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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:21 PM
 
4,267 posts, read 10,383,735 times
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The one real advantage the Camp Hill area would have over Hershey is slightly better shopping choices on the "West Shore." Most box chains have two Harrisburg area locations, east and west, but if it's only one (except for Bass Pro Shops and Gander Mountain) it's on the west (Barnes & Noble, Wegmans). But commuting is every day, shopping isn't quite.

From the SW corner of Derry Twp (Hummelstown postal address, still Hershey schools) the main shopping area in Lancaster is about the same distance expressed time wise, as the West Shore US 11/Carlisle Pike shopping strip. Park City Mall is a bit more upscale (Apple store) than any in Harrisburg. One development in this zone is Deer Run Commons | Charter Homes | Harrisburg New Homes - it's an area with many folks who are transplants and typically work at the Med Center. A bike trail gets you most of the way, as an option to traffic. (Plans for the bike trail to cross the busy Middletown Road have been stalled for ten years and no movement has been detected recently, unfortunately.)

On a Saturday morning it's less than 1.5 hr one way from SW corner of Derry to Towson, MD and a considerably higher level of shopping. Or less than 2 to King of Prussia (largest mall on East Coast).

Lower Dauphin schools are fairly well rated (Hummelstown borough limits, and other townships just north and south of Derry). US 322 can get slow, and US 422 very very slow, going towards Palmyra which is not very far away. The LD school areas, running the gamut from small old town to townhouse communities to detached subdivisions to large scattered lots to rural farms, offer more proximity to shopping and other employment choices than Palmyra.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:12 PM
 
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Thanks for all this information. I'm now leaning away from Camp Hill because of the commute to Hershey, particularly in bad weather. Its tougher to find housing in these areas than I expected. The link above is helpful as new construction is looking like a good option. I'd love to get 4BRs in a good school district for under $350k. I'm a little hesitant on Lower Dauphin Middle and High, but its really hard to gauge from online ratings. Anyone know how they stack up compared to say Hershey High or Camp Hill? Those seem to be the two area High Schools that always come out on top. Online at least...
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:14 PM
 
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Plus I've gotten quite concerned about the sinkholes in Palmyra. Even if they don't spread outside of that downtown area, it raises concerns about taxes going up or about being unable to sell a house if the reputation for sinkholes grows. I'd certainly welcome local perspective on that issue as well. Thanks a bunch for all the information, you are really helping my family's decision-making process!
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Central Texas. Wait, I mean South Texas. Actually, both Central and South Texas
317 posts, read 486,652 times
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If Hershey and Camp Hill School districts are 9 out of 10, then Lower Dauphin would be an 8.7. The margin is really that slim. I lived in Hummelstown for two years and got to know the district. Lower Dauphin School District routinely places students in elite colleges (NYU, Ivy League, Johns Hopkins etc.) And the district really places an emphasis on fine arts and music programs. To be blunt, most public schools in PA are simply going to outclass those in GA (except for the low income districts, of course). So keep in mind when you see an online rating for a school here in PA, it is probably a measurement against other quality PA schools and not indicative of some sort of national scale.

I believe most sink holes in Palmyra can be found along Main Street (Rt 422). This makes sense as most water runoff would be in that area. There are plenty of homes in the Palmyra School District that aren't on that stretch of road.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Central Texas. Wait, I mean South Texas. Actually, both Central and South Texas
317 posts, read 486,652 times
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To finish my thought, I don't envision you having a problem selling your house if it is located in a sink hole free part of Palmyra.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben1234 View Post
To finish my thought, I don't envision you having a problem selling your house if it is located in a sink hole free part of Palmyra.
The only "sink hole free part of Palmyra" would be north of the contact between shale and calcareous bedrock, roughly Ridge Rd in N Londonderry Twp or the parts of E Hanover Twps with a Palmyra zip. Zoom in on this to see: PA DCNR Map Viewer
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:55 PM
 
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I live in what is technically Campbelltown , but a palmyra address and Palmyra schools..No sinkholes over here( I am off Rt 322 and 117),honestly I dont worry about it.The sinkhole problem is primarily concentrated near/on Rt 422.Taxes will go up, but not neccessarily from sinkholes.We have ALOT of new subdivisions and new homes going in.It is attracting families with kids that want the area but not the high property costs and high taxes that many of the surrounding areas have and we have GOOD schools..So many people are moving to the area and as a result taxes will go up to help aid in expanding infrastructure like schools ( we just built Lingle ave Elementary and already have outgrown it), the middle school needs to be expanded as does the high school, postal, police, fire, municipal ..All this stuff will drive taxes..Now they arent anywhere NEAR what Hersheys taxes are( mine are about $2500 a year and my friend in hershey pays $8500) , but they will be going up .As for home costs ,My development (when phase 3 was built in 2003 )houses sold for low $200's , now they are selling for $260's and up .There are several other new home subdivisions in your price range nowhere near the sinkholes..Stone Knoll, Thistledown, Arbor Greene,Carriage Park..developments like Country squire , Wheatstone are no longer building new homes, but still have some newer homes for sale.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:28 PM
 
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Clicking on the DCNR link in post #16, US 322 is on limestone karst geology from the Derry St interchange in Harrisburg to climbing the hill south of Quentin. (US 422 is on karst from where it begins at west end of Hershey, to past Reading.)

The DCNR map (once you zoom in and look at the legend) has closed depressions (baby sinkholes where the soil hasn't collapsed yet - might not for eons, might tomorrow) mapped all along 322 in the Campbelltown area. They have some reported sinkholes south of 322 shown on the map as well.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
Clicking on the DCNR link in post #16, US 322 is on limestone karst geology from the Derry St interchange in Harrisburg to climbing the hill south of Quentin. (US 422 is on karst from where it begins at west end of Hershey, to past Reading.)

The DCNR map (once you zoom in and look at the legend) has closed depressions (baby sinkholes where the soil hasn't collapsed yet - might not for eons, might tomorrow) mapped all along 322 in the Campbelltown area. They have some reported sinkholes south of 322 shown on the map as well.
Again..I am not going to spend my whole life worrying about depressions that may or may not become anything..It is like people living near a fault line, tornado alley ,building in flood zones or near the beach.There is the potential for sinkholes all thru central pa.I built my house in 2003 and less than a year later an F3 tornado destroyed most of my development.So many things can happen, they dont always happen.If this a huge concern for the OP, then Palmyra may not be the best choice, but obviously it isn't deterring all that many people since housing developments are seeing a huge boon and census is up for the entire palmyra area.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:19 AM
 
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Like flood zones, sinkholes are a known risk factor in certain locations, known due to the underlying geology. The factor varies on a block by block scale, not an areawide phenomenon. Floods and sinkholes are more of a "known unknown" in that respect than tornadoes. Palmyra happens to have this geology underlying most of its zip code area, and the entire Borough. Here is a recent article about sinkholes on a certain block in Palmyra: Seeking a sinkhole solution: 'Whatever's holding up the dirt isn't there anymore' in Palmyra | PennLive.com
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