Newtown News of Interest
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McGrath, Developer of Villa at Newtown, To Pay Newtown Twp $25K For Surreptitiously and Illegally Cutting Down Valuable Beech Tree

McGrath, Developer of Villa at Newtown, To Pay Newtown Twp $25K For Surreptitiously and Illegally Cutting Down Valuable Beech Tree | Newtown News of Interest |
McGrath Homes will pay the township $25,000 for illegally cutting down a 112-year-old tree in 2015.

Newtown Township Supervisor Jen Dix said the board on Wednesday unanimously voted to accept the payment as a settlement for the action. The European copper beech tree was illegally removed during the development of the Villas at Newtown.

Preservation of the tree was a condition of approval when Newtown Township approved the development in 2006, but contractors took it down without getting advance approval by the township.

Several months after it was cut down, the supervisors voted to have an attorney file a lawsuit in Bucks County Court seeking $85,000 for the tree, a figure that was determined by a professional arborist's assessment.

However, Dix said the township decided to reach the settlement deal after it prepared to pursue litigation for a second time. "This avoided the legal costs for both sides and although it was not as much money as the forensic arborist report said it was worth, we felt it was in the best interest of the Township to accept this settlement," Dix said in an email to Patch.
johnmacknewtown's insight:
From the Release of Claims:

THAT Newtown Township, Bucks County Pennsylvania ("Releasor") , for and in consideration of the sum of Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), receipt of which is acknowledged, does hereby remise, release, and forever discharge Villas of Newtown Enterprises, LP and Villas of Newtown Development, LLC, their employees, partners, members, heirs, executors and administrators, and assigns ("Releasees") , of and from all claims, demands and causes of actions, whether in law or equity, which were made or could have been made by Releasor in Newtown Township v. Villas of Newtown Enterprises, LP, et aI., No. 2017-02107 (Com. Pleas Bucks Co.) and Newtown Township v. Villas of Newtown Enterprises, LP, No. 2015- 06613 (Com Pleas Bucks Co.) (the "Civil Actions") relating to the removal ofa certain cooper beech tree (the "tree") formerly situated on the real property located designated as Tax Map Parcel 29-10-76, and more colloquially known as the "McGrath Homes/Villa at Newtown." The removal of the tree was allegedly in violation of certain conditions of a land development plan approved by Releasor. Releasor understand that the payment by Releasees is in compromise of a disputed debt and that Releasees have not admitted any liability.
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Newtown News of Interest
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