CFBA gets lowdown on Concord

Members of the Chadds Ford Business Association received a little bit of a history lesson and glimpse into the future concerning Concord Township.

Concord Township Supervisors Dominic Pileggi and Dominic Cappelli addressed the association during its Feb. 5 luncheon at The Chadds Ford Tavern.

Pileggi said Concord was still a relatively sleepy, rural area until the 1990s. Some developers came along and paid for what was a needed upgrade to the township’s sewer system. Then came the people and the shops, he said.

Until those sewer improvements, he said, Concord was under a moratorium. There could be no developments of more than three homes. After the sewer upgrade, then came more homes and businesses.

The first of the major commercial developments was the Shoppes at Brinton Lake on Route 1, he said. Others followed, including the Concordville Town Center.

Pileggi said improvements to Route 1 would not have happened had it not been for those developers and others like them.

Cappelli said the township has been holding the line on taxes. The current property millage rate is 0.944 and has been since 2006.

He added to Pileggi’s comments about business, saying the shopping centers have been crucial to maintaining a strong economic base.

The pair also mentioned several of the more controversial issues in the township, Vineyard Commons — a proposed plan for Woodlawn Trustees property — and a request for rezoning the Hall property, a request that was rejected Feb. 3.

Woodlawn Trustees wants to sell 230 acres in the Beaver Valley Road area for development. A number of people from in and around Concord have been opposing that. But Cappelli, who recused himself in 2013 from any vote because of business relationships with developers, said it’s a matter of property rights.

“Some people don’t like it, but people have rights to build. You can’t block housing,” Cappelli said.

There was a move to rezone the Hall property, a 17-acre tract at Bethel Road and Featherbed Lane near Route 322, so 44 homes could be built where only 12 are permitted under current zoning.

Cappelli said rezoning to allow for the increased density would have served “the greater good” because it would have brought in public sewer facilities for 150 homes and added another access road for residents in Cambridge Downs. Residents there can only get in and out via the Conchester Highway, Route 322.

Pileggi said Concord’s Planning Commission is scheduled to vote whether to recommend the Vineyard Commons project later this month with the supervisors getting their vote in March.

“Property rights have to be allowed,” Pileggi said. “Emotions can’t enter into these decisions. Decisions must be based on fact.”

Looking ahead, Pileggi told the noontime crowd that Wegmans will be opening near the intersection of Routes 1 and 202 in early November.

In addition, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Main Line Health will be building medical facilities along Route 1. CHOP’s facility is under construction on the former Ethan Allen property. Mainline Health will have its facility behind Duffers, where Fiber Metal used to be.

Also coming is a Royal Farms convenient store slated for the split on Route 202 at Smithbridge Road.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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