York Town Square

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York-area developer: ‘I think we have gone way above and beyond to preserve Camp Security’

Several years ago, artist Lindsey Keeney gave this view of American Revolution prisoner-of-war Camp Security in present-day Springettsbury (Pa.) Township. British prisoners were detained inside the 15-foot stockade, and some would have lived in huts on the hillside. Background posts: POW Camp Security site: ‘There’s a lot of history waiting to be discovered’ and Old house boasts all kinds of historic hooks.

Developer Tim Pasch has introduced a housing plan for land once covered by POW Camp Security called “The Plantation.”

So the debate over the hallowed ground – reportedly the last American Revolution POW site not yet developed – boils down to this:

– The developer has located the Camp Security site and won’t build on it.
– Preservationists say the camp site has not been identified, and 30-plus acres of open space simply won’t cover it… .

The matter goes to Springettsbury Township, as the following York Daily Record/Sunday News story (2/19/09) indicates:

Developer Tim Pasch wants to build hundreds of single-family homes in a newly proposed development called “The Plantation” off Locust Grove Road in Springettsbury Township, but his plans also include preserving nearly 32 acres of a Revolutionary War camp.
Pasch also told the 50-plus residents who attended his meeting Wednesday night that he’d be willing to sell more of the land to a group, such as the Friends of Camp Security, if the money could be raised for it.
“The Plantation” would consist of more than 150 acres, including a parcel he already owns and planned to develop and the Rowe farm. Pasch said after the meeting that he is the equity owner of the Rowe farm, but he hasn’t settled on it yet.
His next step is to present the plans to Springettsbury Township. He hopes to gain approval by 2012.
Carol Tanzola, president of the Friends of Camp Security, said after the meeting that she will check to see what opportunities for funding might be available for buying more of the land.
” . . . to just say 31 acres is Camp Security is not reasonable,” she said.
That’s because the exact location of the camp is not known, local historian Tom Schaefer said.
Less than two acres in the area that Pasch has proposed for preservation was excavated in 1979, Schaefer said. It revealed pottery shards, buttons, gold coins and other artifacts from the era.
The items came from rubbish pits, which would not be in the center of the camp. The stockade and the encampment have never been located.
Camp Security has been nationally recognized as one of the most historically significant and endangered sites. It is the last undeveloped site of a Revolutionary War prison camp.
Pasch said he thinks his latest plan, which includes preserving 62.5 acres, is better than his previous one.
The 31 acres of camp Pasch is preserving comprises the heart of Camp Security, he said in a news release. He said after the meeting that he had paid for a study of the area years ago, and it determined that the camp would fall within about five acres.
He had proposed saving 18 acres of the camp with his Hunters Crossing development plans and has now increased it to 31 acres.
“I think we have gone way above and beyond to preserve Camp Security,” he said.
Some people who attended the meeting asked questions about traffic and preservation of woodlands.
Bart Haas, who lives in nearby Penn Oaks, said Pasch’s plans takes everyone’s concerns into consideration.
“It looked to me to be well thought out,” he said.