Supervisors hear reaction to Crebilly plan

A plan for the development of Crebilly Farm is still under review by the Westtown Township Planning Commission, but the Board of Supervisors heard reaction to the plan from some residents during its Dec. 5 meeting.

Crebilly is a 325-acre farm at Routes 926 and 202. Toll Bros. has an agreement of sale with the owner to build 300 or more homes on the site, with 190 acres left as open space.

Steve Rodia, a member of the Planning Commission, gave supervisors a brief report on the commission’s Nov. 16 meeting, saying the commission got a good amount of feedback from residents and others who attended, and called the session “very informative” from an historic perspective and regarding the potential increase in traffic with the addition of 300-plus homes.

He said Toll Bros. basically gave us an overview of the project “that really went over well.”

Resident Cecilia Wright spoke after Rodia, saying she attended the Nov. 16 meeting. She spoke for 10 minutes telling supervisors that none of the comments on the plan she heard were positive, “other than the Toll Bros. comments.”

“They had positive comments, but the audience did not,” she said. “It was a very slick presentation. They must think we’re more like fifth- or sixth-graders.”

Wright said traffic is a serious problem, and that she had done her own traffic count at 7 a.m. one day. She said she stopped counting at 560 cars in a 20-minute period.

“It is a profound amount of vehicles,” Wright added.

She urged supervisors to look at other, similar Toll plans in other areas before making a decision. She wants to know whether the sizes of the homes are specified in any agreement, whether a house may be built on less than one-half an acre. Wright also questioned the bonus density.

Toll would like to build more homes than called for in the zoning code, but that restriction can be modified by supervisors following a conditional use hearing.

The extra density would require the developer to provide something to the township in exchange, such as public sewers or road improvements.

“They’re asking for a bonus and they’re going to give us a bonus to get something back. There’s not one bonus that I saw,” Wright said.

Several other people, from Kennett and Pennsbury townships, spoke as well. One expressed her solidarity with Westtown residents because she drives through the intersection of Routes 202 and 926 to and from work. Another person questioned the procedures involved in the application.

Supervisors’ Chairman Carol DeWolf explained that supervisors couldn’t comment on specifics of the application at this time because it’s in front of the Planning Commission and that supervisors are not even allowed to attend those meetings.

DeWolf added that the entire plan has been submitted to John Snook of the Brandywine Conservancy for review and that the township is waiting for his comments.

The Planning Commission in scheduled to hold a total of four public meetings on the matter. The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 15 at Stetson Middle School.

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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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