I would first like to give credit where credit is due and thank the 100+ people that were in attendance at last night’s Conditional Use hearing. Thank you for your dedication and the sacrifices you made to attend something so important. I am happy to report Birmingham Township was present and those individuals with Party Status did a much better job of attending this time. More individuals than not, with Party Status, attended, however there is still room for improvement. There is nothing more important for the public to be doing at this time than showing up. Every time a member of the public takes action by stepping into that auditorium to attend what they can of these hearings, is a contribution toward a better outcome.
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE NEXT TWO CONDITIONAL USE HEARINGS:
Tuesday, June 20th
Tuesday, July 25th
*6-10PM Rustin High School Auditorium
*TRAFFIC CONTINUED AT JULY 25TH HEARING (Toll Traffic consultant, Nicole Kline unable to attend June hearing);
NO AGENDA FOR JUNE 20TH HEARING YET
Toll Brothers is pushing to have more meetings added to the schedule over the Summer months. I urge you to contact the Westtown Township BOS (610)692-1930 and encourage them to hang tough and NOT schedule anything further at this time. Last Summer, Toll Brothers capitalized on an opportunity to meet with Westtown Township right before the Fourth of July holiday. The last minute meeting barely made the papers in time to legally notify the public and Toll slid in practically under the radar. With such a huge population in this area soon heading to the shore, and given how hard it has been to get the public to attend the hearings, I have great fear that if additional hearings are added during the months of June, July and August, it will be a detriment to our side.
To briefly recap last night’s hearing, historic testimony was completed by Toll representative Robert Wise of RGA Cultural Resource Consultants. I am afraid Mr. ‘un’ Wise sold his soul to Toll. Attorney Michael Gill’s cross examination of Mr. Wise was relentless and right on. I hope I have my facts straight here, but it is my understanding the ‘right thing’ to do, in the case of Crebilly Farm and its historic value, is to require a Phase One Archaeological Survey. I believe this was a recommendation from the Planning Commission and I hope it will be a requirement of the BOS, moving forward.
Traffic was presented by Toll representative Nicole Kline of McMahon Associates in Exton. I consider one of the highlights of the evening to be when Ms. Kline referred to a traffic study from the DVRPC and PennDOT that (so she says) stated traffic in this area has decreased over the last ten years. I think it was at that point I saw the pink elephants flying and the entire auditorium erupted into laughter. Though none of it was funny.
The other highlight for me was when Dr. Scanlon, Superintendent of West Chester Area School District, spoke. The intersection of 926 and 202 has been graded ‘F’ as in ‘failing’ with regards to traffic efficiency. Legally, the proposed development needs to maintain status quo or greater. Toll is not required to make improvements beyond maintaining an ‘F.’ Toll needs to prove whatever they build will not make things worse. Ms. Kline made it clear to all of us that the proposed development, if completed, would still maintain an ‘F’ in traffic efficiency. As any good educator would ask, Dr. Scanlon’s question was this: What would it take to bring that ‘F’ to a ‘C’? In which Ms. Kline could not answer and explained there would have to be another traffic survey in order to answer that question. It made me think of earlier statements from Toll during the Planning Commission meetings: ‘we met the minimum requirements.’ That reminded me of a letter I wrote to Andrew Semon, Division President of Toll, back in February that was published in a couple news papers (see link below). Dr. Scanlon posed a fantastic and very reasonable question. I for one would like an answer. I hope PennDOT, Toll, Westtown and the nearby townships put their heads together to find a better solution than and an ‘F.’ After all, that would be looking at the bigger picture.
Letter to Mr. Semon, Division President Toll Brothers:
Lastly, someone in last night’s audience left a quite lovely, olive green ladies rain jacket in the chairs of the auditorium. I was one of the last to leave and decided to take it with me so I could mention it here in hopes I will be able to return it to its rightful owner. So if the person sees this, first- I commend you on your fine taste and just so you know olive green is one of my best colors and your jacket fits me perfectly! Second, I will be happy to drop it off to you:)
Thank you, Friends. We can’t give up.