Trailer Park Plans Awaiting Planning Commission Review

A Planning Commission review that was intitially supposed to be held Feb. 5 has not yet been rescheduled.

A Newtown Township Planning Commission review of the proposed plans for a trailer park on the Newtown Swim Club property has yet to be rescheduled, township officials confirmed Friday. 

The application was on the Planning Commission agenda for Feb. 5, however that review was postponed due to a scheduling conflict on the part of the applicant, County Builders. Instead, a continuance was requested.

The Planning Commission meetings in March are scheduled for the 5th and the 19th.

The township is still awaiting word from VanLuvanee regarding the probability of County Builders resubmitting plans for townhouses on the 16-acre property instead of a 56-pad trailer park. 

According to Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Gallagher, township solicitor Jeffrey Garton has reached out to County Builders to see if it would again consider a townhome plan instead of a trailer park.

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 members Rob Ciervo, Matt Benchener and Phil Calabro voted in favor of sending the solicitor to represent the township. Since then, in response to the community’s outrage over the trailer park proposal, board member Matt Benchener said he would now support townhomes. 

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mork February 25, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Where do you think the term Trailer Park Trash came from?
stating the facts February 25, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Mork, "the term" came from people like you who FEAR people who choose to live in modular housing!
LIW18940 February 25, 2013 at 02:48 PM
To the "Newtown Resident"...the only people who supported the swim club were those who lived on undersized lots or town homes who did not have the space or money for a pool. Just remember that the town homes of today are no better than the row homes of Philadelphia which have seen better days.
I STILL GOTS BOTH ME TEEF February 25, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Hey, whatsa mattah wif you peoples???After, all, you were the first one to move to Newtown 1000 years ago, right? I mean, since you were the first one, you gots rights...or lefts...whatever....me so cinfuZed!!
benz February 25, 2013 at 03:56 PM
mork- the term probably came from the same ignorant people who slur others who are of different socio-ecomonic or ethnic backgrounds-- i hope the trailer park passes, i think it would be great for lower income people who desire a council rock education for their children...
Mary McSorley February 25, 2013 at 04:19 PM
I have to agree about the owners being greedy. I just checked the price for the summer camp and it beats out the NAC, Snipes and the George school summer camps for this summer camp 2013. So why is that for their last year? too bad.
Newtown Resident February 25, 2013 at 05:17 PM
No people who live in trailer parks are no less important than anyone else. The Platt's Mobil Home Park will be their lasting legacy....not their years of offering the Newtown Swim Club....It's too bad the Platt's have chosen to go this route....they must really not like Newtown residents...so why give them 1 more year of income???
No Newtown Mobile Home Park February 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Not a fan of the Newtown mobile home plans? Head over to http://facebook.com/NoNewtownMobileHomePark and be heard!
Melf55 February 26, 2013 at 12:37 AM
I have said all along the problem is not the builder or Platts.. The problem is Ciervo. He placed the township in between a rock and hard place. His continued arrogance gave the builder no choice. Financially it might make as much sense to build mobile homes as town homes. Single homes are dead. If Platt was so greedy why did he not sell years ago. He could have made ten times more money off the interest from the sale of the property than from camps or swim memberships. He has provided a great place for families to enjoy for years. We should thank him. I am sure he had a passion for swimming not for money.
Newtown Resident February 26, 2013 at 04:09 AM
What a joke! There is no one to blame except the owners of the land - The Platts! The builder was just pushing to see if he could get more homes than zoning allowed, and when the town didn't cave, the Platts builder threatened the mobile homes... He didn't sell years ago because he wasn't sick at the time....he said he was selling due to health issues. The Platt's will be remembered for how they leave their land, not the swim club they currently operate....if they want that legacy to be the Platt Mobile Home park, so be it.
Melf55 February 26, 2013 at 05:03 AM
No the Platts will be remembered by many for all they provided the community and how the NAC ran them out of business. Ciervo will be remembered for creating the trailer park. Maybe we will have a Ciervo Drive.. It will be ONE WAY ...the way he operated as a supervisor.
Newtown Resident February 26, 2013 at 11:58 AM
No chance of that.....the Platt's land, the Platt's choice.
Dolores Umbridge February 26, 2013 at 03:09 PM
The people of Newtown have only their Supervisors to thank for this debacle. The Supervisors (Ceirvo especially) tried to bully and manipulate the Platts and it backfired on them, and anyone who follows the news trail can see that fact. The Platts are business people who are following township board direction and ordinances and zoing laws. There is NOTHING wrong with business people trying to make as much as they legally can and the Board forced them into this position.
