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Ashford Planning Module Gets Final Go-Ahead By Supervisors

Newtown Board of Supervisors approved the final draft of the Ashford cluster development plan for the Department of Environmental Protection's approval at a meeting on Sept. 26.

NEWTOWN SQUARE–The Rouse Group/Ashford Land Company sought final approval from the Board of Supervisors at a meeting on Monday evening for their Ashford cluster development planning module.

The board unanimously approved the final draft of the 449-unit, sub-division cluster development of single-family homes located at the former John duPont estate and Biddle Farm off of Route 252/Newtown Street Road.

The plan will now be sent to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for their approval. At a meeting in June, Tina Makoulian, a representative for The Rouse Group, said the plan was getting down to the fine details.

Since then, Makoulian said DEP returned an earlier submission of their plan for administrative and technical items to address.

"We have readvertised the plan...and seeking reapproval of it," addressed Makoulian to the board.

Those items that the DEP requested from the plan included minor technical items, scaling the plan to a proper scale, a request to follow up with an additional letter from the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission–who are responsible for historical and archaeological resource review–a map of the DELCORA (Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority) treatment center and the CDCA (Central Delaware County Authority), and a response to a comment leter from Echo Valley resident Patti Wilson.

Makoulian said all the items listed from DEP were addressed and the plan was ready for approval and resubmission, including the comment letter from Wilson.

"She received a response to her comment letter from the municipal authority," said Makoulian. "So, DEP, the plan reviewer, asked that we obtain a letter from the township, since the township didn't sign that response letter, that the township was in concurrence with the responses provided by the municipal authority."

However, Wilson said she never received the proper response to her comment letter in time for Monday evening's meeting.

"I do not agree with Tina's [Makoulian's] statement that my public comment concerning the Ashford sewer module was responded to awhile ago," shared Wilson.

Wilson said an email response was sent to her on Friday, Sept. 23, in regards to her comment letter with referenced attachments but no attachments were included in the email. According to Wilson, a promised mailing of the attachments would be provided to her in which she had assumed would be before the supervisors approved the planning module on Monday evening.

"When the letter did not arrive in today’s [Monday's] mail, I emailed Mike Trio [township manager] in an effort to get the attachments before the meeting," said Wilson. "I did not hear back. So, tonight, it is my view that the supervisors voted to approve the Ashford Sewer Module without giving full consideration to public comment."

Concerned about how much sewer capacity would be allocated to the site, Paul Guest–another resident of Echo Valley who had appealed the township's Act 537 Plan, along with Wilson–also shared that he never received a response to his comment letter.

"My response refers to attached documents which were not attached, including the flow allocation from the draft 537 Plan, which has not been released," said Guest in an email. "I also asked for the attachments and received no response."

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