The approval of developer Della Porta’s proposal to erect 250 multi-family apartments off Route 252 at the intersection of Newtown Street Road and Gradyville Road is another careless kind of economic maneuvering in a town where too many residents already struggle to pay their real estate and township taxes.
I was one of those concerned citizens who attended Monday’s night meeting at the township administration building in Newtown Township and let me just say that what I heard about the land development plan for the Somerset/Terrazza was shocking.
Apparently, a few years before, the supervisors approved the general overall plan to build apartments and condos. In order to enact such a plan, Dealla Porta had to convince the township to change the zoning laws of Newtown Township—something that I find very questionable.
The building site is situated in an area where traffic is already at a standstill on 252 during peak hours. Such a situation will cause a terrible traffic jam for the area not to mention, the costs involved for such a proposition.
Why would anyone with common sense want to approve the building of multi-level apartment buildings in our beautiful township that more often than not would later attract low-income people. In just a few years, if the economy continues to fall, these so-called “luxury” apartments could end up in section 8.
Apartments eventually lower the standards of our neighborhood. This is a fact. What “luxury” apartments are still “luxury”? One great example of a luxury apartment going to section 8 is the supposedly Holly Brook apartments on West Chester Pike.
Another disturbing proposal for this development was the use of 12-inch drain system instead of the standard 15-inch that is normally used to preventing clogging. One of the supervisors did bring that issue up and the developer promised that he would take care of the problem if it occurred.
When I first purchased my home in Bryn Mawr more than 30 years ago, I owned one of 42 high-end single homes built along Bryn Mawr avenue known as, “The Hills of Bryn Mawr." Well, everyone’s home, including mine, experienced problems in both the exterior and interior of the homes. The builder/developer who promised to take care of everything was nowhere to be found.
Homeowners, including me, were left to pay the bills for the developer‘s inferior work. Numerous lawsuits were brought against this developer but, as usual, nothing came out of it. The homeowners were left to pay for all of the expenses. So I have a problem when a developer promises to fix issues that later appear.
The last troubling fact about this project is with the current real estate taxes always on the rise, why would anyone at the township want to approve the building of more apartments?
An increase in population growth more often than not, requires more schools, more services and more overall general expenses. If Della Porta wanted to improve and embellish Newtown Square by the erection of the Somerset/Terrazza complex, why not have these apartments age-restricted 55 and older where the cost would be a limited one and at the same time, help many of seniors who are being pushed out of their homes due to the ever increasing real estate/township taxes and other fixed home-ownership costs.