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Upper Makefield rejects Toll Bros. subdivision bid


Chris Ruvo

A proposed residential development that’s been at the center of legal challenges and controversy in Upper Makefield for nearly 15 years again entered the spotlight at the township’s Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 20.

Ultimately, supervisors voted unanimously to reject Fort Washington-headquartered developer Toll Brothers’ proposal to build 45 single family homes on some 66 acres off Stoopville Road. The land is commonly referred to as the Melsky Tract Subdivision.

Supervisors primarily rejected the proposal because they believe Toll is trying to build too many homes on the land, given what the land can stand, asserting that stormwater will not properly infiltrate the ground, instead becoming disruptive runoff. Upper Makefield has an ordinance that requires proper infiltration.

As a result of denying the proposed development plan, township officials are anticipating a renewed legal challenge from Toll.

“Given the history with this application, we do expect litigation and we’ll be preparing to respond to that,” said Upper Makefield Township Manager Dave Nyman.

Upper Makefield initially approved an earlier development plan from Toll in 2007, but neighbors who opposed the subdivision appealed the decision to Bucks County Court.

The court remanded the case back to Upper Makefield. Supervisors later considered – and rejected – amended versions of the development plan.

More court battling ensued, after which the proposal again ended up back before supervisors in September 2018.