Park, Recreation and Open Space Plan

The Federation of Northern Chester County Communities (the Federation) voted on June 12 to continue to work on the necessary planning required to select the final 2 sites for a sports complex in the 9 communities of the Northern Federation (East Coventry, East Nantmeal, East Pikeland, East Vincent, North Coventry, South Coventry, Warwick, West Pikeland, West Vincent). As of May 2012 all 9 communities have adopted the Park, Recreation and Open Space plan see http://www.northernfederation.com/ for the final plan details.

There is $9,600 in extra state planning funds of the Federation that are held in trust by the “lead municipality” East Vincent.

On Tuesday at 4:45 PM at East Vincent Township (262 Ridge Road, Spring City, PA )the Board of Supervisors is to hold a discussion on extending this grant for one more year and adjusting the scope of services to allow the continuation of this high priority planning effort. At the previous Board of Supervisors meeting the two other supervisors  (Mark Dunphy and Jane Peronteau) did not support the continuation of the planning process. They prefer to turn this hard earned money back to the State! They could refuse to send the request to the state.

It is critical that you come and voice your support to have these funds stay here in our region and be put to use to continue our planning efforts.

If you want to have a sports complex in our region and support our kids having a quality place to play sports in the future, it is really critical you attend this meeting and prevent them from returning the funds to the state.

Chris McNeil

Background Facts from the Plan:

The need for more fields is well documented in the Plan. The regional athletic leagues currently support 4,050 youth participants in 253 teams in 18 leagues playing on 12 public fields. We need 13 more flat fields, 19 more diamond fields for practice, games and field maintenance (rest). The region is deficient by 50% in meeting the need for fields for the sports league activities. Selection of two new regional sports complex facilities will be a vital element of a successful planning process.

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Pennhurst Amendment

Zoning Ordinance Amendment
For Pennhurst Acquisitions, LP (aka Pennhurst)

East Vincent Township is about to give away it’s zoning controls and oversight over the Pennhurst property.

Why?

This proposed zoning gives Pennhurst just about every possible use for the property as a Use by Right.

The township exercises zoning control through 3 mechanisms:

  • Use by Right – property owner can develop as he wishes without township oversight
  • Use by Conditional Use – the township supervisors must allow the use if all “conditions” set forth in the Zoning Ordinance are satisfied
  • Special Exception – the zoning hearing board must allow the use if all “conditions set forth in the Zoning Ordinance are satisfied

The way the proposed uses are organized on the site minimizes controls.

For Example:

• Under the original zoning for the site the compost use had a minimum of 50 acres, specific controls, and hours of operation listed. Now in the proposed zoning composting is a use by right with no minimum acreage, controls, or times of operation.

• The sole building currently legally used as a haunted attraction can be expanded to as many buildings as they want and expanded to a year-round Amusement Park Facility as a use by right without any controls.

Currently the roads to handle traffic levels for the current uses of composting and the haunted attraction are inadequate. Pennhurst has a current recreation use (one building by court order). As Pennhurst expands the “Amusement Park” it will not be subject to any traffic evaluation or Master Plan, even though the area is the largest parcel shown on the map (34 acres).

Attend the Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, May 2, @ 7:30PM
Don’t let them give away the township’s ability to exercise control over zoning.

Please urge the Supervisors to revise this ordinance so that it protects our residents first and preserves the quality of life in East Vincent Township.

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Zoning Board Hearing – Feb. 16th

I invite you and your members to join the Stoney Run community in opposition to the proposed variance to allow stadium-style lighting at the Spring-Ford Youth Athletic League fields. These fields run directly adjacent to Parkview Blvd and Deep Pond Drive in East Vincent and include 1-80 foot, 2 70-foot and 5 60-foot lighting poles. Strangely enough, residents of East Vincent are only allowed to play in the SFYAL for two years, so the lighting will have miniscule benefit to actual taxpayers of East Vincent. Additionally, as you can imagine, these poles will be quite an eyesore and will further move to destroy the property values and quality of life we enjoy in our subdivision and township.

Thanks,
Matthew Wood, CPA , MBA
237 Parkview Blvd.
East Vincent, PA

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Time Out for Jane

I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt, which I had done with Jane Peronteau, candidate for East Vincent Township Supervisor, whom I only know by reputation. That was until I visited my mailbox on two separate occasions this week.

