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What Will Happen If Newtown Supervisors Vote "No" on Toll Bros Conditional Use Application to Build 45 Homes in Conservation Management District Along Twining Bridge Road?

What Will Happen If Newtown Supervisors Vote "No" on Toll Bros Conditional Use Application to Build 45 Homes in Conservation Management District Along Twining Bridge Road? | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

Just weeks after [Newtown Township] supervisors declined to approve Toll Brothers application to build 45 high-end single-family homes on a tract of land off of Durham and Twining Bridge roads, the board is now reconsidering whether to support the developer’s conditional-use request to avoid any legal challenges.

 

At its March meeting, the supervisors were poised to vote on the developers’ application, but decided to table the motion after several neighboring residents again voiced their opposition to the project on the 158-acre tract which is near the Newtown Township municipal complex

 

When the residents attending the meeting questioned why the board does not simply reject Toll’s application, [township solicitor] Sander quickly replied that the developer would most likely take the township to Bucks County Common Pleas Court, and in all likelihood win.

 

According to the township solicitor, Toll is permitted to build a cluster development on land which is zoned B-12 in the Conservation Management (CM) Zoning District, but needs conditional-use approval by the board of supervisors to do so.

 

The court would most likely overturn any municipal challenge to that application, with the judge directing the project to move forward over any township dissent.

 

In addition, Sander warned that if the supervisors do reject the application, then Toll would be allowed to build up to 61 single family homes, each on about three acres with no open space. That’s because the developer has the right to do so under the zoning now applicable to that property.

 

“If that happened, there would be about 50-percent more traffic,” Sander warned.

 

[The Board of Supervisors (BOS) is scheduled to vote on this application at its August 26, 2020, LIVE public meeting. More about this here.]

 

If the conditional-use application is formally denied, then Toll Brothers would have 30 days to file an appeal in county court.

 

Meanwhile, the developer’s revised plan calls for a cluster development on B-12 zoned land which would take up only a small portion, roughly 36-acres, of the 158-acre tract on the southwest corner of Durham Road (Rte. 413) and Twining Bridge Road, which lies just north of the township’s municipal complex.

 

Because the parcel is zoned Conservation Management (CM), a cluster development is allowed by use, but not by right, so that’s why Toll needed the conditional-use approval instead of a zoning change.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Many residents do not believe that the BOS is getting an accurate assessment from its solicitor regarding the possible consequences of a "No" vote.

 

"To be very honest," said one resident, "this ['by right' plan] is a false threat. The reality is that the current plans ARE the worst-case scenario."

 

Another resident told me: "During the July 22 meeting, there were a number of questions asked about the "by right" plan. Neither the members nor counsel knew of how many homes could be built by Toll Brothers by right. Answers given were 160, 140,65,20 - 25 more, even more than that, and a "God yeah" additional amount of homes. By not knowing this number, I am concerned that the Board is so wary of a "by right" plan that it may not have fully weighed the pros and cons of this alternative."

 

This will be discussed at a "Meet Mack Monday" Zoom meeting on Monday, August 24, 2020, at 7 PM. This meeting is by invitation only. Learn more about this meeting - including registration info - here.

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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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