News

FEMA Cracks Down

In Londonderry Township
By Steve Todd

Island Home, 2012 Photo: Nathan Merkel. Island Home, 2012 Photo: Nathan Merkel. At the April 6 Londonderry Township Supervisors’ meeting, Township Manager Steve Letavic said that FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) has identified “serious weaknesses in our floodplain ordinance enforcement.”

In March, Letavic had explained that the township’s floodplain regulations from 1974 must be brought up to snuff with modern flood control practices and policy.

Failure to come into compliance could result in Londonderry Township being dropped from the National Flood Insurance Program.

That could have the profound effect of requiring mortgage holders in the floodplain to acquire private flood insurance. “That is very expensive,” Letavic said.

According to Letavic, FEMA wants to make sure things built on the Susquehanna River islands are done in compliance. Hundreds of structures – of widely varying degrees of sophistication – have been built on the islands, particularly Shelley Island, as vacation cabins.

“Don’t do anything out there without building permits. If there was construction done out there without permits, that will be expected to be corrected,” Letavic said.

Supervisor Anna Dale asked that an article explaining this to the citizens be included in a future newsletter. Zoning Officer Jeff Burkhart agreed.

Alwine Steps Down

Sun Country has many long-serving Planning Commissioners, and Londonderry Township’s Richard Alwine might be among those longest serving … but this year, he calls it quits.

At the April 6 meeting, Alwine was honored with a plaque for giving 22 years of service.

“It was a joy for me to serve on the Planning Commission for the years that I did,” he said.

Alwine was known for being a man of very few words. His authority came instead from his detailed knowledge of township history, gathered since his birth in a farmhouse his grandfather built in the township.

Lytle Farms Progress?

Letavic said the Lytle Farms developers are moving closer to finalizing agreements to receive sewer service from United Water.

Sewage from the long-delayed Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND), which will include 1,600 residential units and 175,000 square feet of commercial and recreational space at the intersection of Route 230 and Colebrook Road, will flow to Middletown.

Letavic also said Pennsylvania American Water Company has right of first refusal to provide fresh water service to the development. It is not clear how Pennsylvania American Water will respond, but United Water is interested in providing water service as well.


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