Toll explores opportunities for Crebilly

Toll Bros. is exploring opportunities — including increased density — for its proposed development of Crebilly Farm in Westtown Township.

Crebilly is a 330-acre farm at Routes 926 at 202. Toll’s Division Vice President Andrew Semon said Toll is looking to build 300 to 385 units on the site.

Semon reviewed some of the possibilities with Westtown Supervisors during the board’s Aug. 1 workshop. The meeting was strictly informal with no decisions made. Semon said he wanted some feedback before submitting a formal plan for a conditional use hearing to be held in early autumn.

Toll is doing all the preliminary work, he said, including environmental impact studies, and hopes to have two conditional use plans ready, one for the flexible zoning requirement that allows for 300 plus homes and another for bonus density.

He said township code allows for bonus density if there are certain public improvements made that benefit more than just the development.

According to Semon, building the connector road and providing walking trails would allow for that extra density.

The connector road would be 4,350 feet long, but Semon said much of that length does not benefit the development since homes can’t be built there because of layout and zoning requirements.

“To build that road, which would not benefit our community directly, it would benefit the general public, would have a price tag of roughly $2.2 million to help alleviate traffic on Route 202,” he said.

Public trails are also an element that would allow for extra density, he said. Those trails would run throughout the community and be available to the general public. He estimated costs for them to be about $500,000, with about 80 percent of that cost benefiting the general public.

Plans also call for offsite traffic upgrades beyond the connector road. He estimated those costs to be about $70,000.

Board Chairman Carol DeWolf said a new traffic study needs to be done and that Toll would have to contact the school district after the school year starts for an accurate student count prior to the hearing.

She also said, “You have to realize that we have enjoyed for years scenic, historic and cultural significance on this site. Open space has been very important to this board. I, personally, encourage as much contiguous housing as best you can.”

By contiguous housing, DeWolf was talking about clustering, but she said she didn’t like that word.

Semon said township code requires 60 percent open space and that Toll would comply with that provision and with any impervious surface limits.

Of the 330 acres, he said roughly 193 aces would be open space with possibly as much as 205 acres left open. He added that the exact amount of open space would be determined by the exact type and lot sizes needed.

In response to a question from Township Manager Robert Pingar, Semon said some of the homes — end units of typical carriage homes — would be 32 feet wide and 70 feet deep. Interior units would be 34 feet wide and 70 to 75 feet deep.

Semon couldn’t estimate final selling prices for the homes, but said homes in a similar development in Willistown ranged in price from $400,000 to $1 million.

(Chadds Ford Live was denied an image of the plan because, Semon said, the plan is only preliminary.)

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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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