More traffic from Crebilly plan

Westtown Township Planning Commission members continued gathering information on the proposed Crebilly farm development plan during their Jan. 24 meeting at Rustin High School.

Amid the waving of green and red cards from the audience — reflecting favor or disfavor of comments made — commission members heard more information on traffic, stormwater considerations and the general layout for the development Toll Bros. wants to build on the 322-acre property along Routes 202 and 926.

They also heard from John Snook of the Brandywine Conservancy who gave a brief “fly over” presentation showing how the development might look from New Street and Route 926.

With the property being the site of troop movement during the Sept. 11, 1777 Battle of Brandywine, Snook’s bottom line was to say the homes should be moved away from the battlefield swath.

“That will show much greater respect for the battlefield,” he said.

While the meeting was scheduled for a discussion of stormwater, it opened with comments from Nicole Kline, a traffic engineer with McMahon Associates, representing Toll. She spoke to address comments leftover from the Jan. 10 meeting.

Traffic engineer Nicole Kline, far left, takes questions from residents during the Planning Commission meeting.
Traffic engineer Nicole Kline, far left, takes questions from residents during the Planning Commission meeting.

She said they have updated the traffic impact study — dated Jan. 20 — which would be posted on the township’s website sometime on Jan. 25.

As part of that study, she said, Toll would retime the traffic light at New Street and Route 926, and also make changes to the Route 926, Route 202 intersection.

Included in that change, would be a new dedicated right turn lane for vehicles turning from 926 to 202 south, and adding a second left turn lane for northbound traffic. That change, she said, would allow for left turns onto Route 202 at the same time and eliminate the split phasing for east and westbound traffic on 926.

Currently, eastbound traffic is stopped at the light when westbound traffic has the green light, and vice versa. The change would also allow for straight through traffic in both directions at the same time. Kline said that would assist with traffic flow.

In response to a question from the audience, she said the development of 317 new homes, if approved, would add about 13,000 vehicles per day to traffic in the area. Currently, she said, there are 46,000 vehicles.

Following Kline was township engineer Kevin Matson of McCormick Taylor Engineering who spoke about stormwater and the overall plan.

He said law requires that the volume and quality of stormwater runoff after development must be no worse than it is without development. While acknowledging that the current plan will change as it goes through the conditional use hearing and land development phases, the current plan is “mostly compliant.”

Because the plan would be in flux through the process, Matson made a general statement of “don’t fall in love with the plan as it is now.”

He then made a series of recommendations to the Planning Commission members.

“Approve the use, but not the final site layout,” Matson said.

He recommended minimizing cul de sac streets and impervious surfaces. Put sidewalks on only one side of the streets, and provide for future accessory uses that homeowners might want, such as decks and swimming pools, he said.

Matson also recommended having the site served by public sewer. Public sewers would allow more open space, which would allow for better stormwater infiltration.

The Planning Commission will hold another session on Feb. 9 to hear from a PennDOT representative, to review the fiscal impact of the development on the township and to make its recommendation.

On Feb. 22, the Board of Supervisors will begin the actual conditional use hearing. That hearing is scheduled for Stetson Middle School.

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