Residential development plan gets a makeover

Wonderland Farms, a planned residential development submitted for Oakland Road near Brinton’s Bridge Road in Chadds Ford, is getting a makeover. The PRD proposal is currently before the Planning Commission, and the plan has changed since last month’s presentation.

The project, proposed by Harrier LLC, a Grace Family business entity, has gone from an original plan of 40 units to 38 units in February and now 35 units with housing on both sides of Oakland Road.

Attorney Mike Dignazio said the updated proposal is “a significantly amended plan that is more in tune with the commission’s thinking.”

With one single-family home already existing on the west side of Oakland Road, an additional 22 new home are proposed. On the east side of Oakland, another 12 homes are planned structured in six twin-home units.

According to engineer Josh Castillo, decreasing the number of homes has resulted in an increase in open space, which includes walking trails and recreation areas for residents on both sides of the development, but not for the general public. The open space will remain the property of the homeowners’ association.

Additionally, one six-acre parcel near Bellefair Lane will be deed-restricted as agricultural open space and used to graze horses for an existing property owner.

“It will be deed-restricted [to the home owners’ association] in perpetuity so that nothing could be built on those six acres,” Dignazio said. “It represents a farmette type milieu to the benefit of the other people who buy the homes.”

The attorney added that the restriction is a “significant contribution by the developer” because the original design showed three homes planned for those six acres.

Castillo said the open space requirement for the entire property is 26 acres, but the plan now has 27.9 acres dedicated as open space, before calculating in the deed-restricted six acres.

Also new in the updated plan is an emergency road for residents of Bellefair. They will be able to access the new development from their cul-de-sac.

While a trail is planned for the twin-homes on the east side of Oakland, concerns remain on how safely residents from those homes could access the open space and recreation areas on the larger, west side of the community.

Planning Commission Chairman Craig Huffman, Dignazio and Webb Road resident Skye George discussed a variety of ideas with George saying that adding 35 new homes “is a lot of traffic to add to Oakland Road.”

George was not alone with that concern. Another resident called the addition of 35 new homes and the associated traffic in the area “appalling.”

Huffman said stop signs won’t work, but speed humps might calm traffic.

He prefers the speed hump concept, saying that’s the “superior way to go…You have to slow down for it.”

Huffman suggested that people would likely just roll through stops signs and that they would be too close to the stop sign at Brinton’s Bridge Road. A benefit would be to have pedestrians cross at the hump.

Dignazio said they were envisioning an elevated crosswalk. “It will be more than a speed bump.”

No decisions were made regarding the plan during the March 9 meeting. The developer will be back before the commission next month.

Other business

The commission also heard a conditional use application for Concordville Subaru. The dealership would be in Concord Township, but Route 202 ingress and egress would be through Chadds Ford. The conditional use application needs to be reviewed because a stormwater infiltration basin would also be on a steep slope area in Chadds Ford. Concordville Subaru will be back before the commission next month.

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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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One Response to “Residential development plan gets a makeover”

  1. CFkeepitrural says:

    Even more appalling than the development itself is the idea of an elevated crosswalk. They belong in urban settings, not semi-rural areas. Sadly CF township is losing it’s rural feeling.

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