Judge upholds Crebilly denial

Chester County Judge Mark L. Tunnell, Monday, upheld Westtown Township’s denial of the Toll Bros. conditional use application for a flexible development at the 320-plus-acre Crebilly Farm property on Route 926.

“(T)he Board properly denied Toll Pa’s conditional use application on four separate grounds,” Tunnell wrote in his 23-page decision. “Consequently, the appeal is denied.”

The four issues Tunnell noted are a failure on Toll’s part to include a collector road on the plan, that Toll failed to show how it would mitigate traffic at an already heavily trafficked area, that it failed to show alternative access points to the proposed development and that Toll’s application did not account for conservation design standards.

Tunnell wrote that after reviewing arguments from both sides, reading the township ordinances and citing case law, he could find no fault in the Board’s denial on each of those points.

Toll has not yet responded to a request for comment so any course of action it might take remains unknown at this time.

However, Mindy Rhodes of East Bradford Township, one of the more vocal opponents of the development sent out a message saying: “It is my hope, given this latest news especially, Westtown Township will jump on this second chance and work to negotiate a better outcome for the future of Crebilly Farm,” Rhodes said.

“For the last two years, Westtown township could have put into place an open space fund that would bring yet another piece of the puzzle to the front lines for some kind of preservation.  They have not done so yet.  I urge you, Westtown Township residents, to ask your BOS to get on the stick and work toward creating an open space referendum for 2019,” she wrote.

Vince Moro, of Neighbors for Crebilly, one of the parties of interest also commented saying, “Neighbors for Crebilly, LLC, are grateful for Judge Tunnell’s decision, the work of the Westtown Township supervisors and the community. We believe this process is far from over but meanwhile will pause for this victory of the people of Westtown Township and neighboring communities.

“Without a doubt, building Crebilly Farm into a colony threatens these resources and sets an ugly precedent making it easier for others like Toll to destroy significant land. We’ll continue challenging this idea of development until another plan is on the table or the Robinson Family becomes willing landowners once again,” Moro said in his note.

Westtown Supervisors denied Toll‘s application in December after an almost year-long hearing process, from February through November of 2017. The written decision was released in February and Toll then appealed the decision in March. Tunnell heard the appeal on Sept. 17.

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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