More trails considered for Chadds Ford

More trails and trail connectivity are under consideration for Chadds Ford Township. Some residents, though, are reluctant.

During a joint meeting of the Chadds Ford Township supervisors and Planning Commission, landscape architect Marc Morfei gave an initial preview of a possible Octoraro Trail that would run from Route 202 to the Brandywine Creek. Morfei, of Pennoni Engineers, said the trail is planned in three phases, but acknowledged that it’s possible only two disconnected sections would be built. The middle section, referred to as phase 3, is situated between Heyburn and Ring roads and, according to Morphei, there are issues with a few landowners in that area.

The purple circle represents Phase 3. That part might not get built because of property owner concerns.

Phase 1 is planned as a 1.2-mile segment running from Route 202 — through the Chadds Ford Business Campus between the Estates at Chadds Ford and Painters Crossing Condos — to Heyburn Road. There would be parking in the business campus and a pedestrian crosswalk across Route 202 to connect with a portion of the trail in Concord Township. There would also be a parking area at the Heyburn Road end of the segment. Phase 2 would run from Ring Road near the Kuerner Farm to Creek Road, paralleling the current Harvey Run Trail that runs behind the Chadds Ford municipal building.

But it’s the section between those other two, Phase 3 from Heyburn to Ring, where there is pushback from some property owners. The proposed trail uses the PECO right-of-way and the old Octorara Railroad line and runs near or through some private property.

One concerned landowner is John Rotteveel, owner of Chadds Ford Greenhouses at Route 1 and Heyburn Road. He said during the meeting that he wants to see a 100-foot buffer between the trail and private property.

Bruce Prabel, another property owner said the proposed trail would be on his land because part of the PECO easement is on his property. He would like to see the trail in that area moved farther north, closer to Route 1.

“We’re not building anything yet,” Morphei said, “we’re just assessing possibilities, asking if this is a good idea.”

Supervisors’ Vice-chairman Samantha Reiner said she wanted the “naysayers” to check out any of the already existing trails in the region before making any decision.

The trail is planned at 10 feet wide, and asphalt-paved to accommodate walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. If and when it’s finished, the trail would connect with other trail networks and become part of the Delaware County Trail Network.

Morphei said there’s more to do before the feasibility study is completed. Factors to be addressed are permitting needs, land and right-of-way acquisition strategy, costs, and developing action and final plans. That work will be done during the next few months, and he would return with an update sometime this winter. He added that grant money is available for the project.

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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