What do you think Derry Township should look like in the next 10 to 20 years? We surveyed and met with people who live and work in Derry Township in 2011 and 2012 to learn just that. Here are the survey documents.

We held a number of meetings listed below to present the survey results and get more feedback from the community. Read what the people told us at these meetings and see it summarized in the picture below and in a Patriot News column on survey results.
  • January 30, 2012 at Mohler Senior Center (see the Fox 43 TV coverage)
  • January 31, 2012 hosted by Oakmont Homeowners Association
  • February 1, 2012 hosted by the League of Women Voters
  • February 16, 2012 at AARP meeting
  • March 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM at the Italian Lodge – Lions Club
  • March 6, 2012 at 7 PM at the Hershey Volunteer Fire Department
  • March 7, 2012 at 7 PM at the Township Building – General Public
  • March 8, 2012 at 6 PM at Hummelstown Library – Deer Run Homeowners Association
  • March 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM at Library – Hershey Art Association
  • March 15, 2012 at 6 PM at Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society 40 Northeast Dr.
  • March 19, 2012 at 6 PM at Library – Derry Township Democratic Committee
  • March 26, 2012 at 7:15 PM at Library — Derry Writers
  • March 28, 2012 at 6 PM in the Library – Derry Township Republican Committee
  • March 31, 2012 at 2 PM at the Library – General Public
  • April 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm for the Areba Club
  • May 3, 2012 at Country Meadows, Hershey Partnership
  • May 14, 2012 at Hershey Lodge, Hershey Rotary Club

Leave a comment below to tell us how you think Derry Township should look in the future.


5 Responses to “Community Outreach”

  1. LisaK Says:

    If the residents at Deer Run and surrounding communities are not supportive of the Sheetz being built in their neighborhood, then why is it being built? Shouldn’t residents have more input? If this decision is about smart development, was there a traffic study? Traffic on Middletown/Hummelstown road has increased in the five years that I have lived on the road. The road cannot support an increase in traffic. At this point I cannot allow my children to play in half of the yard because of the traffic on the road. This does not seem like smart planning. There is already a Turkey Hill less than a half a mile from the proposed Sheetz. It does not seem smart to have two convenience stores so close together.

  2. Theresa Says:

    Please remove the fire siren from the top of the Hershey Factory on Chocolate Avenue and Homestead Road. It is so loud, especailly for those people who live near us on East Caracas Avenue and Java Road. Most of the fire department’s people do not live near us, and do not heard the siren. Most fire fighters live elswwhere, and they all have pagers, computers, cell phones and lots of other ways to hear the sirens. it is ridiculously loud and very annoying. Please, remove the siren, it just doesn’t matter to anyone except the poeple who live near us who hear it all the time.

  3. Skippy Says:

    The Sheetz will be built Dale.

  4. Heidi Commins Says:

    Have there been any thoughts or plans to update the Rec Center? Other than new fountains in the toddler pool and building cocoa castle, there hasn’t been any improvements made to the building, locker rooms, gym, or pools. It would be nice to have a more inviting recreation center for after school kids and parents with preschool children to enjoy; especially in the winter. Possibly a game room for older kids, and I am not encouraging video games. But fusbal, air hockey, pool table. The gym floor is hard tile – not safe for basketball games or small kids running around. A rubber sports surface would be great for basketball, volleyball, toddler play. Much easier on joints and falls. Perhaps a climbing wall?
    The indoor pool is not conducive for small kids at all. The water temperature is too cold, the depth too deep. Look to the west shore YMCA and the Friendship Center in Lower Paxton for inspiration.
    This is a great community. It would be nice to have an updated recreation center where families and kids could exercise, socialize, and relax.

  5. daleholte Says:

    I attended the League of Women Voters meeting on Feb 1st and found the meeting was well organized and presented. Ed and Brian did a good job in conveying the survey information and their comments helped to focus the results.

    I was not at all surprised by the findings, but just a little disappointed by the returns, approx 1500 out of some 20,000 plus residents. As the president of an HOA with nearly 400 residences, I can say that we also experience low participation, which also comes with high expectations. A curious juxtaposition if you think about it.

    This is from what I heard, going to be a long and difficult task for the committee. Beause they are merely advisory, nothing is binding upon the township supervisors, so we may find that a great deal of work and the findings and expectations may not match the political reality.

    I have heard from some township officials that under the current development plan, that smart growth is designed to place services and retail close to residential areas in order to reduce driving and for convenience. What was evident from the surveys, at least to me, was that the respondents clearly favored development in downtown Hershey. That is consistent with what we are hearing about the Sheetz station proposed for Middletown Road & Stoverdale Road. Not many in the communities of Deer Run, Southpoint, and adjacent neighborhoods are thrilled at this development.

    For one, it was interesting to find that the Hershey Trust owns so much of the downtown Hershey area, and any proposals would certainly need their blessings. The township is correct in deferring to them because they are clearly both a major employer and contributor to this township. I came from Gettysburg, PA which is somewhat similar in that it is essentially a small town with major tourist visitation during many months of the year. Conversely, Gettysburg has managed to hold on to many of the historic buildings and still gives one the feeling of a small town. Several major traffic routes come through Gettysburg, and traffic can be a problem in the Summer months, but residents benefit from the income and jobs it creates, and so its mutually beneficial to all.

    I have been here only for seven years, but I can’t really say that I have a sense of a distinct downtown here. There are some quaint homes along Chocolate Avenue and on Cocca Ave, but other than the managers homes I don’t see much in the way of history. Businesses occupy many of the homes now and there is nothing much to see if one walks except for advertising signs and small offices. Realistically, nothing is clustered, which might be attractive to residents or tourists, so other than the motels and hotels, people mainly just drive through and look at the street lights on their way to Hershey Park.

    About the only chance for change rests with the old Hershey Factory. With the right incentives, that could become a vibrant attraction for residents and tourists alike. If the trust and the township can develop a plan to attract retail and restaurants under one roof, and provide adequate parking and pedestrian access. It could create many opportunities. The downside of course is the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts end of the business. More restaurants and stores will create competition for their own business interests and they clearly have no incentive unless they can be convinced that a revitalized downtown area will provide plenty of business for everyone because it will attract many more people to the area. It will be a tough sell, but one that should be emphasized by the committtee to the township.

    I mentioned at the last meeting, the idea of adding some mid rise buildings to the downtown area. Buildings with a mixed use for both retail, office, and residential occupancy. The township, along with the Hershey Trust could begin buying up some of the houses (those without some historical value) along Chocolate Ave for the purpose of putting up a cluster of buildings which require a small footprint, yet allow for adding business and residential to the downtown area. This concept is being used all over the world and provides quality living experiences and exceptional shopping and business opportinities, not to mention more revenue for the township at minimal cost to the environment.

    One of the supervisors (who I shall not name) made the comment at one of the meetings I attended that it would be better to locate businesses in residential areas (like Deer Run and Southpoint) so that people there would not have to drive into Hershey to shop or buy gas, and add to the traffic problems in downtown Hershey. With that tidbit, I have rambled on enough and whatever happens, the committee is to be commended for it’s efforts.

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