Disappointment for Pocopson over Toll donated property

Tracts near Brandywine found to be largely wetlands, which prohibits most uses

By Kelli Siehl, Staff Writer, UnionvilleTimes.com

Because of the amount of wetlands on the tract, Pocopson Township officials suggested Monday that it might be impossible to develop much in the way of recreational facilities on three tracts donated to the township by Toll Brothers.

POCOPSON — Hopes of a boat ramp along the Brandywine were dashed at Monday night’s Township Supervisors Meeting.

Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Trails Committee, Mike McGann (McGann is the owner of Brandywine New Media, the parent company of The Unionville Times), reported that the property located between Pocopson Road and the Brandywine Creek has little hope of becoming an area for active recreation.

At a previous Supervisors’ meeting, officials discussed the possibility of a community boat ramp and recreational fields on the usable portion of 18 acres dedicated by Toll Brothers during development of its Riverside community. The three-parcel property is located between the Brandywine Creek, Pocopson Road, the former Simon Pearce Restaurant, Lenape Forge and a PECO-owned utility property.

Sheila Fleming, a land use expert from the Brandywine Conservancy, was contracted to analyze the property, and with McGann and other members of the PRT committee; initially found access to the area and limited parking to be major stumbling blocks.

The most recent findings show much of the usable portion of the property to be federally designated wetlands — meaning the land cannot be altered in anyway. McGann offered that the most the property could be used for is a walking trail right next to the water’s edge.

Officials expressed disappointment but Supervisor Georgia Brutscher concluded “there doesn’t have to be an approved trail with gravel” but, like several other trails in the township, one could be mowed a few times a year and used by foot traffic.

Also, McGann recommended working with surrounding townships to coordinate recreational efforts, “so that there’s an even distribution” of area facilities to complement one other. He proposed working together since all recreational facilities are available to the public.  Supervisor Chair, Steve Conary asked McGann to write a follow-up letter and send to surrounding townships “to see if there’s any interest.”

McGann also asked for, and was given, the Supervisors’ “blessing” to investigate smaller township sponsored events, such as partnering with the Brandywine Valley Association (BVA) for a possible trout rodeo.

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