This article was funded by LebTown donors as part of our Civic Impact Reporting Project.

At a special meeting held July 22 at the borough office, Cornwall Borough Council established an ad hoc committee to work with Byler Holdings on plans for their over 400-acre property.

Council president Bruce Harris selected three members of the public to serve on the committee alongside three council and P&Z members.

Chosen from around 12 letters of interest are the following community members: Cornwall Lebanon School District employee Wesley Bensing, partner at Troutman and Pepper David Tshudy and project estimator Rob Anspauch. Councilman and member of the P&Z John Karinch, P&Z chairman Raymond Fratini, and Harris will also serve on the committee.

While the original plan was for the committee to be made up of two council members, two members of P&Z, and two community members, Bruce Conrad made a motion to modify this plan to include only three P&Z and council members (one, Karinch, a part of both) and three community members. This change to the original plan was unanimously approved.

Read More: Cornwall Borough Council hears concept plans from Byler Holdings, one including a nearly 800,000-square-foot warehouse

Anspauch, a resident of Miners Village, commented via email that he hopes to serve as a bridge between community members and developers, and that he cares about preserving the history of the area.

“I hope to give a voice to those who love this area and are interested in growth, but growth that embraces the beauty and uniqueness of the area,” said Anspauch. “I also hope that my profession will allow me to be a helpful liaison between the developers and the residents who have an interest in the project but might not understand the plans of the developers.

“There is often unnecessary fear, anxiety, and anger when plans are misread or not truly understood.”

Tshudy did not respond to a request for comment, as of Sunday.

Bensing said over email, “I feel it would be premature to make any comment before the new committee has a chance to meet, but I am excited to serve and hope we can work together as a community to create something special.”

Harris said he anticipates the committee to meet weekly, likely beginning this week, but that nothing has been finalized yet. Meetings will be advertised in advance and, unlike the previous ad hoc committee, will be open to the public.

The committee will meet directly with representatives from Byler Development to offer feedback on development plans. Other governmental bodies and professionals in various fields, as well as the solicitor, will be called in when needed.

From left to right, Mayor Mark Thomas, council member Thomas Burton, township manager Cody Rhoads, and council president Bruce Harris.

During Friday’s meeting, the board also unanimously signed a letter to PennDOT recommending the construction of an access road from Route 322 to the Byler property.

This letter is similar to one signed in 2011 while Haines & Kibblehouse were planning to develop the property.

The letter states that a Route 322 access road would improve safety and ease of travel, as opposed to warehouse traffic using township roads.

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Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.