Chadds Ford now a defendant

***UPDATE BELOW***

As anticipated, Chadds Ford has been named a defendant in the matter regarding the Pettinaro property at Ridge Road and Route 202.

Attorney John Jaros, representing Ridge Road Development, LLC, the Pettinaro entity seeking to build The Shops at Ridge Road, updated a filing that previously only named Concord Township and its council as defendants.

The update, filed July 25 in Delaware County Court, asserts that Chadds Ford Township "acknowledged the PennDOT traffic improvements were satisfactory…" and that "the conditions of the land development approval have been satisfied." It came a week after a conference that included Jaros and Concord Township solicitor.

Jaros filed the original complaint with the court in May. In June, Concord responded saying that Chadds Ford was an "indispensable party" to the matter and had to be brought in to the case.

While the suit now includes Chadds Ford Township and the Chadds Ford Township Board of Supervisors as well as Concord Township and Concord Township Council as defendants, the complaint itself remains as it has been.

Ridge Road Development owns the 25-acre property at Ridge and Route 202. Concord Township supervisors, in 2008 approved that property for a commercial development and reaffirmed that approval in 2014. One of the 21 conditions of approval, Condition 19, requires Chadds Ford to sign off on highway improvements before the final plans can be released so work can begin.

Chadds Ford Township Supervisors Chairman Frank Murphy said he wouldn't sign off on those improvements until Chadds Ford residents' concerns about those improvements are addressed.

Those improvements include having the main entrance to the shopping center on Ridge Road and widening Ridge Road to six lanes for a quarter-mile stretch from 202 to the end of the development. Ridge Road would be brought back to two lanes before Pheasant Lane in Chadds Ford Township.

In a letter dated Jan. 4, 2017, Murphy told Andrea Finerosky, Pettinaro's land development manager, that increased traffic queuing and volume along Route 202 and Ridge Road has made earlier traffic studies "obsolete," that more traffic to and from the proposed development would have a severe impact on Chadds Ford residents and that increasing delays for people leaving the already existing Olde Ridge Village (across Ridge Road from the proposed development) would have motorists seeking alternative routes on township roads.

The suit contends that Chadds Ford has already tacitly agreed to the highway changes by signing a series of documents and being a co-applicant/ co-permittee for the Highway Occupancy Permit application in September of 2013.

According to the filing, those actions "unequivocally demonstrate that the traffic improvements proposed for the state roadways are ‘satisfactory' to Chadds Ford Township.

The plaintiff is seeking a declaratory judgment that the conditions for approval have been met. Jaros said in an email that he has asked for a hearing within 30 days.

Update: Chadds Ford Township solicitor Mike Maddren said, "The Board of Supervisors in Chadds Ford Township takes the health, safety and welfare of its residents very seriously.  They believe that the current traffic design of this project has a negative impact on those variables.  The Board is grateful that Concord Township had the foresight to include Condition 19 in the approval of the project, and intends to exercise the power granted thereby in the best interest of the township residents who elected them."

 

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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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