… about the former Highland Village …

Published in The Times Tribune, Scranton, PA, on Nov. 26, 2006, BY MEGAN REITER – Highland Village, but that name is changing — is located around the Tamiment Resort property and is expected to bring roughly 12,000 new residents into 49-square-mile Lehman Township, which had an population of 9,456 in 2005, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Mr. Wolfington, president and owner of the Wolfington Companies based in West Conshohocken, says he is just contributing to the ongoing, inevitable population growth in the Poconos. “It’s a large program. It is overwhelming, probably, to some of the community members who live there,” Mr. Wolfington said. “I’m not the only developer in the Poconos. I’m just one person who’s trying to do it right. If it’s not me, it’s going to be someone else.”

Mr. Miron sees things a little differently. “The infrastructure itself is going to be a disturbance. The sounds of construction machinery,” he said.

Bushkill native Marie Summa echoes Mr. Miron’s concerns. “We’ve had a such a rapid influx into this area, and it has been huge trying to absorb the population,” she said.

Her father’s family has been living in the area since the 1700s, and Ms. Summa is concerned about traffic and fears the area’s history will be lost among the new, mass-produced homes. “I’ve seen farms disappear. I’ve seen huge developments. I’ve seen taxes go sky-high,” she said.

County and local officials don’t seem to share the worries of some residents. Accepting that Pike County is changing, officials are identifying potential in the new homes, new residents and new tax dollars.

Lehman Township Supervisor John P. Sivick said he’s “actually quite excited” about the development because it will bring amenities closer to residents and expand the township’s tax base, which currently is composed mostly of single-family homes.

Pike County Commissioner Harry Forbes says he sees the development as a way of carving out an identity for the township.

While Mr. Forbes would like to see the county stay rural, he recognizes the area’s population growth. “It’s here,” he said. “You might as well accept that and plan ahead … We might as well start being proactive instead of reactionary.”

However, officials seemingly have yet to develop concrete plans to deal with the potential population influx and related issues. The say the development is in a very preliminary stage and its scope could change.

For Mr. Sivick, it’s too early to start quoting exact numbers. He cautions that the project’s master plan is still under review and will be approved in stages, as development progresses. He doesn’t want to worry residents, he says, since the plans can change on a weekly basis as the development company meets with the planners. (Read the whole article on above link).

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