Letter to the Editor: Cappelli backed by developers

I am in a state of shock after reading your article regarding the "development" proposal for Beaver Valley. [Supervisor Dominc] Cappelli and [Woodlawn Trustees CEO Vernon] Green get an unchallenged forum to spew several outright lies and SaveTheValley or The Beaver Valley Conservancy are not contacted to get our reaction or rebuttal? I've attached a document which contains a thorough analysis of the Woodlawn/developer proposal as compared to the "by right" plan. As you'll quickly see, Cappelli and Green have used your forum to greenwash your readers.

Let's first face a simple fact: $160 million is potentially at stake here. That's a lot of money for the developers. It's reasonable for someone to assume that they'll misrepresent the facts in order to get the plan approved. It's also reasonable for someone to draw certain conclusions regarding Cappelli's recusal from the vote on the rezoning proposal. I've attached Cappelli's Statement of Financial Interests that he filed back in March, which clearly indicates that he is in the construction business. A reasonable person quickly asks: how much money does Cappelli plan to make on the destruction of this beautiful place? That would have been a great question for him.

Cappelli has the gall to say that taxes will have to be increased to purchase the land. One, that is simply not true, and two, if he has his way, taxes will definitely need to be increased to pay for widening of 202, building and maintaining an expansive sewer system, and accommodating a significant increase in student population in GVSD. With our plan, forming a consortium to buy Beaver Valley, Concord taxpayers pay nothing more. Cappelli and Green know this, which is why they took the chance in your column to frighten people into giving them their 550 homes. There are also several revenue generating options for the 23 acre commercial parcel which keep the land open. The supervisors and the county have been made aware of these proposals, but we haven't heard back from them, perhaps because it's money for the township, not their own companies or their friends' companies.

Why do you let Cappelli call our groups, formed solely to protect Beaver Valley from destruction, "professional protestors?” It would have been nice if you had gotten our reaction to this absurdity. Perhaps Cappelli and Green have confused our hiring of professionals in various fields to fact check their proposal. As expected, the BVC's experts found that numbers offered by Woodlawn and the developers have no basis in reality.

Cappelli claims that the opposition to the proposal is coming largely from folks from other towns. First, that's simply not true. Second, it's a very curious statement coming from someone who receives the overwhelming majority of his campaign financing from outside the township, and from developers like Brandolini, Wolfson, Vernon Green, and others. (I've attached a few samples from a typical campaign finance report. See below) He accuses us of not being representative of what township residents want when in fact he and his cohorts have carved up Concord Township for developers, none of whom live in the township.

Mississippi, California? So a few folks who formerly lived in our area post a comment or like us on Facebook, and suddenly we're professionals from out of state? The overwhelming majority of folks who oppose any development in Beaver Valley are from Concord Township. When we knocked on 5,000 doors in Concord back in May, sympathy with our cause was overwhelming, like 95 percent in our favor. Mississippi?

Two hundred acres of open space? Either Vernon Green is hallucinating, or he's not aware, at even a primary school level, of what the facts are. The "by-right" plan provides for 162 houses and just about a hundred acres as open space. The rezoning proposal that Woodlawn and the developers want is 550 houses with just a few extra acres of open space — trapped within the confines of the development — not to mention 8,000 car trips per day up and down Route 202. The open space that they're offering us would be largely restricted within the perimeter of the developments. This is not open space, by any reasonable person's standards.

A few quick facts regarding the proposed development versus the "by right" development: Under the existing zoning law for that land, 162 homes are permitted to be built on 250 acres, with 40 percent of the 250 — that is, 100 acres — required to be open. That's the law.

On the other side of the 325 acres, is a 23 acre commercially zoned piece that allows 20,000 square feet of capacity and a 53 acre piece which allows for 188 apartments. The proposals by the developers and Woodlawn want 450 units (with the potential for 550) on the 250 acres with an insignificant increase in open space (like 20 acres) and 225,000 square feet of commercial space. These are the facts, and either the supervisors are not aware of them or they are shilling for the developers.

Bill Baxter
Concord Township

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