28 February 2011

Hi

I received a response to my 1/20/11 newsletter regarding Pam Brown's TDR transaction.  For those of you that are new to the list I have attached a copy of my previous email.  If you are already up to speed on the situation, you can disregard this attachment.


On 2/20/2011, Toadhollowman wrote   
You also only report data that is about certain WV people not on Barry's side?   Why not publish about TDR's to others but Pam Brown?   I believe Arty also received TDRs at the same time...and another person...
Stop picking and choosing...report all the facts and then...maybe...some of us on the fence will give more credence to what you say...obviously, you won't stand up to the people you are targeting....is it that you fear retribution or is there really something else??????

  

I am glad you raised these questions, and I will try and respond to all of them.

By Arty I think you mean Art Ewell  who indeed got a TDR payment. His hearing was on the same night as Pam Brown's. (1/1/08, minutes attached to this email)   Art had 11.7 acres zoned as R-2 and received 4 TDRs for $102,800 which makes sense.

Generally speaking R-2 zoning requires minimum building lots of 2 acres. Art could have a maximum of 5 building lots on his property,  The TDR worksheet calculation removes areas such as wetlands and existing structures from the property and comes up with the TDRs available for purchase.  Art's worksheet calculated that there were 4 TDRs available. He agreed to sell them all to the township.

Pam Brown's transaction is a little more complex.  Pam's property consists of a 2.9 acre portion on the north side of Jaine Lane which is zoned R-2.  It is doubtful  that it is a buildable lot due to the fact that it is low lying and a stream runs through it.  The balance of her property is approximately 10 acres on the south side of the road.  This portion is zoned RC (Rural Conservation).  Generally speaking the minimum lot size in this zoning is 5 acres.  There is only the possibility of 2 building lots on this side of the road.  If one were to be generous, one could say there is a 1 building lot on the north side of the road and 2 on the south side.  That would be if you ignore the wetlands issue on the north side of the road and the existing structures on the property, so one would think there would have been 3 TDR's available at most.  Somehow the township engineer calculated that there were 4 TDR's available.  Pam sold all the TDRs and retained none for future development.

Here is a copy of the "Transfer of Development Rights and Restrictive Covenant Agreement"  that Pam signed when she sold her development rights.   As you will see it spells out how many TDRs were available, 4 as calculated by the Township Engineer, how many were purchased by the township and how many were retained.  Pam retained ZERO development rights, leaving her property with no possible development.

The agreement specifically defines "development" as the "construction and occupancy of a separate residential home…". The agreement also allows for no development without the retention of a TDR.  Yet Pam built a 2nd residential home on the property.

So the short answer to your inquiry about Arty is that there is nothing to report on his transaction.  It seems to have worked the way it should.  He was fairly paid for his development rights and he has not done any development to the property.  The taxpayers got what they paid for.

The Pam Brown transaction is newsworthy because , in my opinion, the taxpayers did not get what they paid for.  The number of TDRs available, as determined by the township, seems way too high.  Furthermore,  the agreement clearly states that no development can occur and yet Pam built a 2nd house and a 3 bay garage that is used for commercial purposes, not to mention all the trees that are gone.  As a matter of fact I can't imagine what more development she could have done with the property, aside from building a Wawa!

Who is responsible for letting this happen? In my opinion, I would offer the following:

Zoe Perkins (Supervisor), leader of the West Vincent Land Trust because she knows the in's and out's of how all of this TDR stuff works. JIm Wendelgass (Township Manager) because he has an intimate knowledge in the going's on of the township and is supposed to be the "eyes and ears" for the Supervisors. Clare Quinn (Supervisor), Executive Director of French and Pickering Trust, who would fight tooth and nail if anyone tried to exploit our Natural Resources, except in this case (or are there others?). Sandra Cantrell-Edwards (Township Zoning Officer), for not looking in the file to see what is and isn't allowed to be done on the property and issuing a building permit for the "accessory dwelling". Carroll Engineering (The Township Engineer) for calculating the seemingly high amount of TDR's for the lot. This is the short list. There may be others culpable but these are the most intimate. Again, this is my opinion. All the information is available to the public

I also received some comments following earlier newsletters. 

Very interesting to read. Keep it up.

Thanks for the continued good work.

Hey thanks for the info regarding West Vincent township.

I find your emails very interesting and enlightening.  Thank you for caring so much.


Thank you for those comments.  Thank you also to those who have suggested things to follow up, offered other positive suggestions, and helped in other ways.

As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know.
If you would like to see what I have written previously, just ask.  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.   Especially though, if you don't want to continue to receive my mails, please tell me. I'll take you off the list and confirm that I have done so.   Just hit reply to this email or write to chestercountynews@gmail.com

Best wishes

Chickenman
West Vincent Infos