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Arcadia at Newtown Claims Its 3rd PRD "Has Been Deemed Approved" Because of Failure of Timely Action By Board of Supervisors. Newtown Solicitor Says It's a "Frivolous Claim"

Arcadia at Newtown Claims Its 3rd PRD "Has Been Deemed Approved" Because of Failure of Timely Action By Board of Supervisors. Newtown Solicitor Says It's a "Frivolous Claim" | Newtown News of Interest |

A Philadelphia developer is continuing to push its reasoning that a 76-home development Newtown Township supervisors voted to deny has the green light to proceed because of a technicality.


Arcadia at Newtown Holdings published a legal notice Friday advising that its proposal for 23 single-family detached homes and 53 townhomes off Buck Road and the Newtown Bypass “has been deemed approved” under the state’s municipalities planning code “for failure of the Board of Supervisors ... to act on the application within (the) time period required.”


The supervisors denied the homes Nov. 14 and township Solicitor David Sander emailed Arcadia attorney John VanLuvanee the board’s decision, outlining its findings and conclusions, on Nov. 24, the day before a 60-day window for tentative approval of planned residential developments expired Nov. 25.


The notice says the “decision” approving the project was made on Nov. 26. VanLuvanee argued in two county court cases — a complaint filed Friday and a zoning appeal filed in late December — that the decision Arcadia received Nov. 24 was not certified, and supervisors did not sign it until mid-December, outside the 60-day window.


[Related content: “Arcadia Green Three Peat: Sues Newtown Again!”;]


Though Newtown Township has not yet formally responded to the complaint or appeal, Sander said that officials would “fight these frivolous claims in court at every turn to protect the rights of Newtown’s residents.”


“The developer filed this legal notice to try to win its case on a technicality by saying that the board’s decision was not rendered in a timely manner. The board’s decision was rendered in a timely manner,” Sander said. “The developer chooses to rely on obscure technicalities to attempt to overturn the will of the board of supervisors and the significant concerns of residents. The township will vigorously defend its decision in court.”


2018 marked the third time Arcadia presented, and was denied plans for homes since 2015 through the tentative planned residential development (PRD) process [read “Summary of September 12, 2018, BOS Public Meeting”). The three municipalities under the Newtown Area Zoning Jointure (JMZO) voted in September to abolish that process, which allowed developers to bypass the traditional approval process for developments in lieu of at least one public hearing.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

The public notice shown here appeared in the January 18, 2019, issue of the Bucks County Courier Times. The case is yet to be decided in court.

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