Newtown Resident February 26, 2013 at 04:05 PM
I think you have it wrong here Delores....It was the Platts and their builder who tried to bully the town, trying to get more homes on the land than zoning allowed....When the town wouldn't give the Platts more than they deserved, they and their builder returned with mobile home plans.
Dolores Umbridge February 26, 2013 at 04:20 PM
In February of 2012 The Newtown Supervisors approved plans for a "resort style" swim club for the NAC, effectively pushing the Platts out of business after 30 years. Then, after George Platt decided he couldn't fight the NAC and cancer (that is spreading), he submitted plans to build 64 townhouses on that property and asked for a zoning variance to do so, a variance which has been granted to many other buiders around Newtown Township previously. The supervisors denied that plan and the following plan for 52 townhouses, with Rob Ciervo saying that only single family homes should be considered because that's what the zoning ordinance called for. That's when the plans for the mobile home park appeared because technically, they are single homes. So "newtown resident" - what do I have wrong? I think it's you that has this wrong-You have Rob Ciervo to thank for this mess and him alone. Mr. Platt is just trying, after 30 years of serving Newtown and getting screwed in the end, to get his just due for his family before he dies of cancer. You have NO ONE to blame but the Township Supervisors for this and they should all be ashamed of themselves.
Newtown Resident February 26, 2013 at 04:51 PM
So as you just said, the Platts were asking for more townhomes on the property than the zoning regulations allow.
Dolores Umbridge February 26, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Right-just as other developers have done and been allowed to do. When they were told no, the Platts did as they were requested to do and came back with a single family home plan that fits zoning laws. They've done nothing wrong. Those same zoning laws that Ciervo, et. all sought to uphold are coming back to bite you all in the butt. The board should have more thoughtfully and carefully reviewed the original plans, but instead they tried their bully tactics. It backfired and you have them to thank for it.
R U guessing ? February 26, 2013 at 07:07 PM
U don't know SQUAT ! Most older TownHouse developments in Newtown have community pools ! About half of the "ROW houses in Philly R over 100 years old !
R U guessing ? February 26, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Dolores, What R U smoking ? Anyone who watches the Supervisors Meetings or even reads the paper KNOWS that it is the Builder who is Bullying ! The Zoning is 4 single Houses. Do U want to throw out all our rules ? Or R U just a Freind of the Platts ? Many people have or Had Skin Cancer, that is not Life ending ! Call their Bluff, lets See what the Platts come back with. Or will they go on with their SCARE tactics and let the Gallaghers go on with their Mob Rule Mentality ?
Dolores Umbridge February 26, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Is 2013 your year of graduation? If so, you might want to give english and grammar classes another try. I actually got all of my information from attending the meetings and reading the stories on Patch and Phillyburbs. It's all there for public consumption. You're right though, the zoning (which many builders have been given variances for at other times) is for single houses. Mobile homes are single houses. Where's the problem? You can't have it both ways. You can't deny the zoning variance and then complain when the builder wants to follow it, which he is technically doing. Just because they're not McMansions, everyone in Newtown is now freaking out!
R U guessing ? February 26, 2013 at 08:33 PM
I must ask again; What R U smoking ? Or R U one of those people that hear Vannila when they say there is only chocolate ? As far as english or grammar U got the point didn't U ! And No one has seen U on the television so what meetings do U attend ? And If I have to explain What a Single House is U R beyond hope, it's ashame that Bybery state hospital is closed !
Dolores Umbridge February 26, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Ok, that doesn't even make sense. *are *you *vanilla *a shame *Byberry Genius, a modlular/mobile home is a single home in that it is not attached to another home (row house, twin, or townhouse). It may not be the kind you like or want, but it falls within the zoning guidelines that the township set up. Explain to me what the builder or the Platts did wrong, exactly?
Newtown Resident February 26, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Single family homes and mobile home parks are 2 distinctly different types of homes, especially as it relates to zoning regulations. For this particular property, the zoning regulations allow you to build single family homes, single family cluster homes, or mobile home parks. All you have to do is watch prior meetings or look at minutes as to what took place. The Platts wanted to put more homes on the property than zoning allowed, and when they didn't get their way, threatened the mobile home park instead....That's the Platt's choice to build their lasting legacy as a mobile home park. While it's allowed by zoning, it's obvious that the Platts and their builder want to use this as leverage to get the # of homes they want to build on the site..Nothing is going to happen for a long time anyway as this is probably going to litigation at some point soon.
