Judy DiFilippo

Tredyffrin Special Election Supervisor candidates – Where do they stand on the digital billboard, historic preservation ordinance and transparency? Know before you vote!

How many of you know that there is a special election on November 6 to fill an at-large seat on Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors? And that for the first time in township history, both candidates running to fill the vacancy are former supervisors! 

The last time that there was a special election on the ballot in Tredyffrin Township was in May 2011; a highly contested race between Mike Heaberg (R) and Molly Duffy (D) to fill an interim supervisor seat, as a result of Warren Kampf’s election as PA State Representative. If you recall, the special election results were so close that the winner’s name changed when malfunctioning voting machines required ballot hand counting. Ultimately, Heaberg was declared the victor and in the general election match-up race the same year, he won a regular 4-year term.

Now seven and a half years later, township residents will be choosing a supervisor in the special election on Nov. 6. In the sea of political campaign lawn signs are a couple of locally familiar names – Republican Judy DiFilippo and Democrat Mark Freed are the special election candidates running to fill the vacated at-large seat on Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors.

Republican Sean Moir, a second term supervisor abruptly resigned last month, having moved from the township and therefore no longer eligible to serve. The term for the vacated seat runs through 2019. The good news for residents is that both DiFilippo and Freed are seasoned township supervisors – Judy served for twenty years, six as its chair and Mark completed one four year term (2014-17).

Whoever wins the upcoming election will determine the party majority on the Board of Supervisors. With the departure of Moir (R), there are three Republicans (Heather Greenberg, Paul Olson and Trip Lukens (and three Democrats (Murph Wysocki, Matt Holt and Kevin O’Nell) currently serving. Because so often local township votes come down on party lines, the impact of who fills the seventh seat could be significant and if Freed wins, it will mark the first time in township history for a Democrat-majority board of supervisors.

The township and its residents is embroiled in a serious issue that would forever change the landscape and village feel of Paoli – the proposed digital billboard at the intersection of Rt. 252 and Lancaster Ave. I remain troubled that as a community we were kept in the dark for 18-24 months while township supervisors discussed the proposed digital billboard. The public only learned at the 11th hour with the township solicitor Vince Donohue using words like “negotiations” and “settlement agreement” in advance of the Catalyst presentation. I, like many others took that to mean that the digital billboard was a fait accompli.

With nearly 2,500 signatures showing support for the Change.org petition to “BAN the Digital Billboard in Paoli”) and a GoFundMe exceeding its goal, the community is fully engaged.  The laws signs are scheduled for delivery this week!

It is critical that voters know where special election supervisor candidates DiFilippo and Freed stand on important township issues –  the proposed digital billboard, historic preservation ordinance and transparency in local government. The candidates received 3 questions from me and were asked to respond in 100 words or less to each question. The following are the questions and the candidate responses, in the order received.

Question #1: As you are aware, the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors is entertaining a proposal to construct a digital billboard at the intersection of Rt. 252 and Lancaster Ave. in Paoli. The community has been told by the township solicitor that Catalyst Outdoor Advertising will initiate legal proceedings if the digital billboard is not approved. If you are elected before the vote occurs, how will vote and why.

Candidate Judy DiFilippo (R) response: I do not support the proposal by Catalyst Outdoor Advertising to construct digital billboards at the Route 252/Lancaster Avenue intersection.  In addition to the concern for safety of the traveling public, in my opinion, the mass of the signs proposed is not appropriate on that site. They do not reflect the overall aesthetic desired in Tredyffrin and do not respect the existing structure and its significance. If there is a deficiency in the Township’s sign ordinance relating to digital signs, a moratorium should be considered on any future applications for digital billboard signs until the ordinance is corrected.

Candidate Mark Freed (D) response: I oppose the Catalyst digital billboard proposal.  This billboard is wrong for Tredyffrin Township and would result in the destruction of a valued historic resource.  I have opposed the billboard since the concept was first floated by Catalyst when I was on the Board of Supervisors. I advised both my fellow Board members and Catalyst of my grave concerns.  I have not seen anything in the recent presentations to change my opinion and remain opposed to Catalyst’s proposal.

Question #2: Unlike most Main Line townships, Tredyffrin does not currently have a historic preservation ordinance. Please comment as to whether or not you would support such a township ordinance and why.

