A Lancaster County developer has lost its bid to overturn a zoning decision blocking a mixed-use development in Manheim Township.
- In a ruling this week, a county judge upheld the township’s denial of plans for Oregon Village, a proposed development that would bring housing, offices, shops and a hotel to a nearly 76-acre tract that currently houses the Oregon Dairy supermarket and a former resort property.
- The ruling from Judge Leonard G. Brown III is the latest in a back-and-forth legal battle over the project, pitched by RV Holdings LP and Hurst Family Estate LP, entities representing members of the family that owns Oregon Dairy
What’s the issue: Whether the project plans were out of compliance because they did not identify a neighboring bed-and-breakfast as a historic site.
- Bill Cluck, an attorney for B&B owner Mary Bolinger, praised the decision.
- Bolinger has contended that the developer’s plans should have listed her property, the Olde Oregon Farmhouse, as a historic structure and accounted for the project’s impact on it,
- “The court got it right,” Cluck said.
- Matthew Hennesy, an attorney for the developer, declined to comment.
- Dwight Yoder, an attorney for the township, also declined to comment, saying he had not yet had a chance to read the decision.
When did this start: In July 2019, when Manheim supervisors gave conditional approval to the Oregon Village project, which had drawn fierce opposition from neighbors.
- Bolinger appealed the decision to county court, which rejected her arguments in a November 2020 ruling.
- She appealed to Commonwealth Court, which tossed the county decision in December 2021 and sent the matter back to the township to reconsider.
- The board, whose composition had been altered by an intervening election, took up the plans again in June 2022 and denied them.
- The developers appealed that decision to county court last fall, arguing, in part, that the township’s denial was not supported by sufficient evidence that Bolinger’s property is historic.
What’s next: The developer has 30 days to appeal the decision to Commonwealth Court.
- Cluck expected an appeal would come.