Supervisors Approve Toll Bros Settlement Agreement
The latest Toll Bros plan to build 45 single-family homes on approximately 158 acres of the All Saints Cemetery property located along Twining Bridge Road near its intersection with Durham Road (S.R. 413) was sent to over 1,800 nearby residents in a January 20, 2022, letter. This plan was part of a settlement agreement with Toll after it appealed a 2020 decision by the township that denied a conditional use application.
Toll Bros Presentation
At the February 23, 2022, BOS public meeting, Gregg Adelman, Principal of Kaplin|Stewart Attorneys, presented an overview of a new plan. See the video clip from the BOS meeting below:
The settlement plan and agreement provide for the following:
- Access to the development from the existing signalized intersection at North Drive rather than 2 accesses onto Twining Bridge Road, an option vehemently opposed by Twining Bridge Road residents early on in the process and the main reason for the township’s denial of the aforementioned conditional use application;
- Dedication of 99 acres of open space that can be used by the Township as it sees fit, including permanently prohibiting development of that acreage;
- Location of the proposed homes further away from existing residences on the bend of Twining Bridge Road, a concern that was stated by those residents early on in the process;
- A mile-long multi-use trail along Twining Bridge Road and Durham Road usable by the public: and
- Additional buffering along Twining Bridge Road and Durham Road.
Several BOS members had comments/questions after the presentation and before voting on the agreement. Mr. Fisher was concerned about rainwater runoff along Twining Bridge Rd, which is an ongoing issue. Ms. Snyder asked about the planting of trees. Mr. Mack focused on the trail and safety of pedestrians crossing Twining Bridge Rd and Durham Rd.
Mr. Calabro focused on making a case about how much money this would bring to the township and suggested that this would mean less need to raise taxes in the future. Several residents, however, did not agree with his reasoning.
See the video clip from the BOS meeting below:
Several residents made comments and not all of them were negative. [Other residents submitted comments by email to Toll regarding this plan prior to the meeting.] See the video clip from the BOS meeting below:
Joesph McAtee said he preferred living next to a farm but he thought the settlement plan was a good compromise. He also thought that new development may impact taxes in the short term, but thought Mr. Calabro did not take increased expenses – such as school resources – into account.
Bradley Cooper had a lot to say about how Newtown has changed due to the greed of developers and over-building. He misses the farms and the open space. He also complained about justifying this development because of "making a buck."
Mr. Andrew Neville also was critical of the "making a buck" justification that Supervisor Calabro mentioned. He felt that the BOS was "leading the witness...as to what he should be saying."
Mr. Greg Czarnota said that although he was not a fan of Toll Bros, he thought this was a good settlement agreement. "108 [actually 99] acres for free!", said Mr. Czarnota. "We can rent it to farmers. We could do lots of things with it!", he said. One idea expressed by another resident was a senior center.
But Mr. Czarnota also said: "That's land that won't be built on." However, another resident asked: Will the land be deed restricted so that future supervisors can't build on it?
After Mr. Adelman’s presentation and after comments/questions from BOS members and the public, the BOS approved the settlement agreement unanimously.
Posted on 27 Feb 2022, 14:18 - Category: Development
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