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Palmer May Resolve Knobhill Estates Gate Issue

Palmer Township Board of Supervisors may reach settlement on Estates at Knobhill gate issue at Tuesday meeting.

We've all heard of Watergate. Well, Palmer Township is dealing with its own "gate" situation.

For the past few months, members of the Estates at Knobhill homeowners association have campaigned township officials to intervene to resolve a dispute with a developer over broken gates at its complex.

The township was holding $18,400 in maintenance security regarding the front and back gates of the Estates of Knobhill. Homeowners say both gates are in disrepair and they sought those funds to get the gates fixed.

The homeowners were also seeking the township's help in shutting the back gate because a lot of unwanted traffic was going through the neighborhood and disrupting residents' quality of life.

After back-and-forth emails from the township, homeowners and the developer, township officials decided at a recent meeting to hold off on a decision until the end of October.

At Tuesday night's meeting, the matter will once again come before the board.

Supervisors will discuss extension and settlement and release agreements with the Estates at Knobhill.

Township officials believe they've been fenced in regarding the dispute.

"This is not an issue we want to be in," Supervisors Chairman Dave Colver said.

"There's been no communication with the developer to do anything with the money," solicitor Charles Bruno said. "That's the problem the township faces. The agreement is with the developer. And he hasn't held up his end of the bargain to get the gates fixed."

Supervisor Bob Lammi did not want the township to be responsbile for fixing the gates.

Another liability concern was closing the back gate.

"In my opinion, if the rear gate is closed, it creates a significant liability for the township and the homeowners board," Township Manager Christopher Christman said.

Township officials decided to temporarily lock the back gate on Kings Avenue to keep out trucks and other traffic. A box would also be installed allowing emergency personnel access.

Bruno said the township needs notice from the developer to release the $18,400 to the homeowners association to be used for repairs on the gates.

Still, officials say that won't be enough money to fix the gates.

At a late September meeting, supervisors approved a motion for a 30-day extension on the matter, allowing township officials, as Supervisor K. Michael Mitchell stated, to "put pressure" on the developer.

"The township is holding the cards," Colver said. "But we need to get this over with."

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