Lem Mason, Guest Columnist 12/08/2003
Thank you for taking time to make public the desperate plight of the citizens of Sadsbury Township in your article titled, "Residents: Leave Sadsbury alone" (DLN, Dec. 4).
This is a newsworthy event in that with the town meeting your reporter took part in and with the subsequent town meeting of Dec. 3, the current board of supervisors has come one step closer to changing the face of Sadsbury forever by trading its rich, rolling farmland for acre upon acre of high density townhomes, apartment complexes and strip mall-style retail buildings.
The Dec. 2 meeting started out with paid consultant Graftons almost stream-of-consciousness fillabustering that was filled with as many factual inaccuracies and contradictions as it was "developer speak" and related catch phrases. To have this redundant presentation take up as much time as it did, trying to accommodate the dozens of residents opinions on this matter, was totally inappropriate given the magnitude of this issue. It was an insult to the many citizens who took time to come out and show their concern for their community.
During this far-too-limited question and comment period, the supervisors were asked repeatedly to explain their rational and reasoning in determining that this type of highly problematic, costly and unattractive type of development would be of benefit to our community. This question still remains unanswered.
The supervisors would not give a final vote on the zoning changes in a room full of many angry people who vehemently oppose their "vision" for our community, but past history has shown their Pavlovian response to any developer sponsored-zoning change request is to make it ordinance as quickly as possible.
Sadsbury is a classic rural community. Its infrastructure is rural. It has many agricultural based businesses. It has an Amish community. To impose this urban type of housing in the quantities that are being proposed will be disastrous.
The hardships forced upon the already dangerously stressed police, fire and paramedic services will be costly. The tax increase to the already high Coatesville school district will hurt many of its lower-income residents. The road systems that are already substandard will not be able to handle the influx of newcomers who also will not be used to sharing the roadways with farm equipment.
In a time when a record number of voters came out to give write-in support to the only pro-Sadsbury supervisor candidate and dozens of people are showing up to our township meetings -- all in almost unanimous opposition to this assault on our quality of life and forced urbanization of our community -- our supervisors owe us an explanation. The supervisors are supposed to be working for the citizens and the betterment of the community, not the financially motivated developers.
Very shortly a vital piece of Chester Countys landscape and history will be changed for the worse. We demand to know what the supervisors motivations are and the reasons for their unbending support of a type of development that many forward thinking townships are taking strides to stop.
We eagerly await a response from Sadsburys supervisors.
The writer lives in Sadsbury.
İDaily Local News 2003
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