Letter: Board did it the right way

First, I want to thank Chadds Ford Live for their coverage of Township meetings and events. The vast majority of the articles are informative, fair, and accurate. However, as in any endeavor, sometimes there are missteps and I believe the recent article about the Board of Supervisors' approval of the development plans for the final leg of the Loop Road project presents such an instance. I thought it best that I present the board's view on the recent meeting.

The Loop Road project has been discussed and worked on for decades, well before any of the current Supervisors were in place. It is a project with may pros and cons and strong feelings have surrounded the proposal. A major landowner in the township and good corporate neighbor the Henderson Group wanted the loop road complete and was funding its construction. This provided an opportunity for more public input and design adjustments then might otherwise have been available. However, two major neighborhoods abut the Loop Road — Painters Crossing Condominiums and the Estates of Chadds Ford and so a number of residents’ daily lives will be impacted. Many businesses will use the road which will impact their employees and customers as well. Diverting traffic from Route 1 and 202 onto such a loop road brings with it challenges not presented by the other three legs of the loop road. It is for those reasons that Ms. Reiner, Ms. Barbone, and I moved deliberately with this project to try to foresee the impacts that such a major construction project will have on the Township.

The aforementioned deliberateness in approach was not "bureaucratic back and forth" as the article states but design, engineering, planning, and relationship building to get to the point where the project had, if not widespread support, at least general acceptance. The discussions, meetings, plan review, and detailed analysis by many people including the Planning Commission, and the HOA's of the Estates and Painters brought many good ideas into focus and helped lessen negative impacts while increasing acceptance. Ms. Reiner, Ms. Barbone and I believe that such a deliberate approach results in a better product for the future of Chadds Ford and we will continue to work through issues to try to achieve the best solution. We do not consider this to be "bureaucratic back and forth" - we call it good government and transparency.

There was also a comment made in the article that I apologized to the developer for the time and money they spent to obtain approval. I did not apologize - in fact, I said just the opposite - that I would not apologize for the time and money it took to obtain approval. I said this because this Board of Supervisors works to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all of our residents and we will take the time we need to be as sure as we can about any project before we approve it. We do not do this to penalize a developer but because we recognize that such developments have a lasting impact on the township and we should work through issues to try to minimize unforeseen consequences.

Lastly, I was impressed with the positive comments that the developer's counsel directed towards the Board and Township staff as well as the positive feedback we received from members of the public in attendance. All in all, I believe that this process was an example of local government at its best: protecting residents' quality of life, respecting the rights of landowners, and attempting to find common ground through deliberate analysis and hard work.

Frank Murphy, Chairman
Chadds Ford Township Board of Supervisors
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