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Solebury HARB and land committee outline 2018 accomplishments


The land preservation committee and the historical architectural review board (HARB) elaborated on their 2018 accomplishments in their annual reports to the Solebury Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Phil Johnson, land preservation committee chair, listed among his group’s highlights as:

- The township purchased a conservation easement on the 16-acre Duce property, an active horse farm, on Greenhill Road.

- The committee is working with five property owners and hopes to close on conservation easements in the second quarter of 2019.

- To date, 74 completed projects have resulted in 3,707 acres preserved and 10 overlay easements resulting in 379 acres.

“When the acreage preserved by Solebury Township’s land preservation program, combined with lands protected by private land conservancies and public agencies, the total of land protected is well over one-fourth of Solebury Township, a very significant accomplishment,” Johnson said.

“Both figures firmly place Solebury as a leader in the region, as well as the state and nation. Setting Solebury Township’s achievements apart is the commitment shown by voter approval and amount of funds approved in a short period of time by a small population,” he concluded.

Larry Peseski, chair of the historical architectural review board, reported nine property owners applied for Replacement-Repair in-Kind applications, a new process that streamlines the process for smaller projects in the historic districts.

The application fee is $10 and it encourages residents to maintain their properties, he said.

Eight applications were reviewed and eight certificates of appropriateness were recommended, he added.

Peseski said plans for 2019 include complete publication of Design Guidelines and Maintenance Manual and posting them on the township website.

He also plans to expand guidelines for commercial properties, continue discussion of township enforcement and consider minor maintenance standards for historic district properties.