Candidate Judy DiFilippo (R) response: The Township has an award-winning 2003 Historic Resource Survey that lists hundreds of historic buildings and it explains the historic and/or architectural significance for each.  Valley Forge National Historical Park lies within Tredyffrin. We have a significant link to the founding of our country.  We should be proud to share that history.  I support the creation of an ordinance that appreciates and protects our most significant historic resources. Pennsylvania’s Municipalities Planning Code and Chester County’s Planning Commission have tooIs available to help us do that, including adaptive reuse.  We can protect historic resources and still respect an individual’s property rights.

Candidate Mark Freed (D) response: I support a historic preservation ordinance that protects our Township’s valued historic resources.  We must recognize Tredyffrin’s rich historic heritage.  We must also be mindful of the rights of the owners of historic resources. I understand that the Historical Commission has proposed an ordinance amendment that would prohibit the demolition of designated historic resources unless reviewed by the Historical Commission and approved by the Board of Supervisors at a public hearing. This amendment would prevent the issuance of over-the-counter demolition permits that have resulted in almost immediate demolition of our historic resources.  It would be a significant step forward.

Question #3: The support for openness and transparency in local government often appears on candidate campaign literature. What does it mean to you for local government to be open and transparent? Please be specific.

Candidate Judy DiFilippo (R) response: Transparency means you abide by the Sunshine Law. Certain matters dealing with Township personnel or pending litigation can be discussed in Executive Session by the Board and the Solicitor. When Executive Session meetings are held, it is announced during the Public Meeting. All Township Commissions, Advisory Councils, and Boards must abide by the Sunshine Law as well because their decisions and recommendations also impact the Township.  Open discussion by the Board and with the public is the only place for decision-making. The public should be able to rely upon that and upon the trust given to the individuals they elect.

Candidate Mark Freed (D) response: To me, openness and transparency mean providing the public with information in a timely manner, giving the public the opportunity to express their views at public meetings and elsewhere, listening respectfully, responding forthrightly, and letting the public know that their voices have been heard and respected.  They mean being clear and direct with the public about the Board’s decision-making process.  They mean remembering that Board members serve the public.

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2,300+ Change.org petition signatures, GoFundMe exceeds goal & State Rep Warren Kamp (R) & Democrat opponent Melissa Shusterman make statements opposing digital billboard in Paoli!

The community’s voice of opposition over Catalyst Outdoor Advertising’s proposed digital billboard in Paoli continues to grow louder! After hearing that our Tredyffrin supervisors were considering the digital billboard proposal at the intersection of Rt. 252 and Lancaster Ave (and demolishing the historic Clockworks building) my social media campaign to inform the community went in to full motion. And based on the overwhelming response, you have to believe that the Board of Supervisor Chair Heather Greenberg and her fellow supervisors are getting the message —  residents do not want the billboard or the Clockworks building destroyed in the process.

Over the years supervisors have lamented that they don’t hear from the public – Not the case this time! Over 2,300 people have signed the Change.org petition opposing the digital billboard. (If you oppose this proposed digital billboard and have not signed the petition, please join us by clicking here)

Reasons given when signing the Change.org petition range from safety and concern for distracted drivers to changing the small town appearance and not wanting to see another historic building destroyed in our community. Tredyffrin resident Jennifer Whip left this comment when signing the petition; “Tearing down an Okie building to put up a digital billboard is a double negative. We are willing to tear down a beautiful, historic building in order to put up an ugly, distracting billboard at a dangerous intersection in an era of too much distracted driving. We are privileged to live in a beautiful community that has learned to use and repurpose its historic buildings for the benefit of generations to come. No one is going to cherish a billboard.”

The GoFundMe exceeded its initial goal of $1,000 in less than four days! As a result of the community’s generous contributions, lawn signs to “BAN Digital Billboard in Paoli & Save Historic Clockworks Building” have been designed and ordered and will arrive late next week.  Based on the number of people who have asked me for a sign, a second order may be needed. Printed material will also be available starting next week. If you are interested and able to contribute, you can find the GoFundMe link by clicking here.

In addition to Savvy Main Line and Main Line Neighbors recent articles about the community push-back over the digital billboard under consideration, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Erin McCarthy called for an interview and photos were taken in front of the Clockworks building. For those that remember the Covered Wagon Inn saga, it was déjà vu standing in front of another of our historic township buildings with hopes for a similar outcome! Taking the photo at 4 PM, the Inquirer photographer received an up close and personal idea of the congestion of this intersection – and that’s without the construction of a 20 ft. high digital billboard and its blinking messages!

