Toll Bros. signs irk Pocopson officals

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Township has complained multiple times, but home builder keeps posting roadside signs officials say are illegal

By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com

Complaints about roadway signs is the latest chapter in what have been ongoing disputes between Pocopson officials and Toll Brothers over a pair of developments in the township, Riverside and The Preserve.

POCOPSON — Like daisies in a spring meadow, they seem to just keep springing up and they’re driving members of the township Board of Supervisors to distraction.

What are they? Signs touting local real estate developments, which keep popping up along roadsides in the township, attempting to spur would-be buyers to visit new housing developments. Under township ordinance, the signs are illegal (political signs are exempted during specific pre-election periods) and one property developer seems to be the worst offender: Toll Brothers, which has been putting signs up around the township touting The Preserve, the development being built on Corrine Road.

Supervsors’ chair Steve Conary said Monday night, during the township’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting, that the township had asked local representatives from Toll Brothers to stop putting up the signs, which tend to appear on Fridays to lure would-be home buyers out for weekend tours.

A quick survey Wednesday showed no signs in the township, although one could be seen in neighboring Pennsbury, just a few hundred yards from the township border. But the signs have been evident, sometimes in clusters, at various places in the township over the last few months. Supervisors have complained, but the signs have continued to appear.

Now, he said, the board is prepared to send Toll Brothers’ a certified letter from the township’s enforcement official. If that doesn’t work, the next step will be taking Toll Brothers to District Court, seeking a daily, per-sign fine if the company persists in putting the signs up.

When reached for comment, a Toll Brothers spokesperson declined to comment on the situation.

The township has one of the area’s stricter sign ordinances, supervisors say, to preserve the rural pastoral look of the township, why many people choose to live in the township.

“If you go down Route 1, you’ll see there’s nothing but signs along the roadway,” Supervisor Georgia Brutscher said. We don’t want our town to look like that.”

In other news, the board of supervisors voted again not to accept dedication of roads and other properties from another Toll Brothers’ development, Riverside, which sits between Lenape Road and Pocopson Road. While some of the issues that prompted the supervisors to reject dedication late in 2010 have been resolved, there remain a number of smaller issues, including some inaccuracies in the dedication document.

About 10 residents of Riverside attended Monday night’s meeting and asked the supervisors not to accept the dedication.

Conary said he hoped he could bring together a meeting of township officials, residents and Toll Brothers to sort out the final details and get the process completed.

That meeting is expected to take place in July, depending on the schedules of those who wish to attend.

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