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Residents will have their say on 202 plan


Starting Aug. 20 with a series of meetings, Solebury residents will have their say about how the Route 202 corridor should be developed.

The board of supervisors emphasized Tuesday, July 16, that the elaborate development plan aired in June “was not then and is not now the recommendation” of the supervisors.

“Legally, we cannot dictate that because we are discussing land that is on private property,” said Supervisor Robert McEwan.

What the board meant to do, he said, was to “get out in front of the pending development proposals, pro-actively manage what happens on Route 202 and lay out what we would like to see in forthcoming proposals to improve the current situation.”

“We did the right thing, the wrong way,” admitted Supervisor Chair Mark Baum Baicker.

“I’m relieved you are not proceeding with it,” said former Supervisor Helen Tai, who was in the audience. “It merits intense community participation so the next time it comes around, you’ll get something better.”

“The scale was not Solebury,” said township resident Larry Peseski. He added he hoped the township realizes that more development will materialize and hoped the board will work with developers when the time comes.

Supervisor Kevin Morrissey said, “I didn’t care for the scale of it (the June sketch plan)” but noted the township should review the proposed alternate road to handle more traffic.

“I didn’t like what I saw at the last meeting and I can tell at the reaction from other people that that was their reaction,” Baum Baicker said.

In the meetings to come, McEwan said he hopes input will include thoughts on extension of hiking, biking trails, senior housing, and fixing the Giant-Shire Drive intersection, as well as project scale, style and environmental concerns.

The board’s first comment session is slated for Tuesday, Aug. 20, from 7 to 9 p.m., following the regular 6 p.m. meeting.

In other business, Baum Baicker said the township plans to hire a part-time U.S. Department of Agriculture employee to manage its deer problem.

Solebury has 169 deer per square mile and that figure should be 14, he said.

The supervisors also received annual reports from the Farm Committee and Environmental Advisory Committee.

Farm Committee Chair Kaitlin Farbotnik said her group is exploring a partnership with Delaware Valley University for a program to match potential farmers with landowner willing to allow them to farm on their property.

The Farm Committee is planning an Oct. 3 forum on the subject of matching up would-be farmers with willing landowners.

She said the group also is working on a passive greenhouse ordinance that would help farmers expand their growing season.

Eric Allen, chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee, reported on recycling programs in the schools, deer management, the possibility of the EAC sponsoring an Adopt-a-highway for part of Route 202, and it has hopes for EAC representation during the ongoing Route 202 Corridor discussions.

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