John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Newtown Crossing vs. Arcadia: Residents Speak Out

Newtown Crossing vs. Arcadia: Residents Speak Out

Residents of Newtown Crossing and neighboring Eagle Ridge crammed into the Public Meeting Room at the Newtown Township Municipal Center last night (October 11, 2017) to voice their opposition to Arcadia Green’s latest proposal to build 85 single-family homes adjacent to these developments. This proposal would destroy a home on High Street (#295) to make way for an egress road. Traffic would then pass through other roads in the Newtown Crossing development to access Newtown Bypass – a limited access road. Such an egress road was necessary because a previous plan was rejected because of problems exiting the development onto Bucks Road to gain access to the Bypass.

The meeting was the beginning of a quasi-judicial hearing before the Board of Supervisors (BOS). At least a dozen residents, including Bucks County Controller and former Newtown BOS member, Mike Gallagher, who lives on High Street, stood up and obtained “party status” in the hearing, which means they can give testimony for the record and be cross-examined by council to Arcadia. 

However, they will have to wait until AFTER the elections to testify – the hearing was “tabled” until November 8, 2017.

Mike Gallagher reminded the audience that “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon” and urged people to attend future meetings, including a Planning Commission meeting later in the month (perhaps Oct 24) where Arcadia will be available to answer other questions.

Nevertheless, many other residents made comments before the board about their personal issues regarding this proposed development. At one point, council for Arcadia tried to shut down the comments but her request was denied. The audience broke into cheers and applause when the commenter said “we want to speak truth to power!”

One resident requested a map be made available to better understand what’s being discussed. I was able to take a photo of the PRD plan (see it here).

Several people complained about the traffic through their development via the egress road, which would endanger children and pets who are used to play and roam on quiet streets such as High Street. School buses would also be affected, noted another resident.

One person said she moved to Newtown because it was because she was “reaching to part of America that almost doesn’t exist anymore. Newtown,” she said, is “so ‘Norman-Rockwellesque’.” She lamented the possible loss of open space next to her development where her children go and play. Another resident defended the open space as a haven for wild animals including, she said, coyotes and bald eagles!

The most heart-wrenching comments came from a elder retired police sergeant whose wife died last year. He told a story of living in motels for years after he had to abandon his home do to a fuel spill many years ago. When he found a new home in Newtown Crossing he and his wife were happy at last. Now, however, he faces the loss of that happiness on top of the sorrow of missing his wife.

Posted on 14 Oct 2017, 01:48 - Category: Development

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