With the mid-term election coming up in 2-1/2 weeks, the local political campaigns are in overdrive – I was surprised to learn that the community effort to stop the digital billboard and save the Clockworks building was recognized by PA State Representative Warren Kampf (R) and his opponent Democrat Melissa Shusterman on their Facebook campaign pages. Typically Warren Kampf has not weighed in on local supervisor issues, but is making an exception in the case of the digital billboard, opposing it 100%

On her Facebook campaign Facebook page,  PA State Representative Democrat opponent Melissa Shusterman is also clear in her opposition to the digital billboard under consideration by our township supervisors.

If there was any question or doubt as to where the community stands on the issue of the digital billboard and the demolition of the historic Clockworks building — Tredyffrin township supervisors should be receiving the message loud and clear!

There is an important Special Election on the November 6 ballot — registered voters in Tredyffrin Township will be choosing an at-large supervisor to fill a vacated seat on the Board of Supervisors.  Given the current situation with the proposed plans for a digital billboard, lack of historic preservation ordinance and transparency issues, the selection of the new supervisor is extremely important to this community!

In my next blog post, I will discuss the supervisor candidates, Judy DiFilippo (R) and Mark Freed (D). and offer their responses to three timely questions which I posed.

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Ann Pugh Farm … an 18th century Tredyffrin Township historic treasure lost to demolition

Pugh Road House

Demolition of Ann Pugh farmhouse

For historic preservationists, the destruction of any historic property is difficult but is compounded when it occurs in your own backyard.  What makes Tredyffrin Township truly unique is its rich architectural heritage:  the old homes and buildings that tell the story of the community’s past, that continue to bring pleasure in the present, and will, if properly cared for, inform and inspire the future.

In 2003, Tredyffrin Township’s Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) undertook what would become an extensive award-winning architectural survey, identifying more than 350 historic resources in the township.  As a member of HARB, I was involved in the review and cataloging of the township’s historic buildings for this project.

According to this historic resource survey, the William Pugh Farm (also called Ann Pugh Farm and A. Glass Farm) received a historic survey Class II structure rating.  The primary architectural style was listed as Georgian and identified the structural system as stone with shake roof.  In the report on the Pugh farmhouse, the surveyor comments include, “recommendation for potential individual listing on the National Register of Historic Places”.

The township’s historic survey description of the property states that the original owner, William C. Pugh, made iron augers in his blacksmith shop at this farm in 1873 and is responsible for the road’s name.  A 1980 survey date suggests that the Pugh farmhouse lists a date of 1750 for the first section and 1830 for the later wing.  This date associates with the date stone of the springhouse of 1832 and that of the barn showing 1839 (see photos below).  According to the historic survey records, “the blacksmith shop was extant in 1980 close to the road, but appears to have been demolished.  Pugh’s property was sold by 1883 to A. Glass, who held 20 acres in 1887.  The complex is distinctive as a combined farmstead with a farmer blacksmith shop and barn.”

When completed, Tredyffrin Township’s award-winning historic resource survey received statewide attention with the 2007 Preservation Award from Preservation Pennsylvania.  At the December 2004 Board of Supervisors meeting, former State Representative Carole Rubley presented the Government Initiative Award on behalf of the Commonwealth to Jim Garrison, who was the Chairman of the Historical Architectural Review Board at that time.  In the minutes of that BOS meeting, Rubley stated that the survey “will be a planning tool for preservation practices in the Township. Mrs. Rubley congratulated the HARB for this great honor, and said it made her proud of the Township.”  A longtime supporter of historic preservation in Tredyffrin Township, I don’t know that the demolition of the 18th century Ann Pugh Farm would make her proud.

In 2009, the township staff, representatives of the Planning Commission and HARB and members of the community took on the arduous task of updating the Comprehensive Plan & Historic Preservation Plan. At that time, I was a member of HARB and served on the citizens committee that helped create the revised planning tool.

In the description of purpose for the Historic Preservation Plan, the document states, “…the Township recognizes the importance of its existing historic resources and the role they play in contributing to the Township’s character. The Historic Preservation Plan will assist the Township and its residents in appreciating the importance of preserving and protecting historic resources.”

