Concord hears land acquisition

Concord Township Council followed up its July announcement to acquire more open space along Featherbed Lane with a hearing on the matter Tuesday night.

The acquisition is in two parts. Concord agreed to buy an 8-acre parcel of the Chetty property on Featherbed Lane to add to the township park at Bush Hill Farm. Second, the township would pay for an easement placed on the other 33 acres to prevent development. The Brandywine Conservancy will manage the easement.

Township solicitor Hugh Donaghue said during the Aug. 10 hearing that the fee simple purchase of the 8.6-acre parcel would cost $450,000. The easement on the additional 33.2 acres will cost $1.3 million.

“These properties will be purchased through dedicated Open Space Fund monies, which have been collected and accumulated since January 2005, and there will be no new taxes required,” Donaghue said.

Engineer Nate Cline said getting the smaller parcel is significant because “The piece that we’re acquiring is immediately adjacent to the existing township property, Bush Hill Farm.”

Bush Hill Farm, on Bethel Road, has meadow trails, is also the site of many Park and Recreation Committee activities and dog parks. The 8-plus acres will be added to that, Cline said.

“This will be an easy addition to the park, and we’ll be able to extend those meadow trails into this part of the site,” he said, adding that the land will help the township connect to the larger trail network being planned as well as future open space plans.

Cline further said the township already received $250,000 in grant money from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the 8-acre purchase. Concord has also applied for other grants, one from the Department of Conservation and Economic Development for another $250,000. That grant won’t be announced until the fall.

There are also county grants available that could be used for the easement, Cline added.

According to Donaghue, the conservation easement is in perpetuity and prevents any use of the property for housing or mass tract development. However, he did say one additional house, or a barn or equestrian rink could be built.

Councilman John Crossan said the rink could be built, but not an additional house.

No action was taken on the subject since the township had already entered into the sale agreement with the Chetty family, and the sole purpose of the hearing to gather information. There was no opposition to the acquisition.

Other business

Council also held a hearing on a liquor license transfer for the Koy restaurant in the split at 391 Wilmington-West Chester Pike, Route 202. The license would come from a business in Lower Chichester. There was no one opposing the transfer and Council will announce its decision during its Sept. 7 meeting.

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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