Little did I realize that Wawa's "Substantive Validity Challenge" to Newtown's zoning (read "Wawa Resurrects Its “Substantive Validity Challenge” to #NewtownPA’s Zoning") would be the beginning of what I now call “Newtown Zoning Armageddon™” – an epic series of battles between developers and the township.
You might say it’s a “slippery slope” or a “domino effect,” but I prefer the term “Armageddon” because, for me, it’s a “call-to-arms” for residents who moved to Newtown to escape overdevelopment and crime. It’s not about whether Wawa is a good thing or not. It’s about Wawa’s use of zoning laws and court cases to modify our zoning ordinance to get what they want, a tactic which is now being copied by other developers (read "Are You Ready for Newtown Zoning Armageddon™?").
These battles, I fear, will eventually lead to developers rewriting zoning ordinances (laws) meant to protect the promise of Newtown as “A Great Place to Live, Work, and Worship” as well as enjoy open, undeveloped space.
How concerned are residents about overdevelopment in Newtown Township? To answer that question, I started a short survey, which has received 188 responses (including 141 responses from Newtown Township and 14 Borough residents) plus over 130 comments, as of September 4, 2023. Over 80% of survey respondents (including Newtown Twp residents as well) are “Very Concerned” about overdevelopment in Newtown Township. See chart:
- The supervisors are already allowing too much development.
- Our Planning Commission strives to work with property owners to insure careful development and redevelopment of open properties with an eye toward preservation of our infrastructure, impact on our municipal services and overall appearance of the Township
- Smart development is what Newtown needs and we need Supervisors (thanks John) willing to stand up to developers that want to change the zoning for their financial gain.
- I think most people in our area are concerned about ongoing development, and particularly higher density with ever-increasing traffic. But it’s not sufficient to just say “Stop the development!” Land/property owners have rights, too. Rather than just railing against developers, my question is why there seem to be so many holes in the township’s zoning laws
- Newtown has lost it charm. It’s just like everyplace else now. Over commercialize. It’s a shame what newtown has become. It’s just going to get worse.
- I get it. People always resist change. But it is inevitable and certain. Nearly all of us live in homes that are on land that was once either green or farmed at one time.
- I love the small town feel of Newtown, but I am fearful we are losing our charm. The developers are sacrificing our town for their greed
Posted on 12 Jul 2023, 01:57 - Category: Development