Given the township’s stated support of historic preservation, then I must believe that something went terribly wrong regarding the Ann Pugh Farm, insofar as there were no red flags raised before granting the demolition permit on this property.  According to Bill Martin, the township manager, the permit was applied for and reviewed by township staff.  In an email he stated, “Unless the home is protected, the code department has no ability to deny or delay these applications.” 

The township has the  historic resource survey book that documents, by street address, the 350+ historic properties, with descriptions and photographs.  When the township staff receives a demolition permit request, it would only take a couple of minutes to check whether the property is included in the historic resource survey.  The property was only purchased last month, how is it possible that a demolition permit can go through the township in less than 30 days?  It’s too late to make a difference for the 18th century Pugh Road house but going forward, something needs to change.

Unless the process changes regarding notification of demolition applications, there’s nothing to keep this from happening over and over. Although I am no longer a member of the Historic Commission, I continue to serve as the president of Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust and chair of the Annual Historic House Tour.   I was disheartened to read on that township website that starting in 2014,  the Historic Commission is no longer holding monthly meetings but has instead decreased its meeting schedule to quarterly. And unfortunately, the township no longer has a HARB which may have helped protect this historic property from demolition.

For historic preservation to matter, and for our local history to be meaningful, it needs to be supported.

In 2007, I had the pleasure of co-chairing the township’s Tredyffrin 300 celebration with my friend Judy DiFilippo.  The community came together that year to celebrate our three hundred years of history.  Our history was important when the township was founded in 1707, it was important when we celebrated the 300th year of its founding in 2007, and …  its history and its historic resources should be important to preserve in 2014.   

In the words of early preservationist William Morris, “These old buildings do not belong to us only, they belong to our forefathers and they will belong to our descendants unless we play them false. They are not in any sense our own property to do with as we like with them. We are only trustees for those that come after us.”   

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Remembering the Ann Pugh Farm, circa 1792 with a few photos — a loss of an 18th century historic treasure

Pugh Road Farm House front

  Ann Pugh Farmhouse, circa 1792

Ann Pugh Farm Barn and Swimming Pool

Barn and swimming pool

Barn date stone

Barn date stone

Great room of guest barn

Great room of guest barn

Beautiful 18th c dining room

Beautiful 18th c dining room

Pugh farmhouse kitchen

Pugh farmhouse kitchen

Living room at Ann Pugh farmhouse

Living room at Ann Pugh farmhouse

Ann Pugh farmhouse bedroom

Ann Pugh farmhouse bedroom

 

 

 

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Sometimes Life Surprises You and the Right Thing Happens . . . the Planning Commission to Retain Land Development Authority in Tredyffrin!

Following tonight’s Board of Supervisors meeting was a scheduled public hearing to discuss land development authority.  The Board of Supervisors were holding this initial public hearing to consider an ordinance amendment to change final land development authority from the Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors.  As the public hearing began, chair of the supervisors, Bob Lamina excused himself to leave for the airport. With Lamina’s departure, vice chair Paul Olson became ‘acting’ chair in his absence.  Lamina’s last words as he departed were that he anticipated that this was an initial public meeting and the discussion would continue in the fall. 

Lamina reminded the audience that a final decision on land development authority would not take place until after the review and approval of the township sidewalk ordinance. (Some have suggested that the timing of this land development authority ordinance change is directly related to the St. Davids Golf Club sidewalk decision by the Planning Commission).

Township Manager Mimi Gleason offered a background of why the land development authority was given to the Planning Commission some twenty-five years ago.  Interesting to note that Tredyffrin Township is the only municipality where land development rests with the Planning Commission versus the Board of Supervisors.

Prior to tonight’s public hearing, Supervisors Kichline, Heaberg and Richter met with supervisors from Upper Merion and Easttown Townships to discuss how they handle their planning authority process.  Kichline reported that these other municipality supervisors suggested that there was not ‘right or wrong’ way to handle land development authority.

Audience members were invited to comment on the proposed land development authority change. Trip Lukens, vice chair of the Planning Commission offered remarks from last week’s Planning Commission meeting.  At their meeting, planning commissioners had decided rather than create an ordinance change; they would wait until the outcome of tonight’s public hearing.  Other residents in attendance offered their opinion.  One after another, they all said the same thing in a variety of ways . . . “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”.  Former supervisor Judy DiFilippo also spoke in favor of leaving the land development authority with the Planning Commission.  In other words, all those in attendance who spoke, completely supported the Planning Commission retaining final land development authority.

