Yesterday in Pittsburgh, oral arguments in the Toll appeal were heard by a panel of three judges in Commonwealth Court. Crebilly Farm was originally almost last on the list to be heard until the court caught wind- over thirty Chester County residents traveled the distance to attend in person. Thanks to those citizens, Crebilly Farm was moved to first on the docket when court convened at 1pm. And when arguments were completed, just about the entire court room emptied into the hallway. The power of the people. It made a statement. I love that.
Oral argument to the judges between Toll lawyer, Greg Adelman, and Township Solicitor, Patrick McKenna, stayed specific to traffic and centered around two issues: the collector road and the intersection of 926 and South New Street. Both sides spoke beyond the allotted fifteen minutes and Presiding Judge Brobson listened with patience and asked thoughtful questions. It could be several months before a decision is made.
Here are details from Chadds Ford Live: Westtown, Toll face off again over Crebilly Farm, 5/6/19
Here are details from the Daily Local News: Toll Brothers spars with Westtown in Pittsburgh court, 5/7/19
I woke up very early Monday morning in Pittsuburgh, because I couldn’t sleep. I was rewarded with the most spectacular view of the city, just before the sun rose, a white, solid cloud of thick mist, in between the river and the top of the beautiful city skyline, still twinkling in its night lights. Breathtaking. But at the end of the long day, what stayed with me most were the words spoken to the Presiding Judge by Patrick McKenna. McKenna did his best to explain to the Judge the issue is not (what comes first) ‘the chicken or the egg.’ Instead, McKenna stressed the importance of each entity in question working together to minimize the impact on the community.
I just kept thinking how no one is winning right now- not the landowners, not the township, not the developer and not the community. I saw the faces of the landowners in court yesterday and I felt sad for them. They want to sell their land and they have every right to. Yet the plan being proposed is negligent. This plan will permanently compromise the surrounding nature, national history and lives of residents who have lived there for decades. McKenna’s message to the judge about working together is the only way to a thoughtful development plan and a more reasonable outcome.
Thank you, all of you, for the way you continue to help and support Westtown Township, in what could be the biggest battle they ever face. Please continue to keep this issue in the forethought of others.
If not you, then who?