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Sewer Hook-Up Exemption For Historic Home Under Consideration

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors will take into consideration the request for the historic William Lewis house to opt-out of the Act 537 sewer hook-up during the design phase of the project.

NEWTOWN SQUARE–A request was made by the owners of the historic William Lewis house in Newtown Square to opt out of hooking up to the proposed public sewer system in the township's Act 537 Plan.

The owners of the historic home, Rosario Scalia and Francesco D'Arro, presented to the Board of Supervisors at a special board meeting on Feb. 4, their request to have the William Lewis house opt out of the public sewer system proposed in the township Act 537 Plan. A formal letter of request was submitted to the township by their attorney Jim Byrne in January.

According to D'Arro, the William Lewis House, located on Goshen Road, was built around 1708 and played a key role in the Revolutionary War. D'Arro said the home was used as an oupost for Maj. John Clarke, who was stationed at the home to watch out for troop movements along Goshen Road. Clarke then reported his findings to Gen. George Washington in Valley Forge.

"Because of the historic nature of the property, we're looking to be exempted from mandatory connections," said D'Arro at the special meeting. D'Arro said any type of digging into the dirt may disturb the historic nature of the property. He recently found an artifact on the grounds of the property, said D'Arro.

"We do not oppose connecting to a public sewer system provided that it can be done without mutilations to the house and within financial reasonableness," stated Scalia through an email after the meeting.

Supervisors Chairman Joseph Catania said their request would be taken under consideration when the Act 537 Plan is in its design phase.

Scalia was positive after the meeting: 

"The supervisors showed some sensitivity to our issue and we were happy to hear that they will keep considering the issue at a later time, when the plan will be better defined," stated Scalia in the email. "In the end, I feel that the common effort should be aimed at doing the right think for the house history while keeping in mind the community's need for a public sewer system."

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