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The Newtown Township Supervisors to Keep Fighting Arcadia, But Solicitor Doesn't Rule Out a Settlement at Some Point

The Newtown Township Supervisors to Keep Fighting Arcadia, But Solicitor Doesn't Rule Out a Settlement at Some Point | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

The Newtown Township supervisors will continue to fight a large proposed housing development in court after taking no action on a settlement proposed by the builder, Philadelphia-based Arcadia.

 

The settlement had reduced the size of the project at Buck Road and the Newtown Bypass from a mix of 53 townhomes and 23 single-family dwellings, down to 60 single-family homes. It also offered alternate ideas on access and proposed to do additional landscape buffering and road improvements, among other items.

 

But all five supervisors at a recent virtual meeting said they wanted to take no action, meaning that litigation will continue in Commonwealth Court on the 76-home proposal after Bucks County Court had sided with the developer.

 

"If Arcadia comes back with another settlement proposal I'm sure the supervisors will look at it," township solicitor David Sander said at the meeting. "This doesn't preclude a settlement at some point in the future but as of now, there is no settlement."

 

That was welcome news for nearby residents, including those in the Eagle Ridge development who are a party to the litigation. They fear the development will add to traffic problems in the area and otherwise negatively impact their quality of life.

 

Supervisor Kyle Davis said he couldn't foresee voting in favor of any development on the land. "I don't see any project going in there that would not worsen traffic," he said.

 

But Arcadia representatives said such general objections are not valid legal reasons to deny the development. They contend the 76-home plan is "by right", meaning it complies in all ways with the township's zoning ordinance and requires no variances or waivers, and added they have little doubt Arcadia will prevail in court.

 

"The idea that no development will happen on this site is a fantasy," Arcadia President Jason Duckworth said when reached Wednesday. "We are willing to do anything that is reasonable, but the idea that we'll just go away is not happening."

 

He said he took it as somewhat of an encouraging sign that the supervisors took no action and didn't formally vote the settlement proposal down.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

I believe the BOS was misled regarding the view of Eagle Ridge residents. Supervisors only had the Eagle Ridge HOA board’s agreement to accept the settlement. The HOA never surveyed the residents and consequently many residents never heard about the settlement.

 

One resident - Deanna Bender, in a Dec 21 email to all BOS members - said “What deal was made to Eagle Ridge Board Members privately behind the community’s back to entice them to sign off on jeopardizing the safety of our neighborhood and the peaceful environment we now have?”

 

Ms. Kender via FB Messenger said : “I just read the document that our HOA Board Members signed. It states that they held a special meeting to vote on their decision to approve the Arcadia deal. According to our bylaws, written notice of 15 days must be given to each Member. None of the members of Eagle Ridge received any notice for this special meeting with the exception of the board members.”

 

Read my Notes from the December 22, 2020, BOS Meeting.

 

This developer is DEFINITELY NOT going to stop fighting and will use every tactic to fight the township. Recall that there are two other suits filed against Newtown by this developer regarding two previous PRD plans. These suits have not be dropped and are ongoing in appeal at this point.

 

Related Content:

 

  • “Newtown Township Rejects Settlement Deal With Arcadia”; http://sco.lt/6ukgvA
  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Say "No Means No" When It Comes to Arcadia Green III Planned Residential Development”; http://sco.lt/5qmEfw
  • “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’”; http://sco.lt/8xHSJl
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