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More Than 150 Turn Out to Oppose Trailer Park

In response to the residents' concerns, the board authorized the township solicitor to approach County Builders and request it resubmit plans for a townhome community.

Residents packed a meeting of the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors Wednesday to express their opposition to a proposal for a trailer park at the Newtown Swim Club site.

The plans for a 56-pad trailer park were not on the meeting agenda, however numerous residents used the first public comment session as an opportunity to express their distain for the proposal.

In response to the residents' concerns, the board voted 4-1 to direct Township Solicitor Jeffrey Garton to approach County Builders and request it resubmit plans for a townhome community on that site.

Swim Club owner David Platt is working with County Builders to create a residential development on the 16-acre property on Newtown-Yardley Road once the club closes after this summer.

The application for a mobile home park was submitted in December after the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors voted to send its solicitor to the Zoning Hearing Board to defend the township's zoning regulations with regards to County Builders' 52-townhome proposal.

The townhome proposal required a variance because it exceeded the housing density permitted in that zoning district.

Board member Rob Ciervo was the lone vote against approaching the builder. Ciervo called the applicant's tactics "childish behavior" and said County Builders is trying to bully its way into getting the variance it wants.

"I think this is exactly where this builder wanted to be. He wanted to be in a room with a lot of angry people who would all the sudden support his (townhome) plan," Ciervo said.

Check back to Patch for full coverage of Wednesday's meeting.

Gabe Bond January 24, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Right on Rob Ciervo!! The builder was absolutely not going to put a trailer park there. The money wouldn't even have been close to what he would make with townhouses. They played everyone like Nintendo and won....even the board fell for it!!
Barbara January 24, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Seriously. Did anyone really think a trailer park would go there? I agree with Gabe. County builders will make much more money on townhouses. People are all stressed out about nothing and the builder is laughing himself silly!
Becky January 24, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Exactly. I made a similar comment the day this "trailer park" news broke. Residents, accept it, the townhouse plans will come to fruition, the builder will make his huge profit, Platt will be happy, and we'll all roll over like we always do.
We_Support_Rob January 24, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Rob Ciervo is the only one on the BOS with nerve. How dare this bully builder try that. I would have called his bluff. Thank you Rob for standing up for the folks and making sure these builders (Listening Mr Toll and McGraft?) are honest
Heather Lewis January 24, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Congrats to Rob for sticking to his guns. It is a shame that people could not see through Platt's bully tactics - he was on planning commission for 15 years he knew how to play his cards. Shame on me for not attending the meeting and supporting Rob.
Mike L. January 24, 2013 at 02:38 PM
I agree with all of the above. This is exactly what County Builders wanted to happen. They come to a meeting, don't get their way, threaten a trailer park and then, PRESTO!, all the board members but one roll over. Rob deserves a pat on the back for looking out for ALL township residents, not just cowering to the bully tactics of a greedy builder and a slimebag swim club owner. To all the people who attended in droves last night: Do you really think he is going to build a trailer park? Do you really think a trailer park will go through that easily? NO. The bottom line is, if the board rolls over now, what's to say every developer won't use the same bully tactics to get their way? Look at the big picture people and stop whining over something that's not even going to happen.
Joe Lewandowski January 24, 2013 at 02:59 PM
I attended the meeting last night and what I heard and saw was a clear mandate from the surrounding communities near the swim club that a trailer park is not desired in the area or newtown at all. The board is made up of elected officials who are supposed to be the watch dogs of the community, so you have the mandate SO FIX IT ! Joe L
MR January 24, 2013 at 03:56 PM
This is tricky because I don't think that anyone can say with absolute certainty that the mobile home park would not have been built if Country Builders was not granted the variance that it was seeking. Furthermore, Ciervo opposed the townhome plans because of concerns about adding density, but 64 mobile homes would have created more density than 52 townhomes, so his argument was weak. I do agree that the builder is a bully who used childish tactics to get his way, but the proposed alternative of a mobile home park was an extremely undesirable option that may have gone through. And, almost everyone agrees that it would have been harmful to the value of the community. So, at the end of the day which is worse, granting a zoning variance for a desirable development to be built, or allowing a nonconforming use of the property that ultimately lowers the value of the surrounding neighborhoods just to stand on principle? Does Ciervo really deserve a pat on the back for potentially putting neighborhoods at risk when there was no guarantee that the mobile home park would not have been built?
Bev H January 24, 2013 at 06:51 PM
If you would all get your noses out of the air...your opinion of desirable vs. affordable is ridiculous! Let's go ahead and bring in more kids to the schools, instead of perhaps an elderly or starter family home. You should all be ashamed of yourselves! To think that someone who might not make as much money as you or feel they don't have to have what the Jones' have might move in to "your backyard" is stupid. Rules are rules, build what you can wih what you have, greedy builders! So much for intelligence and education to go along with the flurry of money around here.
michelle January 24, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Well i think some supervisors like to play "God" and some builders like to be "Bullies"white collar and blue collar politics this kind of stuff goes on everywhere. Why are we so surprised. But im sure the Builder was not happy he thought he brought a nice looking plan to Newtown and was shot down and yes profitable for him duh? dont we all want to make a profit. . But the new project where the state store is on State street probably will have no problem getting thr approvals.Just like the NAC project. Its who you know.
Kara Seymour January 24, 2013 at 07:04 PM
actually the State Street project is in the borough, so that won't go before the Newtown Twp supervisors, just boro council
Bill Duffy January 24, 2013 at 10:02 PM
I watched the meeting last night, and I am appalled at how Rob Ciervo continues to let his own disdain for the builder and personal ego get in the way of what is right for the people. The people that he represents, the people that voted for him, the very people which he refers to as "angry". How can one refer to a group of concerned residents as "angry people"? Rob will hide behind the facade of "protecting our zoning", but the truth is that he has a personal vendetta against this builder, and he doesn't care who suffers in the process. Don't let the door hit you on the way out Mr. Ciervo. - Angry Voter
CN January 24, 2013 at 11:35 PM
you seem to be in the minority around here. Maybe you should MOVE!There are some nice developements in North philadelphia around temple you could look into
CN January 24, 2013 at 11:38 PM
this is so accurate! Rob Ciervo, you work for us, we don't work for you. start acting like it! Or our very large voter block will see to it that you are out on your ass.
R U guessing ? January 24, 2013 at 11:49 PM
The Supervisors are voted in to represent the ENTIRE Township not certain neighborhoods, or people with their NIMBY opinions. They should represent the WHOLE Twp. and not their Political suporters or money men ! Good job Rob for sticking up for what is best for the ENTIRE twp,
R U guessing ? January 24, 2013 at 11:50 PM
CN with your Nimby attitude U R an A..
mork March 21, 2013 at 03:27 PM
And so should anybody with a brain have a vendetta against County Builders and the Platt family that are trying to strong arm their way to get what they want. Let them put trailer pads right next to the Walmart that would follow soon, then you could film all the Walmartian landing and shopping for their trailers
R U guessing ? March 21, 2013 at 07:19 PM
CN, if U knew anything the real estate in North Phila. around Temple is all tied up, with many restrictions. So maybe U should move !

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