Please mark your calendars for the next Board of Supervisors Conditional Use Hearing regarding Crebilly II/Toll Brothers and specifically, the ‘Alternate Conceptual Plan:’ WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5TH, 7PM, via ZOOM only.
Last week, the following listserv was issued by Westtown Township:
The Toll Brothers / Crebilly Farm Conditional Use Hearing previously scheduled for Tuesday July 21, 2020, at Uptown Theater was cancelled in consideration of Governor Wolf’s recent order prohibiting gatherings of more than 25 people. This hearing has been rescheduled for Wednesday August 5th at 7:00 pm. This will be a virtual hearing using the Zoom platform. Pennsylvania state law requires that the hearing take place before August 6th, and, at this time, the Westtown Township Board of Supervisors does not have discretion to delay the hearing until a later date when it may be held in-person.
After reading the listserv last week, I took a couple of days to make some calls and gain a better understanding as to why the August 6th deadline. Thanks to many others working behind the scenes, I was given some answers by the end of the week. August 6th is the deadline for Westtown Township to comply with the Conditional Use Hearings regarding Crebilly II/Toll. If the township does not comply, they will be in violation of the municipal planning code. And that could be grounds for a judge to grant Toll deemed approval for the development. Clearly, no one wants that, not the BOS, not the PC and I am pretty sure no one reading this. So, the only choice the township has at this time, during the current governor restrictions, is to move forward with the Conditional Use Hearings virtually.
Fortunately, this time Westtown Township will have reputable, technical guidance to ensure ‘zoom’ will be done properly so that up to 300 people will be able to dial in and attend virtually. This hearing will be 100 percent zoom. There will be no streaming and no partial meeting in person at the Township Building of 25 or less.
In the listserv above, the township provided the following additional information, including how to access the hearing via zoom, here is the link:
I realize there are many reading this that have provided dedicated participation by attending the hearings in person, but have no interest in participating online. I don’t blame you one bit. I will follow up in an email by the end of the week and do my best to provide you with very detailed instructions regarding zoom, walking you through each step, just in case you want to give it a go.
Something else to consider at this time is how important it is for Westtown Township to pass an open space referendum. In order to do this, the BOS needs to pass an ordinance to have the question placed on the ballot for the upcoming election (November 3rd). The ordinance must be filed with the county board of elections 13 weeks prior to the next primary or general election and that deadline is fast approaching. Westtown residents, I hope you ask this of your BOS. If the opportunity presents itself down the road, open space funding (which has the potential to be matched by both the county and state) could help purchase a portion of Crebilly Farm for public use, such as a park.
For more information, please visit: https://dced.pa.gov/download/referendum-handbook/
In closing, I need to make it clear to people that before the recent governor mandates no longer allowing large indoor gatherings, the BOS had what I think was a really good plan. They reserved a safe venue for public attendance and social distancing. We also need to remember that when we asked the PC to move the final meeting to a suitable public venue, so that we could attend safely in person and social distance, they did. They listened to us and accommodated our requests. I commend the township and all of you reading this that helped make it happen.
No one has an easy path right now. These times are difficult for everyone. Let all of us continue to support the Westtown Township BOS as they continue to stay strong and push back against a developer with such little regard for what we all hold so dear.
If not you, then who?