Will attitudes change in Pennsbury?

As reported in this week’s
update of ChaddsFordLive, Pennsbury Township supervisors—in a 2-0 vote with one
abstention—agreed to stipulations with Pennsbury Village Associates that will
eliminate several lawsuits and, some hope, clear the way for a decade-long
controversy to come to a peaceful end.

Will it? One can only hope so.
This is, after all, a township where attitudes and political factions have
grown increasingly polarized for upwards of 10 years and several comments—after
the April 1 vote—gives pause to that hope.

The controversial plan began as
an idea to create a multi-use zoning area along Route 1 that would incorporate
townhouses, retail businesses, banks and restaurants.

Some people loved the idea
while others hated it. As talks and time wore on, enmity between the two sides
grew stronger. Over the years there was an ordinance created specifying the minimum
acreage for such a development and agreement that called for public land to be
used for the project.

A cursory review of the history
shows that residents objected because the township land was deed restricted for
public use only. They petitioned supervisors at the time. The supervisors
challenged the signatures on the petition and said the land could be used.

Enmity escalated to the point
where a sitting supervisors’ chairman lost a primary election and signs were
erected calling for the impeachment of another supervisor.

That supervisor, and the third
board member at the time, declined to run for their respective re-elections
because of the political climate at the time.

Between 2005 and 2009, three
new supervisors took their places on the board. This board, too, was accused of
not listening to what residents wanted. That accusation continued even after
the stipulation was agreed to last week.

And one of the former
supervisors leveled accused residents and current supervisors of being
obstructionist over the years.

The finger pointing—from both
sides—has to stop. No matter who started or who first misunderstood, the blame
game should end now. Learn from history; don’t continually fight over it.

As one person in the township
said in confidence after the meeting, “Both sides have to stop stirring the

We agree. Supervisors and
general residents should get on with the business of being good neighbors
instead of combatants. We hope they remember how.

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