By Gina Zotti, Staff Writer
March 13, 2004
'Traditional neighborhood' proposal would include more than 400 units.
SADSBURY - More than 30 residents filled the small township meeting room for a Zoning Feasibility Committee meeting Thursday to express that while they may find a new development proposal beautiful, they still don't want it.
Jason M. Duckworth of Arcadia Land Co. again presented the proposal to the committee, making note of changes requested by the township's solicitor and land planning consultant. The committee then went through the proposed ordinance, which Arcadia is looking to change to accommodate the 461-unit residential development south of Sadsburyville.
Arcadia is looking for the go-ahead from the committee so that it can begin its formal process to change the zoning from industrial and residential to a planned residential development overlay for its "traditional neighborhood" proposal.
The by-right plan would allow Arcadia to build an apartment complex with 443 units and 900,000 square feet of industrial.
Almost all of the residents at the meeting said they don't want either.
"There's a difference of opinion in the supervisors and the people I talk to," said Donn Roberts, representing a group of about 25 residents who together have formed the group Stop Overdevelopment in Sadsbury (S.O.S.). "As an organization, we were curious as to how people felt about the development."
Roberts said that the group created a three-question survey and, after polling more than 400 residents, more than 90 percent were not happy with putting a new development in Sadsbury.
"It tells me it really is the residents and the number of residents that people are concerned about," he said. "I'm standing here with great deal of confidence to say that people do not want development in Sadsbury Township."
Committee member Anthony Cabassa challenged if the survey questions were unbiased.
"I highly doubt the number of people they questioned have ever come to a township meeting to get all of the facts," said Cabassa.
Defending his company's proposal for the zoning change, Duckworth went through what he said are positive impacts the development will have on the community.
"We don't think the right thing for Sadsbury Township is to put the biggest apartment complex west of Coatesville in the middle of Sadsbury," Duckworth said.
The residents said they don't want that either.
"Well, if we sell to another developer, that's exactly what's going to happen," he said.
Committee member Susan Bankert shared many of the same thoughts of the residents.
"Everything sounds great - I just wonder, it's a lot of houses and a lot of people," she said. "I think your heart's in the right place, I think it's just too many people."
"The idea about high-density population is the number one thing on people's minds," said Vince Pompo, township solicitor.
Committee member Mark Wagner suggested that he thought much of the problem may be in the delivery of the proposal.
"It seems like out of the public, a very big concern is changing dramatically," he said. "To sell it better, it needs to be more spelled out."
Using that suggestion, the committee decided that for an hour before the next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 7, a sort of open house will be held for residents.
Members of Arcadia will be present with all of their plans to answer any more residents' questions and concerns.
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