Dolores Umbridge February 26, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Well, there's your problem NR. If the zoning laws allow "single family homes, single family cluster homes, or mobile home parks", then they must be considered extremely similar. In any case, the laws allow it and if the Platts and the builder propose a plan that falls within zoning laws then there's no need for litigation. The mobile home plan will go through. I watched and attended meetings and read the write ups in the media. I don't see it the way you do. The Township Supervisors are clowns and didn't ever think the builder would come back with a mobile home park which is within the zoning laws. The were short sighted and are getting burned on it. Simple. You keep imploying that the Platts are doing something wrong. They're not. This is business and they have every right to get the most that they can. It's called capitalism and it's not their fault Newtown is poorly represented by their board.
Newtown Resident February 26, 2013 at 09:42 PM
I'm guessing the builder has zero intention of building mobile home park...this is all a ploy to get concessions on what they truly want to build...townhomes. I'm not implying that the Platts are doing anything wrong....What I'm saying is that whatever is built on that property is because of the choices the Platt's are making. It's their land, it's their choice to push for mobile homes if they want to..If someone is against having a mobile home park in Newtown, why on earth would they support the Platt's Newtown Swim Club for its last season??? Boycott Newtown Swim Club.
Melf55 February 27, 2013 at 04:46 AM
@Newtown resident, the builder wanted town homes but as @Delores very clearly pointed out Ciervo created this mess. Single homes are not a viable option because the market is awful so the builder had no choice but goto mobile homes. I think he could make as much on mobile homes as town homes.. So thanks Ciervo for bringing in mobile homes.. That is clearly where the blame belongs ...@2013 -- I don't think you are smoking anything, you are just clueless.
R U guessing ? February 27, 2013 at 04:58 PM
@ Newtown guy and Dolores-nut U must B friends with the Platts, sticking up 4 them when no one else is. Running done the Supervisors 4 doing thier jobs Put the blame where it belongs the Platts, they have seen Toll Bros. and other builders Bully thier way through the Government process so they R trying to get the most they can and screw the citizens of Newtown ! Toll bros has NO problem selling thier houses, Is this builder of Shoddy shopping centers ( County ) have a problem building "SINGLE Houses " ? U must B smoking something pretty powerfull to NOT understand what a single house is. U R constantly saying the present Board is the problem when NONE of them changed the zonning rules in thier Tenure ! U constantly run down the NAC yet U wave the Flag of capitalism 4 your buddy Platt.
Melf55 February 28, 2013 at 03:42 AM
2013-- the job of the supervisors is to evaluate the situation and decide what is best for our community. In order to understand the situation you must open up a line of communication and be objective. The three supervisors led by Ciervo voted against town homes and forced the hand of the builder with very little communication just arrogance. I see how Ciervo treats people so i am sure he did not open up the lines of communicatio. The builder explained single homes are not selling and are not an option so we will have to build mobile homes. The builder forewarned that they might have to build a mobile home park. The supervisors needed to objectively evaluate all the options and be aware of the reall estate situation with single hme sales. Platt needs out because of health or NAC.. I am not entirely sure which.. The supervisors allowed the NAC to put the resort style pool in a office park and definitely helped put the Platts out of business.So here we are in my opinion due to the supervisors not doing their job.. That is not fair to all the supervisors...but I guess Benchner realized his mistake... Now we might have mobile homes which is ok under the zoning but what a shame because we will have the same impact for schools and and traffic with out the same tax base as town homes... I think mobile homes are not assessed at the same level.
R U guessing ? March 01, 2013 at 06:12 PM
@ Newtown Guy; In MY opinion which I am entitled to; The Supervisors were upholding our zoning ordinance, and did NOTHING wrong. The political oposition is Quick to Point fingers. The adjoining residents are scared by Platt and the builders antics, which are driven by GREED ! To bring the Nac into a coversation about Trailer parks or town Houses is ridiculous. Too much slanted thinking or political posturing before an election always goes on in Newtown,
Melf55 March 04, 2013 at 02:14 AM
2013- I agree you are entitled to your opinion. I am as well.. We will agree to disagree. I do not see the Platts as greedy. I do believe the NAC is helping put thr Platts out of business. I do not think I am slanted but do believe my take is pretty accurate. I also think if you asked one of the Gallagers ( on the supervisors board ) they would set you straight pretty quick about the damage Ciervo did by his arrogance. Also that Benchner was more naive hence why he gave all the power back to Platts/ builder and why they will get everything they asked for from the beginning. All it took was two way negotitions. But we can agree to disagree.


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