Township must come up with more ‘active’ recreation facilities as part of deal with Toll Brothers
By Kelli Siehl, Staff Writer, UnionvilleTimes.com
POCOPSON — Exercise and clean living are all the rage today and although the township has stayed ahead of the mainstream with the addition of parks and walking trails and even tennis courts and a basketball court, the Board of Supervisors, along with the Parks, Recreation and Trails Committee, plan to add even more choices for the community to increase its activity level — with the bill being footed by housing developer Toll Brothers.
During Monday night’s township supervisors meeting, the board members discussed how and where to spend nearly $200,000 in “active recreation” funds. Along with Chair of the township Parks, Recreation and Trails Committee, Mike McGann (McGann is the owner of Brandywine New Media, the parent company of The Unionville Times), they made several recommendations which included: 1) identifying suitable properties for purchase and 2) building tennis, paddle tennis or basketball courts or other facilities on current township properties.
Supervisors’ Chair, Steve Conary, explained that the funds have to be used for active recreation and trails do not fall into that category. Since much of the township owned properties have a hilly topography, finding suitable sites upon which to construct these facilities is limited. Current properties include that which the township works garage sits or the site on Corrine Road where the park’s tennis and basketball courts are situated.
The supervisors suggested asking residents what facilities they would like to see added to the township and will develop a survey that will do just that. Residents will have the opportunity to render their opinions by filling out a questionnaire during the Founder’s Day Celebration on September 18th.
McGann also reported on a property located next to the Brandywine Creek near Pocopson Road which was given to the township by Toll Brothers during construction of the Riverside development. McGann said he and other members of the Parks, Recreation and Trails committee and a Land Planner from the Brandywine Conservancy recently walked the tract in order to assess what and if any uses may be available to the township. He told the Supervisors that this particular parcel poses “a challenge to come up with a cost-effective and sensible use for the property.”
Despite the fact there are several areas on the water where a boat ramp and adjacent trail could be constructed, the question arises how to get the trail to the site and what parking is available for people bringing kayaks or other water craft to the creek. The long term plan has always been to put a trail along the Brandywine and, McGann says, even though a large portion of the parcel is a flood plain, it can still be used as long as water flow is not encumbered; meaning, if it were to flood, the water could readily drain out.
As it stands now there is no parking and in order to access the property, individuals must first cross the railroad tracks and then navigate the PECO easement.