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 Developers Go Back to Drawing Board


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By Bajeerah Lowe, Staff Writer

September 28, 2003

SADSBURY -- What’s a township to do when a group of developers wants to make public improvements to the village district and residents don’t want them? In the case of Sadsburyville, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

At least that’s what a group of five developers in Sadsbury said it is willing to do after residents turned out at a public meeting Tuesday to oppose proposed enhancements including the installation of sidewalks along either side of Business Route 30.

The meeting, slated to include a review of one of the developer’s housing proposals and a review of village improvements, brought out residents largely living along the Route 30 corridor, who expressed their displeasure with the plans.

"I do not want to open my front door and shake hands with someone walking up to Harry’s," said one resident who said she lives right on Business Route 30.

Another said the sidewalks will only encourage loitering in front of his home.

Joe Morris, another resident of the busy thoroughfare, said the sidewalks will ruin the historic nature of the village and only cause problems to the homeowners.

In addition to cleaning the sidewalks in inclement weather, Morris said the improvements will "impose a huge financial hardship."

While Morris started the circulation of a petition among residents protesting the proposals, the lead developer said he is open to discussion.

"We’re not stuck on that proposal," said W. Joseph Duckworth, president of Arcadia Land Co., in response to the public comments. "..We’re not going to do anything the residents don’t feel is a good idea."

Duckworth, who is acting as lead developer for the improvements, is proposing a 458-unit residential development.

The current zoning for the land Arcadia is proposing to develop is industrial and R-2 which would allow for a maximum of 252 apartments and 900,000 square feet of industrial buildings. Arcadia is proposing a zoning change to make all the property that is on the west side of Old Wilmington Road and south of Business Route 30 residential in order to construct a traditional neighborhood development.

Keeping with that idea, Arcadia proposed walking trails leading to the village and the installation of sidewalks along Business Route 30 and other traffic calming measures such as a center island on Business Route 30 and on street parking. The installation of a traffic light at the intersection of Old Wilmington Road and Business Route 30, also included in the proposal, has already been installed.

While township approvals for several of the developments, including Arcadia, and PennDOT approvals for many of the improvements are still needed, Duckworth said the discussion period with residents is far from over. A meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in the township building for discussion on alternative improvements.

Township resident Tammy Pawling said while she would love for the industrial zoning to remain, if the Arcadia’s residential development is approved she would rather see improvements made for existing residents. "There are so many residents who are in dire need of sewer, why don’t they provide that?" she said.

Morris said there were no improvements to the historic village district he would like to see made. "I want the historic nature remain," he said. "There should be a separation between the old and the new."

And Robert Silvernail, a member of the township’s zoning hearing board, said he believed the discussion wasn’t even necessary. "We’re putting the cart before the horse," he said. "The zoning has to be changed before any of this can happen." 

İDaily Local News 2003


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