LDS Restoration Site clears county planners

BY STACI WILSON

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints received conditional preliminary approval from the County Planning Commission for its land development at the Priesthood Restoration Site located along Rt. 171 in Oakland Twp.

The LDS Church unveiled its plans for the development of the site in October 2012. The site, now marked only by a monument, will be developed to include a visitors’ center focused on the events that occurred at the location.

The plot of land was once home to Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, holds sacred significance to the church and is also a recognized historical site.

Plans for the site include the realigning of SR 171 for safety issues; the reconstruction of the Isaac Hale and Joseph Smith homes; and the building of a Visitors’ Center and Chapel. Trails, walkways and access roads will also be constructed.

The Planning Commission received the site plans which included surveys of all the lands owned by the Church. The surveys show the existing physical features of the land.

The visitors’ center is proposed to be a 75’x135.2’ building. The plan also calls for the construction of several outbuildings and a restroom building.
Before receiving final approval from Planning, approval from DEP is needed for the sewer planning module.

A driveway permit issued by PennDOT will also be required, but plans call for the realigning of Rt. 171 to accommodate access to historical sites at the development.

The road realignment is expected to take over two years to complete. The church is paying to have the roadway moved.

A Municipality Report Form from Oakland Twp. is also needed by the Planning Commission. The supervisors next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 15.

In other business, the County Planning Commission granted Endless Mountains Health Systems final approval for the new hospital and physicians’ clinic on Rt. 706, in Bridgewater Twp.

Planning Director Robert Templeton said the county approval is just one of several needed before EMHS can open its doors.

The hospital facility is expected to open in November.

Templeton said paving and curbing of the parking area were expected to be completed before the end of this month.

NEP Cellcorp Inc. was granted final approval for two new cell tower.

One tower is located on the Garza property off Rt. 858 near Warren Center Rd. in Apolacon Twp.; the other tower is located on the Grosvenor property, near Camp Archbald, in Brooklyn Twp.

Andre & Son Inc. was granted conditional preliminary approval for a commercial development at their site in Bridgewater Twp.