UPPER MILFORD TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS
Upper Milford Township supervisors approved, 2-1, an agreement with Kay Builders at its Sept. 7 meeting, regarding the Fields at Indian Creek which will lift the cease and desist order the township had imposed on the development, assuming Kay Builders meets numerous conditions.
Supervisor Robert Sentner voted against the agreement and George DeVault and Daniel Mohr said they were only approving it “reluctantly.”
The agreement will help a number of families who are either already living in the development or have purchased a home there. Because the township also decreed no new building permits or certificates of occupancy be issued until the problems leading to the cease and desist order are resolved, some of those residents have been caught in the middle.
About 25 people, representing 13 families, were in the audience at the Sept. 7 meeting pleading with supervisors to address their problems.
One woman said she and her husband (and their dog, which was also in attendance) have been living in a hotel because they cannot get a certificate of occupancy for their completed home. Several others had similar issues.
And several people who are already living in the development, where 26 houses have been completed, complained they have no mail service because the developer still hasn’t installed mailboxes. The mailboxes are slated to go in the community center which is not completed.
This issue is not addressed directly in the agreement supervisors signed last week, but they said one of the conditions of their approval last spring of Phase 1B and 2 of the development is that mail service be provided.
Supervisors urged the residents to keep after the developer to complete the mailboxes, but one resident said Rick Koze of Kay Builders has ignored his efforts to discuss the problem.
Sentner urged the homeowners to stay abreast of what’s happening with the development by attending planning commission meetings when plans for future phases are being discussed.
Solicitor Marc Fisher explained the township “had no choice” but to issue the cease and desist order last month, after repeated attempts to get Kay Builders to complete an emergency access road according to the approved plan were unsuccessful.
In response, the developer filed a lawsuit against the township.
Fisher said the access road is necessary to protect the safety of both the residents of the development and the emergency personnel who might have to respond to a situation there.
In addition, the developer hadn’t completed the pedestrian bridges in the development by July 17, as had been agreed.
“The developer had a schedule and didn’t adhere to it,” Fisher said.
However, the agreement signed last week gives Kay until May 1, 2018 to complete the bridges. It also gives Kay until May 1, 2019 to complete the community center and adjacent parking lot, but if the community center is not complete, the developer will have to find another way to provide mail service in the interim.
The agreement details a number of conditions related to construction of the access road and also states the developer will discontinue its lawsuits, with prejudice, which means they cannot be refiled.
One resident asked what would happen if Kay Builders doesn’t comply with the terms of the agreement, to which Fisher replied the supervisors could issue another cease and desist order.
Sentner, who was particularly critical of Kay, said if there continues to be problems with getting the development completed, the township could even step in and hire someone else to do the work.
Sentner and Planning Coordinator Brian Miller also assured residents all emergency personnel, including police, fire and ambulance services, have been given maps of the development, which still doesn’t show up on the GPS systems of some of those organizations.