Jane Peronteau has taken the race for East Vincent Township Supervisor to a new low. Perhaps our local race is only a microcosm for what is happening across our country or maybe her campaign mailers truly reflect her personality. Whatever the reason or reasons, it reflects badly on her, her handlers, her political party and our township.

Saul Rivkin is a good man. He has volunteered his time and has done a great job as chair of the Historic Commission. He has a platform and a vision for East Vincent – one compelling community with a rural identity. Like Saul, it’s sophisticated and direct, what you see is what you get. It’s solid, honest and inclusive.

Jane’s platform is less clear. She wants to keep taxes low and will do all that’s necessary to keep us all safe and happy. She never says how.

Apparently the first thing to do to keep us all safe and happy is to dispatch Saul. When I read her mailers, they remind me of a small child covering her ears and yelling wildly so that she doesn’t have to hear the truth. It’s loud, it’s shrill and it’s mean. Her mailer is a tantrum and Jane needs a time out.

We all need a time out. We need to walk away from this kind of campaigning and remember that those running for office are our neighbors. We know them, we work with them and our kids play together. Most of us teach our children values by how we act. Our children watch everything we do and they take it all in.

Disturbingly, because of the content, Jane’s campaign mailer came addressed to my family. As a kid, I can remember anything addressed to my family was fair game for me to read and discuss. Mail is a big thing– it gets delivered and it’s official.

So now that man who always comes to my lacrosse games is a criminal?

What are we coming to? What price are we willing to pay for this calumny and slander. It cheapens and hurts all of us. What’s more it makes East Vincent look bad. We embarrass ourselves by demeaning, discounting and lying about our own potential leaders.

What’s really scary is that we are creating a “norm,” (an undiscussed way of behaving) that says that this kind of behavior is OK. We tacitly accept that campaigns are negative, politicians are ridiculed and government is useless. It’s divisive and hurts our democracy.

In contrast, Saul Rivkin has run a positive campaign in which he has put forth real ideas to improve East Vincent. Whether or not you like his idea of a village concept for Jones versus a mega mall, it’s an idea that should be debated instead of allowing a developer to come into our township and call the shots. The mature discussion of ideas is normal and natural in evolved societies and leads to the best ideas surviving. It’s the way East Vincent Township should do business.

Choosing debasement over debate is not only bad policy it is self-destructive. If you win by debasing your opponent, how do you heal afterwards? How do you work with these residents ever again?

In my mind, Jane has focused exclusively on casting her opponent in a negative light. It is like she forgot to tell voters anything positive about herself. She might have described what she actually would have done if she were entrusted with the office of East Vincent Township Supervisor but it’s probably too late to take the high road.
Meanwhile Saul Rivkin is already on it.

As an 18 year resident of this township, I suggest that neighbors and voters give Jane Peronteau a second chance by having her sit this one out and think it over. We need her energy- we need the collaboration of all of our residents- but we don’t need the anger and the hostility of her campaign approach.

Sincerely,
Todd Palmer
Ridge Road

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CCOEV endorses Saul Rivkin for East Vincent Supervisor

Saul Rivkin is Dedicated to Keeping East Vincent Rural

Saul promotes local business over big box retail. He will strive to build a local economy to offset taxes and keep profits circulating here.

Jane Peronteau voted for the Jones Motor Amendment allowing a regional mall on the 186 acre site along with a possible 450 additional apartments in 5 story buildings. The added financial expenses due to traffic, increased police and fire protection, and increased educational needs will be borne by EV tax payers.    Read more about the Jones Motor Amendment

Saul Rivkin has Financial, Business, and Leadership Experience

Saul is the Vice President of a small local bank. He has the financial and business experience which will facilitate his goal to revitalize the East Vincent business community. His leadership abilities will help him create a “Keep it Local Business Task Force” to increase our tax base without becoming totally overdeveloped with Big Box Malls.

Saul Rivkin Supports Regional Partnerships

Saul supports membership in the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee. Saul supports collaboration with our neighboring townships and boroughs.

Jane Peronteau spoke against EVT membership in the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee and supported East Vincent’s resignation.   Read more about leaving the Regional Plan

Saul Rivkin supports Government representative of the Residents, not the Developers

Saul believes that our zoning should be about protecting our community and our residents, not facilitating developers’ projects. We do not need the developers writing our zoning laws for their maximum benefit. Saul will strive to restore the lost trust between our residents and our township government which was all too apparent at recent township meetings.

