The Cumberland Township Supervisors unanimously denied tonight a request from the Gettysburg Municipal Authority (GMA) for a zoning change that would have allowed them to build a 170-foot tall water tower at the corner of Herr’s Ridge Road and Red Oak Lane.
The hearing room was full of interested parties and after GMA presented their plan to create a “safe, adequate and reliable” system, about 30 speakers opposed the proposal.
Gettysburg National Military Park Director Stephen Sims referenced an 18-page letter from the park and pointed out that the height amendment violated the township’s Comprehensive Plan.
Representatives of the Gettysburg Foundation, the Civil War Round Table, and the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) all spoke up supporting a no vote. The NPCA representative introduced 4,000 signatures opposing the project that had been gathered online by American Battlefield Trust and NPCA.
An informal advocacy group of neighbors presented 87 signatures from residents who did not want the tower and said another 158 had been gathered on Change.org.
GMA had requested an amendment to the zoning ordinance to change the current 35- foot maximum height to 175 feet for essential services.
The meeting was the last step in the township’s decision-making on the proposal.
The supervisors had previously received a document from the Adams County Office of Planning which called the height “arbitrary” and from the Cumberland Township Planning Commission, which had unanimously recommended denial.