make and take art” events to contact the township office.