Penn Township building

When: Penn Township supervisors meeting, July 27.

What happened: After a conditional use hearing for a property at 1177 White Oak Road, supervisors voted to approve the demolition of a farmhouse listed on the Lancaster County Historic Sites Survey.

Background: The township’s ordinance requires property owners to seek approval from the township to demolish any building that is identified on the historic sites survey. Many of these buildings are found to have little historical value, and some are in disrepair and not up to current building code. In the past year, the township has reviewed several of these properties. The board has tended to approve demolition if the applicant can prove through pictures and testimony that the building in question is in poor shape, not worth fixing and doesn’t have significant unique historical character.

Testimony: In presenting the case for 1177 White Oak Road, the owner, Henry Stoltzfus, described mold and water damage and other interior problems. Stoltzfus also showed how the layout of the home does not fit the needs of the current market or a family of any significant size.

Board action: Although the board has 45 days after the conditional use hearing to make a decision, supervisors voted 5-0 immediately after the hearing to approve the demolition.

Next steps: With the approval, the applicant can commence demolition. Any new building on the site will have to go through the township’s normal land development process.

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