Pennsbury debates Parker Preserve open space

Also, Supervisors approve emergency services study

By Kris Firey-Poling, Correspondent, The Times


Ann Walters, Landscape Architect, presents her Parker Preserve open space landscape plan to Pennsbury Township supervisors at Wednesday night’s meeting.

PENNSBURY — The main focus of Wednesday’s township Board of Supervisors meeting involved replanting the Homeowners Association’s (HOA) open space behind Keith Mikkelson’s home in Parker Preserve.

Last spring, two acres of open space behind Lot 17 in Parker Preserve was cleared, with developer Anthony Dambro in clear violation of his agreement. After meeting with Dambro, the supervisors requested a plan to return the cleared open space and trail to its previous dense native meadow.

Mikkelson, new owner of Lot 17, hired landscape architect Ann Walters to create a plan, which was presented at the meeting.

According to Walters, her proposed plan – that included native trees, shrubs, and meadow mix – is an opportunity to improve the space.

“This plan will improve the ecosystem and take care of the chaos,” said Walters. “Previously, the grounds were full of invasive species that took over the space.”

Walter’s proposed plan included a change to the previous walking trail. This change brought some confusion about the original location of the trail.

This confusion led to some heated discussion between the supervisors, Walters, Mikkelson, and neighbor Mary Short. Parker Preserve’s HOA policy of “no invasive species” complicated the discussion, along with the fact that Parker Preserve has not established an HOA.

“Mr. Mikkelson has achieved what he wanted all along – more land,” exclaimed Short.

The supervisors questioned Mikkelson to see if this was true – that he cleared the land for his own advantage.

“This area was full of ugly, invasive plants. They were killing some of the trees. The proposed plan is to screen my property from the trail. I’m prepared to fund this. Estimates for the installation are $25,000.00,” said Mikkelson.

Supervisors Vice-Chair Aaron McIntyre said that the goal was to make the open space plan identical to the previous one.

Walters countered that they can’t make it go back when HOA standards don’t use invasive species.

After much debate, the supervisors agreed to allow Mikkelson to install the meadow and plant trees adjacent to his residence. Mikkelson will maintain the area, and later plant the remaining trees. Once the HOA is established, it will maintain the space and finalize the trail location.

In other news, supervisors adopted a resolution to complete a fire and ambulance study. This study is in response to Longwood Fire Company’s large increase in cost. Supervisors Chair Scotty Scottoline described Pennsbury’s participation in this six-municipality emergency services study. The group has hired VFIS, insurance consultants, to review and recommend options. Study costs will be shared among municipalities.

In her manager’s report, Kathleen Howley reported that $7059.00 was raised at the recent Hope House tag sale. The Hope House, located next to the township building, is now owned by the township. Items left by the previous owner were sold. Proceeds will go to the township to help pay for recently purchased properties.

The next meeting of the Pennsbury Township Board of Supervisors will be held Wednesday, October 21st at 7:00 p.m. in the Township Building, located on 702 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford.

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