Con­cord devel­op­ment re­quest is back on track

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NEWS - By Les­lie Krowchenko Times Cor­re­spon­dent

CON­CORD » Af­ter a slight de­tour, coun­cil is on the long road to con­sider a re­quest from Con­cord Ven­tures re­gard­ing a pro­posed res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment near Route 202, Watkin Av­enue and the Penn­syl­va­nia state line.

The meet­ings, slated to be­gin in Jan­uary, took an un­ex­pected turn when the ap­pli­cant re­quested coun­cil and town­ship So­lic­i­tor Hugh Don­aghue re­cuse them­selves from hear­ing and ad­ju­di­cat­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion. At­tor­ney Marc Kaplin, rep­re­sent­ing eq­ui­table owner the Wolf­son Group, based his ob­jec­tion on con­tact be­tween town­ship rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Mark Jonas, the at­tor­ney ap­pear­ing on be­half of four home­own­ers op­posed to the plan.

As a re­sult, re­tired Delaware County Com­mon Pleas Court Judge James Proud has been ap­pointed as sub­sti­tute coun­sel for all mat­ters re­lated to Con­cord Ven­tures. He set the ground rules to open the meet­ing, such as the or­der of pre­sen­ta­tion, ques­tion­ing by coun­cil and au­di­ence mem­bers and lim­it­ing each hear­ing to two hours.

“We can set dates now for March, April and June, as I ex­pect this will con­tinue into the sum­mer,” he said. “We may even take a va­ca­tion month as we pro­ceed.”

The ap­pli­ca­tion in­volves a 49.02-acre par­cel, part of an ap­prox­i­mately 63acre tract, where ten­ta­tive plans show con­struct­ing 29 at­tached town­houses in six group­ings, 166 apart­ments in three five-story build­ings, a club­house and in-ground pool on ap­prox­i­mately 17 acres of the prop­erty. The en­tire lot is split­zoned as res­i­den­tial (PRD-1 and R-2D) and com­mer­cial and the devel­op­ment would be built within the PRD-1 por­tion.

Ka­plan out­lined the last two-plus years in his open­ing state­ment. He ap­peared be­fore the then-su­per­vi­sors in De­cem­ber 2015 seek­ing a sub­di­vi­sion and lot con­sol­i­da­tion for a sec­tion of the tract. The board voted to deny the re­quest and the de­ci­sion was ap­pealed in Com­mon Pleas Court, where it was re­versed by Judge Charles Burr.

Con­cord Ven­tures has sub­se­quently sub­mit­ted four ver­sions of the ten­ta­tive PRD plans, mak­ing changes to each based on com­ments by town­ship con­sul­tants. He pro­vided Jonas, Proud and each coun­cil mem­ber with two large binders of sup­port­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion.

Jonas opened with a cap­sule re­view of his client’s ob­jec­tions, say­ing the hear­ing “is all about the land” and sug­gest­ing coun­cil use the plan­ning com­mis­sion de­ci­sion, which voted unan­i­mously not to rec­om­mend the ap­pli­ca­tion, as a guide. He noted the hear­ings were the time for the ap­pli­cant to show com­pli­ance with PRD or­di­nances and stan­dards.

“You can­not say ‘look at it later,’” he added. “There may not be a later.”

Civil en­gi­neer Ben Crower, the sole wit­ness of the evening, noted the pro­posed devel­op­ment met re­quire­ments re­gard­ing set­backs from streams, wet­lands, a bog tur­tle habi­tat and steep and very steep slopes. When ques­tioned by Ka­plan, he noted the plan com­plies with the nine sub­points of the town­ship and Penn­syl­va­nia Mu­nic­i­pal Plan­ning Code, such as lo­ca­tion, den­sity, open space and storm wa­ter man­age­ment, and the fea­tures were taken into con­sid­er­a­tion in de­ter­min­ing the pro­posed lay­out.

Kaplin added while not re­quired un­der town­ship code, the ap­pli­cant had pro­vided the level of en­gi­neer­ing nec­es­sary for a sub­di­vi­sion/land devel­op­ment plan.

The next night of tes­ti­mony is sched­uled for 7:30 p.m., March 27.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

This is a sketch of the planned Con­cord Ven­tures devel­op­ment.

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