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Rush Twp. residents voice concerns after sale of land

Residents turned out to a recent Rush Township supervisors meeting to ask about a possible high-end housing development in the village of Hometown.

The 43.22 acre site is along Joyce Street, and could allow for up to 166 homes, according to subdivision plans that were approved in 2008. Despite being given the go-ahead, the development never happened.

Earlier this month, the land previously owned by Paul J. Goettner was purchased for $250,000 by Jimmy John Holdings, Wellesley, Massachusetts, according to Schuylkill County property records.

It had been listed for sale for about $1.4 million about a year ago.

Residents told supervisors they were concerned about the size of the development, traffic and water run off issues.

“Nobody lives up there (now). I’ve been up there for 25 years. You have deer, bear, peace and quiet,” one resident said. “All of a sudden, our way of life is gone.”

Township engineer William McMullen of ARRO Engineering confirmed that the plans were approved in 2008. The township hasn’t heard anything since.

“There is nothing before us now that we can look at,” McMullen said. “Are they keeping it the same, or what the intent is? But we have nothing before us.”

Therefore, McMullen said, he nor the board could comment on what might happen.

But the developer would have to resubmit plans, McMullen said. They might revise the plans - or keep them as is, he added.

The board advised residents to keep a check on business that will become before the township’s planning and zoning commissions. The planning commission meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Zoners meet at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Meeting changes are advertised in a local newspaper and posted at the municipal building.

“Could something that was OK 15 years ago just go through now?” one resident asked, referring to the plans’ approval.

“It has to go through the same process. It has to go through the zoning approval, the subdivision land development approval, it has to go through NPDES (stormwater) approval, it has to go through all approvals,” McMullen said.

The original plans noted that the homes would be part of a homeowners association (HOA) that would include a swimming pool and community center.