Planners recommend approval for Crebilly

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Westtown Planning Commission members discuss conditions and recommendations for Toll Bros. proposed development of Crebilly Farm.

Westtown Township Planning Commission members Monday night voted to recommend approval for Toll Bros. planned development for Crebilly Farm. The vote was 6-1 with commission Vice Chairman Russ Hatton casting the lone “no” vote.

Hatton’s concern centered on traffic and the thought that Toll has not met the burden of proof for showing traffic congestion would be no worse than it is now or what would be done to mitigate the problem if it would be worse.

Member Scott Yaw, while eventually voting in favor of recommending approval, also expressed concern about traffic.

“Toll has not met the burden of proof…Toll is supposed to tell us traffic won’t get worse or how they’ll fix it,” Yaw said, adding that he thought the plan should be denied because the developer had not done that.

Commission solicitor Kristin Camp said Toll must meet the burden during the conditional use hearing held by township supervisors.

Brandywine Conservancy Senior Land Planner John Snook, far right, addresses the Westtown Planning Commission.
Brandywine Conservancy Senior Land Planner John Snook, far right, addresses the Westtown Planning Commission.

During a meeting on Jan. 24, Toll’s traffic engineer Nicole Kline said the proposed development of 317 new homes would add an additional 13,000 vehicles per day to the intersection of Routes 202 and 926. She said there are already 46,000 vehicles traveling the intersection per day.

The recommendation comes with 50 conditions. Among them are several dealing with traffic and roads.

One condition calls for an internal connector road between W. Pleasant Grove Road and Route 926. However, Camp read a letter from the township police commissioner recommending against such a connector because it could lead to cut through traffic.

Other conditions include adding a traffic signal on Route 926 at Bridlewood Boulevard, removing any direct connection between the development and Route 202, improving turn lanes at the 202/926 intersection, adding traffic calming measures and improving the intersection of W. Pleasant Grove Road and 202 and at 926 and S. New Street.

Non-traffic related conditions include requiring the development to be served with public sewer and water. Toll must also improve the current public sewer plant and extend sewer lines to nearby properties.

Additionally, Toll is to minimize the use of cul de sacs and impervious surfaces. To reduce impervious surfaces, sidewalks are to be on one side of a street only.

There shall be an archeological survey — including the use of ground penetrating radar — on all grounds within the battlefield swath where Hessians marched during the 1777 Battle of Brandywine.

Toll is also required to preserve four historic structures on the property, but may sell them to a third party for adaptive reuse. Additionally, the Westtown Inn/Darlington Tavern is to be relocated to some other part of the property.

The plan now moves to the formal conditional use hearing phase where supervisors will decide to approve or deny the concept. The first hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Stetson Middle School.

Anyone who wants party status in the matter should attend. On Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. Neighbors for Crebilly will hold an open, informational meeting at Stetson Middle School to discuss how to go forward and how  to get party status.

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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