Crebilly Farm Update 9/10/19

Dear Friends,

Still no news regarding the latest court decision.  I am reaching out to share some recent news in case you have not yet heard.  Within the last ten days, Westtown Township received a new application from Toll Brothers in the development of Crebilly Farm.  This means once the new application is completed, the whole process will begin again, most likely with the Planning Commission and the new plans will run simultaneously with the current plans still in litigation.

An updated Comprehensive Plan for Westtown Township was approved this past February, thanks to the Comprehensive Plan Task Force.  Unfortunately, the new application from Toll Brothers has been received before the Board of Supervisors has approved any new ordinances.  The Westtown Township BOS has had numerous opportunities, over the last three years, to ‘get it together’ by creating open space funding and approving new ordinances that would help protect what we all value in Chester County.  They have failed to do so!

When life throws me a curve ball, I try to see a bigger picture and find an opportunity to learn.  I also do not believe anything in life comes without a price.  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of each of us getting involved with our own townships- no matter where you live.  Get to know your elected officials.  Reach out and ask questions.  Does your township have open space funding?  Is your Comprehensive Plan current?  Is your township listening to what residents have to say?  Are your elected officials backing up their words with actions?

All is not lost, however, and as with many things in life, there is always something one can do.  Westtown township residents, you have an opportunity this November to vote in a new Supervisor:  Mr. Richard Pomerantz.  Mr. Pomerantz is currently the Chair of the Westtown Township Planning Commission and as many of you may recall, he ran an impeccable series of Planning Commission meetings for the original application from Toll Brothers (currently in litigation).  Pomerantz included the public every step of the way.  He held the public meetings in large facilities to accommodate the crowds and he gave every single member of the public an opportunity to voice their concerns on more than one occasion.  He educated all with clear explanations and resources of what to read and where to find it.  He is direct, asks hard questions and most of all, he cares.

Please take the time to read the words of Mr. Pomerantz in a letter he read to the public at the opening PC meeting, November 16, 2016:

The power of the vote.  Please do what you can in your own sphere of influence.

If not you, then who?

Sincerely,
Mindy Rhodes

3 thoughts on “Crebilly Farm Update 9/10/19

  1. Mindy,

    Sorry you have to go through all this, but I honor your courage. Keep fighting the good fight. Our natural resources, once lost, are never regained. People talk of compromise as if it were a win-win situation, but unfortunately when it comes to farmland, what you compromise to keep you will lose. One day, sooner than we think, we will wish we had saved the beautiful and fertile land that sustains us.

    Donna Doan ________________________________

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  2. Dear Ms. Rhodes,
    As an elected Supervisor for Westtown Township, I am offended by your negative comments concerning my Westtown Township’s Board of Supervisors. Although you do not live in Westtown Township, you have rallied citizens from several Chester County townships. With that being stated, let’s justify the data:

    As Chair of the Board of Supervisors when Bozutto Developers proceeded through the Conditional Use phase to build 280 apartments on Crebilly Farm, the Planning Commission (PC) forwarded to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) 32 Conditional Uses (CUs) to consider. Throughout the nine(9) months of hearings with consultants, Party Status residents, and deliberation, the Board of Supervisors’ role was that of a jury to listen and evaluate details, facts and opinions. Because of diligence to the new process I instituted to vet proposed development within Westtown Township, Bozutto Developers withdrew their Conditional Use Application.

    From the moment Bozzutto’s Conditional Use Application was filed, the Robinson family (owners of Crebilly Farm) was contacted multiple times, in an attempt to create conservancies for the property. Fast forwarding to Toll Brothers Developers proposing a flexible housing development on the Crebilly Farm, contact was made through multiple avenues requesting preservation of tracts for open space, to no avail.

    Be mindful, the Board of Supervisors must recognize and respect private ownership of property. Property owners have a right to refuse or accept any offer. During the most recent Toll Brothers’ eleven(11) months of Conditional Use testimony, you believed the Westtown Supervisors should and would reject the request for development. Again, as Chair of the BOS, the development was denied and Toll Brothers Developers took Westtown Township to court, from which we are awaiting a decision. Moving on, Toll Brothers has submitted a second Conditional Use Application to Westtown Township.

    Now, let’s consider Mr. Pomerantz; a dear friend, colleague, and my original campaign manager. At the outset of my term of office, I was instrumental in having Mr. Pomerantz become the Chair of the Planning Commission, including his subsequent reappointment, by appointing like-minded members to the PC, to ensure proper vetting of topics sent to the Commission by the BOS. Our vision for Westtown was to: no longer to have a open door policy toward developers, review existing ordinances, plan for small government to be less restrictive, and plan for the future; being cognizant of tax payers’ desire to minimize spending.

    Mr. Pomerantz does indeed run a great meeting and brings out the strengths in all of the planning commissioners. But, do not be deceived by his urrent decision to run against me for my re-election. I, too, believe in open space and conservation, but there is a process to which the BOS adheres; investigate topics and inform our residents before we consider any action that may cause our residents to pay more taxes.

    In 2019, I hold the Vice Chair position on the BOS. My mode of operation is the same as I run my household; “If I can’t afford it, I don’t buy it. If I really want it . . . I budget for it, so I may afford it in the future.” It’s easy for Mr. Pomerantz to write a statement of thoughts and past history on previous Boards of Supervisors, but during my tenures as Chair, Vice Chair, and Police Commissioner, I rely on municipal code, scrutinizing facts and details, knowledgeable consultants, and legal counsel, before any decisions are made. (Truth be told, the PC requested access to these same services when vetting both development applications.)

    It does indeed take a long time for this process, but I will not indiscriminately raise taxes to push forth an agenda without just and legal cause. I am elected to represent all residents, regardless of their political affiliation.

    I whole-heartedly wish more residents would attend our twice-monthly Board of Supervisors meetings! When the PC “held public meetings in large facilities to accommodate the crowds and he gave every single member of the public an opportunity to voice their concerns on more than one occasion”, Dick did so with the blessing and encouragement of the BOS; the process the PC followed was exactly the process we put into action. The vision and process worked so well, you believe Mr. Richard Pomerantz is the best candidate for the Board of Supervisors.

    My core doctrine continues to be, “an educated citizen will make the best decision”.

    My hope is you will be fair and balanced in your reporting to the “Friends of Crebilly” to allow all parties to hear my side of the situation. You and any recipient of this letter are more than welcome to contact me at any time to discuss this rebuttal. Thank you for your kind consideration in forwarding this to all your “Friends of Crebilly”. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Cordially,

    Michael Di Domenico, Vice Chair
    Board of Supervisors, Westtown Township

    mdidomenico@westtown.org
    or
    sewers2supervisors@gmail.com

    sent to: mindyrhodes1@gmail.com 9-18-19

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    1. Dear Mr. DiDomenico,
      I apologize my words have offended you.  It was not my intent to be negative.  Though I take the integrity of my writing seriously and do my best to make certain I am sharing accurate information with my readers, I have clearly stated numerous times over the years, I am not a reporter.  I write about my opinions and the reasoning behind my thinking.

      Sincerely,
      Mindy Rhodes

      Like

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