CCOEV strongly encourages you to elect Saul Rivkin as our next Supervisor on Nov. 8.

Read Saul’s website at http://saulrivkin.com

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Northern Federation Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Draft Plan Meeting

On Tuesday evening, October 11, over 32 public officials and partners came together at Warwick Township to hear the draft plan results of the Northern Federation Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan.

The consultant team made a detailed presentation and Jake Michael of the Chester County Planning Commission gave an introduction. Mr. Michael thought that this is great plan, that the townships have worked hard in cooperating and collaborating to create the plan, that the plan is innovative, and that the region needs to stay with the schedule for regional adoption in January of 2012. Mr. Michael noted “we want to reimburse and give the money back to the townships as fast we can.”

Once the plan presentation was given, the townships had an open discussion about the plan. There were a number of great comments to strengthen the plan such as the fact that our region has been designated as a globally significant area to preserve.  An extensive dialogue was held about how the townships can adopt the plan at no cost to them. Discussion focused on the flexibility of the implementation phases of the plan. The plan allows the townships to voluntarily work together to implement the parts of it that are of most importance to them.

Any concerns that a township or townships might not approve the Northern Federation Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan hopefully will be put to rest by last night’s meeting during which there were no serious objections raised to the draft plan.

The meeting was videotaped and will be uploaded along with the draft plan document in preparation for an upcoming public meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, November 16 at Warwick Township building, which is located on Route 23. Stay in touch with the plan by following www.northernfederation.com

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East Vincent Township Votes to Break Yet Another Regional Contract

In February 2009, East Vincent Township entered into a contractual obligation through the vote of the Board of Supervisors (2-1) to accept the role of lead municipality to administer and finance a planning grant awarded to the Federation of Northern Chester County, which included providing the payments of a reimbursable grant program. The planning grant was to develop an historic joint plan for parks, recreation, and open space among nine municipalities.  (see link to the Chester County Planning Grant manual, a highly acclaimed municipal planning program)

Now at the eleventh hour, when the plan is nearing conclusion, East Vincent Township wants to break its obligation to the contract and stop all the work. Supervisors Dunphy and Funk now fear a potential but farfetched possibility that the Northern Federation communities could leave East Vincent liable for an $8,000 shortfall if two townships did not agree to the plan.  All summer long, twenty or so municipality volunteers throughout the region have been working on the preliminary draft document that will be presented to all the municipal officials on Tuesday, October 11.  The Northern Federation members have worked together to reach common ground on all the recommendations found in the plan. Neither Dunphy nor Funk has ever attended a single meeting or public presentation over the past two years and neither seems to have read the reports.   Why do Dunphy and Funk suspect that all those who worked together would suddenly not agree to fund it? And if one township actually did drop out (an unlikely event unless it be East Vincent) a surplus of funds would still remain.

What transpired Wednesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting shows that all of a sudden  Dunphy and Funk do not want East Vincent Township to live up to its contractual obligations.  Dunphy and Funk reject the concept of working with the neighboring townships and athletic leagues to reach common ground for the goal of creating a park and recreation plan for all the residents of northern Chester County.

Furthermore, Dunphy and Funk seem incapable of holding a reasonable discussion.  Funk used foul language during Wednesday’s public meeting and Dunphy talked over Supervisor McNeil, who is the EVT representative to the Northern Federation. Neither Funk nor Dunphy had the facts straight. This is another example of embarrassing behavior on the part of these two East Vincent Township supervisors. Once again, just as when East Vincent withdrew from the regional plan or when they adopted the Jones Motor zoning amendment, these two men have shown little or no ability to discuss an issue; listen to public input, reason, or facts; or to cooperate with  any other township.

The athletic leagues, the park and recreation committees, the members of the conservation community, the O.J. Roberts school district, and the planning commissioners and supervisor members of the Northern Federation of Chester County all have diligently provided leadership to create a plan that is innovative, relevant, and fiscally sound for our families and our children. Yet, these two men sit back in isolation and harshly judge the good work of their neighbors and their own township volunteers. That’s just downright embarrassing. It’s time to vote for a change in East Vincent Township.  Let’s vote for someone new who won’t exclude working regionally as part of creating a township we can be proud of.

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