While a new butterfly garden is in the works for Nockamixon Township’s Veterans Park, off Route 611 in Revere, residents remain concerned about environmental issues with a new development nearby, which is now in the site preparation stage.
The butterfly garden plan was announced by Park and Recreation Committee Chair Ben Naska at the township’s Feb. 20 public board of supervisors meeting.
Naska said the committee planned to work with the township’s Environmental Advisory Council on developing a 50-foot x 20-foot unit “in the far north corner of the park, next to the walking path.” The committee is presently working on a list of plantings for the spot.
Among other committee projects and events, Naska added that woodchips placement on the wilderness trail through the backwoods of the park is now finished. Outside the park, the committee is conducting star gazing nights for June 6 and 26, featuring the moon and the Milky Way, at two observatories in Ottsville. Contact 610-847-5853.
Meanwhile, residents continue to be concerned about environmental issues with the new Harrow Manor development off Route 611 in Ottsville, where activity in the site preparation phase alarmed many of them in last year. They attended a second session of the township’s zoning hearing board (ZHB) on March 5, where the developer is pursuing a waiver from the zoning ordinance that limits forest removal to 30 percent, to allow for an additional 1.8 percent, down from a previous request of an additional 7.8 percent. The hearing is to continue on March 25.
Brownwater pollution of Rapp Creek, an Exceptional Value stream, had alarmed and angered residents (Herald, May 2 and July 25, 2019), and has been reported by the township engineer to now be under control. At the July 18 supervisors meeting, he said that earth disturbance and other activity from site work, originally performed without sufficient protection of Rapp Creek, was now proceeding “in compliance with erosion controls, and that permitting was in progress to allow the development to go forward.”
At the March 5 ZHB hearing, objections from the developer’s attorney, about testimony regarding fines and citations deriving from the March 2019 removal of woodland without adequate silt and sediment controls, were overruled. Other testimony was heard regarding damage and disruption to adjacent properties during the 2019 event, and questions were raised about particular types, number, and size of trees to be removed through the current variance request.
The development had been in limbo for many years, in the aftermath of the economic crash of 2008-2009. The project was approved in 2004, but standards for the riparian buffer zone were updated in 2010. The buffer is a vegetated area near a stream, usually forested, which helps shade and partially protect the stream from the impact of adjacent land uses.