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Conservancy does research, builder makes a 1798 map

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What started as a request from a home builder’s client has turned into a valuable new resource for Tinicum Township and its historical commission.

At the township’s Aug. 20 public board of supervisors meeting, Richard Zaveta, of Zaveta Custom Homes in Doylestown, recalled how a request from a client for a comprehensive 1798 township properties map led to a fruitless search for one. Zaveta contacted the Heritage Conservancy for help.

Zaveta ended up sponsoring a year-long effort by Jeff Marshall, a historian and president of the conservancy, to research tax records and other sources, and to develop a display-size map that shows dozens of property boundaries, with owners and acreage noted.

Included are several along the Delaware River, totaling over 1,300 acres, that were owned by members of the Erwin family (village of Erwinna), who were instrumental in providing the boats used in the famous Christmas Day attack on Trenton during the Revolutionary War, and were otherwise prominent in township history.

Zaveta is now in the process of donating the map, which is presently copyrighted by Zaveta Custom Homes, to the township, where he hopes it might be used to help support the township’s open space fund, among other uses.

Meanwhile, Marshall is providing historical information he collected to the township’s historical commission, which is chaired by Janine Black. Its next meeting is Sept. 9, at the township building on Municipal Road.

Also at the Aug. 20 meeting, supervisors entertained a presentation by developer Mark Hankin and his representatives, regarding his 72-lot, 408-acre subdivision in the township. The project, which was the subject of bitter conflict with the township during its inception in the 1990’s, is subject to a 1996 Stipulated Settlement Agreement.

With a 2018 proposal for a conservation conversion for its 42 remaining lots not approved, Hankin is seeking clarification of the status of the agreement, toward proceeding with building out the remaining lots. He is especially concerned with the possible impact of new impervious surface requirements that have been enacted by the township since the agreement was struck, and which his representative said would require a highly undesirable revision of home size.

Access to the subdivision is from Headquarters Road onto Shull Farm Road. Supervisors offered to review the matter during the next couple of months.

A discussion on “reforming PA’s redistricting process,” co-sponsored by FairDistrictsPA and the League of Women Voters, was announced for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at Tinicum Elementary School on East Dark Hollow Road in Pipersville.


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