NEWTOWN SQUARE–Though SAP has "clearly stated" that they would not consider granting an easement on their property to connect to a trail from the Springhouse Development in Newtown Square, Newtown Township officials are considering the possibility of an alternate trail, according to Supervisors Chairman Joseph Catania on Monday night.
Springhouse developer Nelson "Chip" Vaughan and Springhouse Development Homeowners Association President Robert Zakian went before the Board of Supervisors in August, hoping to waive the requirements to install a trail in the development.
Vaughan had requested to eliminate the requirement for that trail, which was previously approved in the final land development application and which $55,000 was originally allocated to install the trail. However, Vaughan previously shared in lieu of installing the trail that went "to nowhere" he would like to donate $70,000 to the township.
Zakian also assured that nearly all of the homeowners had agreed to abandon the trail. On Monday night's meeting, Zakian was able to provide the supervisors with 16 out of the 17 homeowners' signatures from Springhouse (Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay's wife had made a verbal agreement but could not be reached for a signature) in agreement to nix the trail.
Newtown Square Historical Society members John Custer and John Battista had previously stated that the Springhouse trail was initially approved to connect to a larger township-wide trail, going through Boot and Goshen roads, developer Claude deBoton's property, Drexel Lodge Park and the Campus Boulevard trail as well as through SAP's property.
However, after a meeting last Friday with SAP, Catania said it was made clear that SAP was not interested, "for their own reasons," would not allow the trail to cross through its property.
But Catania said a discussion with Township Manager Mike Trio, Battista and Custer was made after the meeting about an alternative trail that would be part of the township-wide trail that the township could pursue. According to Catania, one possibility is having the trail go down Goshen Road to the covered Bartram bridge.
"But without SAP, without making making that connection, it seems that we should now consider this request of Springhouse Development," said Catania.
Supervisors have directed the township solicitor, manager, and engineer to review and complete the necessary documents before approving Springhouse's request to abandon the trail and donate $70,000 to the township.