Whitemarsh April 22, 2010 BOS Meeting

Board of Supervisors

Thursday, April 22 2010

WHITEMARSH TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
PUBLIC MEETING MINUTES

April 22, 2010

A Regular Monthly Meeting of the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors was held on Thursday, April 22, 2010, at 7:00 PM in the Whitemarsh Township Building, 616 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania.

Supervisors Present:  Robert R. Hart, Chair; Leslie S. Richards, Vice-Chair; Sara J. Erlbaum; David E. Brooke; Melissa S. Sterling

Also Present:  Bruce G. Horrocks, Acting Township Manager; Sean P. Kilkenny, Esquire, Township Solicitor; James C. Sullivan, PE, Township Engineer

Meeting was called to order by Chair Hart.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR ARMED FORCES

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. Tonight is the first night the Board of Supervisors meeting will be live on Whitemarsh TV for public view.
2. Township Day is Saturday, April 24, 2010, 12PM-5PM at Miles Park.  There will be satellite parking at the Colonial Elementary School.
3. Supervisor Brooke requested that anyone speaking at the meeting speak clearly into a microphone in order to be heard by all viewers.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
- No minutes to approve.

BOARD PUBLIC DISCUSSION ITEM
1. Manatawna Farm and East 33 – Christina Kobland for Group Known as East 33.org

- Christina Kobland (Johns Lane) explained that East33.org was created to provide information and a place for all to express their opinions on the development planned for East 33.  She stated that the group opposes the trail initiative for East 33, opposes the proposed commercial farming of Manatawna Farm, and requests “Wildlife Crossing” signs be placed along Manor Road.  She presented multiple documents to the Township, including a letter of introduction of East33.org, a petition from 2004 opposing public hiking trails along Manor Road, and a letter from Scott Quitell regarding his opinion on the use of trails and open space in Whitemarsh Township.
- Mr. Horrocks clarified that $1.2 million came from the County for use towards three trails in the Township, and the funding did not come from Township Open Space funding.  He added that as of close of business on April 22, 2010, neither the City of Philadelphia nor Manatawna Farm submitted any application to the Township for their plans for commercial farming.
- Drew Gilchrest, from National Lands Trust, explained that his organization was hired by Whitemarsh Township and the City of Philadelphia to research possible trail circulation for the property, look into long-term management of the property, and look into the possible placement of commercial farming.
- Supervisor Brooke inquired about the status of planning.  Mr. Gilchrest stated that in the next two months, preliminary plans of the property will be available for review by all parties involved, including neighbors.
- Supervisor Hart requested that Mr. Gilhcrest contact Ms. Kobland to address some of the concerns of East33.org.
- Supervisor Brooke requested that National Lands Trust bring media to the next meeting they attend, so that everyone can see the plans.
- Pam Derderian (Hamilton Drive) expressed concern about the trails.  She requested security for residents.  Mr. Gilchrest stated that he will look into security, but he is not aware of increased crime because of trails.  Supervisor Brooke added that Chief Behr will be involved in the planning to make sure that safety concerns are addressed.
- Chuck Yanoshik (Stevens Court) expressed concern about the water run-off problem and the upkeep of the trails once installed.
- Steven Kaufman (Harts Ridge Road) also expressed concern about the stormwater issues and the safety of a non-maintained area.
- David O’Neill (Philadelphia) expressed concern about the management and maintenance of the area.
- Nancy Johnston (Philadelphia) expressed concern about the use of ATVs on the existing property and stated that she thinks the problem will amplify if trails are added.
- Steve Ziegler (Harts Lane) stated there needs to be restoration work, but trails do not need to be excluded.
- Ms. Kobland stated that dirt bike riders are a problem, and the more trail access points there are, the more riders will appear.
- Charlotte Britton (Hamilton Drive) stated that the project on Manatawna Farms would have begun without Township knowledge if property owners did not raise questions.
- Wendy Shapiro (WB Saul High School) inquired about the kind of application that needs to be filed for the project in Whitemarsh Township, since one has not been filed yet and work is scheduled to start.  Mr. Horrocks suggested that if a use is needed in Whitemarsh Township, the zoning office should be contacted as soon as possible.

About Christina Kobland

Founder, east33.org; President and Founder, Native Return, LLC
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