John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Development Category

Save the Woods

Arcadia Green’s latest proposal to build 85 single-family homes on land near the intersection of Buck Road and Newtown Bypass, calls for egress traffic to pass through roads in the Newtown Crossing development (read more about that in the October 12, 2017, issue of Newtown News Update here).

Many residents of that community oppose the plan. The final hearing before the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) was held on Tuesday night, December 5, 2017 (read the Bucks County Courier Times report here).

Save the Woods Petition

Meanwhile, residents of Newtown Crossing have posted a petition on Facebook (here) urging the Newtown BOS to vote NO. The petition cites “several areas of safety concern,” including:

  • Traffic, access to property
  • Demolishing a house in Newtown Crossing and replacing it with a road into a cul-de-sac
  • Houses potentially being built on an existing retention basin

To date, almost 350 people have signed the petition. Some comments include:

“This proposed development will change the character of our neighborhood and negatively impact our quality of life. Enough is enough. Open space is scarce. Let's preserve the tiny bit we have left.”

“I reside on High Street and the additional traffic on my cul-de-sac is a safety concern for my family.”

A decision by the Newtown BOS on this project is expected to be made at the scheduled December, 27, 2017, public meeting.

I am opposed to this project because it will destroy precious open space and adversely impact the neighboring communities. I, like most residents speaking at the hearings, am especially concerned about the traffic problems this development will cause. The plan also lacks an easy way for residents of the proposed community to commute to work and to visit the shops and activities in Newtown.

Posted on 09 Dec 2017, 12:13 - Category: Development

Arcadia Green Development Hearings, Part 1

On November 8, 2017, the first session of hearings before the Newtown Board of Supervisors regarding the proposed so-called Arcadia Green development project took place. On October 11, 2017, there was public comment and the selection of "witnesses" who would testify at the hearings (for more on that, read "Newtown Crossing vs Arcadia: Truth to Power!").

I had to leave by 9:30 pm after more than an hour of testimony by Arcadia’s president Jason Duckworth who desribed the project in much detail (see photo below).

Duckworth (left) Testifies

I was able to capture an image of thr proposed project (see below) from the multi-page document that Arcadia introduced into evidence.

Proposed Arcadia Green Developemnt

The main issue for many residents of Newtown Crossing is the impact of traffic. The plan calls for an egress road through High Street. Residents at the meeting were dismayed that Arcadia has yet to supply the Township with a traffic impact study, which is needed before an iinformed decision by the Board can be made.

I will continue to follow this issue. Meanwhile, see the piece below for some history regarding this proposed development.

Posted on 09 Nov 2017, 01:29 - Category: Development

Newtown Crossing vs. Arcadia: Residents Speak Truth to Power

Residents of Newtown Crossing and neighboring Eagle Ridge crammed into the Public Meeting Room at the Newtown Township Municipal Center last night (October 11, 2017) to voice their opposition to Arcadia Green’s latest proposal to build 85 single-family homes adjacent to these developments. This proposal would destroy a home on High Street (#295) to make way for an egress road. Traffic would then pass through other roads in the Newtown Crossing development to access Newtown Bypass – a limited access road. Such an egress road was necessary because a previous plan was rejected because of problems exiting the development onto Bucks Road to gain access to the Bypass.

The meeting was the beginning of a quasi-judicial hearing before the Board of Supervisors (BOS). At least a dozen residents, including Bucks County Controller and former Newtown BOS member, Mike Gallagher, who lives on High Street, stood up and obtained “party status” in the hearing, which means they can give testimony for the record and be cross-examined by council to Arcadia. 

However, they will have to wait until AFTER the elections to testify – the hearing was “tabled” until November 8, 2017.

Mike Gallagher reminded the audience that “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon” and urged people to attend future meetings, including a Planning Commission meeting later in the month (perhaps Oct 24) where Arcadia will be available to answer other questions.

Nevertheless, many other residents made comments before the board about their personal issues regarding this proposed development. At one point, council for Arcadia tried to shut down the comments but her request was denied. The audience broke into cheers and applause when the commenter said “we want to speak truth to power!”

One resident requested a map be made available to better understand what’s being discussed. I was able to take a photo of the PRD plan (see it here).

Several people complained about the traffic through their development via the egress road, which would endanger children and pets who are used to play and roam on quiet streets such as High Street. School buses would also be affected, noted another resident.

One person said she moved to Newtown because it was because she was “reaching to part of America that almost doesn’t exist anymore. Newtown,” she said, is “so ‘Norman-Rockwellesque’.” She lamented the possible loss of open space next to her development where her children go and play. Another resident defended the open space as a haven for wild animals including, she said, coyotes and bald eagles!

The most heart-wrenching comments came from a elder retired police sergeant whose wife died last year. He told a story of living in motels for years after he had to abandon his home do to a fuel spill many years ago. When he found a new home in Newtown Crossing he and his wife were happy at last. Now, however, he faces the loss of that happiness on top of the sorrow of missing his wife.

As a candidate for the position of Newtown Township Supervisor, I stand opposed to this project because it will destroy precious open space and adversely impact the neighboring communities. I, like most residents speaking at the meeting, am especially concerned about the traffic problems this development will cause. The plan also lacks an easy way for residents of the proposed community to commute to work and to visit the shops and activities in Newtown.

As stated on the Newtown Crossing Community Association website, “Remember, the residents of Newtown Crossing represent a significant portion of Newtown Township’s electorate. Your voices count.”

Posted on 14 Oct 2017, 01:48 - Category: Development

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