The Threat

Camp Security, which is currently farmland, is clearly shown on the left side of this aerial photo taken in 1992. The photo is showing a horizontal distance of approx. 1.7 miles, and vertical distance of approx. 0.8 miles. Notice that the surrounding areas are all developed. Read below, to see why this area is being threatened by development.

Ariel photo of Camp Security
(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and TerraServer.)

The Camp Security site is the last remaining prisoner-of-war camp from the Revolutionary War. A portion of it is located on one of the last undeveloped properties in the area. Currently farmed, the property is privately owned and not open to the public. When first proposed for development in 1978, local interest in Camp Security made the property unmarketable. However, Camp Security is presently threatened by another proposed residential development.

In 1999, the first version of the current development threat proposed 73 upscale homes throughout the site. Because the subdivision would impact a stream and wetlands, both state Department of Environmental Protection and US Army Corps of Engineers permits were needed. As a federal agency who must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the US Army Corps required as a condition of their permit, an archaeological assessment of the property and mitigation of effects to any sites found on the property.

To date [July 2002] the subdivision plan has been redesigned five times by the developer in his attempt to acquire both a US Army Corps permit and local plan approval. In May of 2000 the developer hired a consultant to conduct an archaeological survey of the property. The adequacy of this work was questioned by both the Corps and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, who called for additional archaeological studies. Springettsbury Township staff determined in 2000 that the best compromise would be a cluster or open space development that would preserve a portion of the site. Following this advice, the developer redesigned the plan in February of 2001 to allow for the preservation of about 2.5 acres of the known portion of Camp Security. The Corps did not find this to be an adequate compromise.

In May of 2001 the plan was redesigned again, avoiding Army corps permitting. This final plan of 100 homes preserved about five acres of Camp Security on an open space lot in the middle of the development. In October of last year, the Springettsbury Township Supervisors voted 2 in favor and 2 in denial of the plan, a vote that was determined to be a denial of the plan. The Township decision initiated lawsuits by the developer.

Early in 2002, the developer purchased the property in question for $520,500. He has said he will sell the site to the preservationists for $4.5 million.