Chadds Ford intervenes in Ridge Road suit

Chadds Ford Township has filed a petition to intervene in the latest round of litigation involving the proposed Shops at Ridge Road and associated road improvements. The petition was filed Monday, Oct. 30.

Several Chadds Ford residents expressed concern that they had lost representation in the matter when the first suit was dismissed and the second did not include Chadds Ford as a defendant.

The petition requests the court to allow Chadds Ford to intervene in the matter as a party defendant, as the township had been joined to the original suit. It also requests that the suit be dismissed with prejudice since it violates state rules of procedure.

Among those violations, is that the suit fails to join PennDOT to the suit. PennDOT, the petition asserts, is an indispensable party since the department has final say over the proposed highway improvements.

Ridge Road Development — the Pettinaro Construction subsidiary that wants to build the shopping center — has until Nov. 20, to respond, according to the filing.

Both suits — the original that was filed in May and later dismissed, and the second, which was filed Sept. 29 — center around one specific condition that Concord Township granted to Ridge Road Development to build the shopping center at the southwest corner of Route 202 and Ridge Road. That condition, Condition 19, requires that Chadds Ford Township agrees in writing that proposed changes to Ridge Road — widening the road to six lanes between Route 202 and the end of the subject property, and that the main entrance to the center be located on Ridge Road — are satisfactory.

Chadds Ford Township Supervisors' Chairman Frank Murphy has said that he won't sign off on the changes until Chadds Ford residents' concerns over road safety and increased traffic are addressed.

The Sept. 29 filing named only Concord Township and Concord's Township Council as defendants. Concord has not yet responded. Concord's solicitor Hugh Donaghue said last week that he filed for an extension of time in which to respond and that he was waiting for instructions from the council.

Ridge Road Development originally named only Concord in the first complaint, then amended that to include Chadds Ford. Judge Spiros Angelos dismissed that suit because the plaintiff did not include PennDOT.

Chadds Ford Township supervisors scheduled a Nov. 15 resident forum on the matter. That meeting begins at 7 p.m.

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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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