After audience members had all spoken in favor of leaving the land development authority process ‘as is’ with the Planning Commission, Supervisor DiBuonaventuro declared that he did not understand ‘why’ the Board of Supervisors was having this discussion and that as a supervisor ‘he’ was not interested in taking back land development authority.  DiBuonaventuro said that there were many other important issues facing the township that needed his attention and that Planning Commission should retain this authority.

After much discussion on the topic from each supervisor, Supervisor Kichline made a motion to end the public hearing on the planning authority ordinance change; Supervisor Donahue seconded the motion.  Left in charge of the public hearing by Chairman Lamina and probably realizing that he was losing the battle for further discussion, Supervisor Olson suggested the supervisors just wait on this vote and have further discussion.  Supervisor Richter agreed with Olson but the other supervisors were committed to forcing a vote to end the public hearing. 

With a roll call vote, Supervisors Kichline, Heaberg, DiBuonaventuro and Donahue voted to leave the land development authority with the Planning Commission and Olson and Richter voted against the motion. This vote removed any further discussion on the topic.

I believe that Bob Lamina was the driving force behind this ordinance change to place final land development authority back in the hands of the Board of Supervisors  . . .  and he left for the airport thinking that this public hearing tonight was nothing more than an ‘initial’ meeting with further discussion to come. He  could never have expected this outcome!

Sometimes life surprises you and the right thing happens . . . tonight was one of those occasions! The Planning Commission retains final land development authority and a round of applause goes to supervisors Kichline, Heaberg, DiBuonaventuro and Donahue for ‘doing the right thing’!  And the planning commissioners should feel good with their overwhelming vote of confidence from the residents!

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Judy DiFilippo Honored for Community Service . . . Her Name Added to Tredyffrin’s Wall of Honor

Last night at the Board of Supervisors meeting, former township supervisor Judy DiFilippo was honored for her many years of community service.  Following the reading of the official resolution by Bob Lamina, the audience witnessed the unveiling of Judy’s name on the Wall of Honor plaque in the township building lobby. (Click here to read the complete text of the resolution.) 

Audience members and guests were invited to attend a reception in Judy’s honor sponsored by the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust.  A long-standing supporter of historic preservation in the community, members of the Trust’s Board of Directors join the community in thanking Judy for her many years of community service.  The next time you are in the township building, please take a look at the Wall of Honor. 

Congratulations Judy!

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Tredyffrin Shows Support for Historic Preservation

Last night was the annual In the Mood fundraiser for Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust and I am pleased to reported that it was another successful Trust event.  The stone barn at King’s Grant Farm was transformed, 1950’s style for the evening.  Owned by Jeff and Cindy King, we thank them for their generosity and support.  In addition to the use of the barn for In the Mood, the Jeff and Cindy King Foundation has made a very generous donation to the Capital Campaign of the Jones Log Barn rebuilding project. 

It was wonderful to have many community members show their support for historic preservation —  the event attracted some of our former and current elected officials from the school board and board of supervisors.  Former State House Rep Carole Rubley, a member of the In the Mood committee, attended with her husband as did current State House Rep Paul Drucker and his wife.  Many local historic preservation supporters attended the Trust event as did guests from Exton, Bryn Mawr and Villanova. 

Setting aside politics for the evening, this was an opportunity for some real fun . . . whether answering trivia questions provided by DJ Dick Spindler,  dancing to 50’s music supplied by a wonderful vintage jukebox; demonstrating your expertise at the hula-hoop;  following co-chair Judy DiFilippo’s lead in the Bunny Hop or taking your turn to strut your stuff for  ‘The Stroll’ . . . In the Mood provided something for everyone.  Poodle skirts, pony tails, black leather jackets, letter sweaters and penny loafers were the dress for the evening!  One of the crowd favorites was Paoli resident Gio D’Amato and wife Fran, both dressed to perfection in vintage 50’s style! 

Judy and I thank the King’s for hosting the event, the Trust Board of Directors, our sponsors and contributors, the community members who attended and a special thank you to the volunteers of the In the Mood Committee — it was a magical night and thank you all!

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In the Mood . . . Poodle Skirts, Blue Suede Shoes & Rockin’ to the Oldies

Counting down to Friday night and In the Mood, the Trust’s annual fundraiser.  This year’s party is 50’s themed and the committee is working hard to make it a night to remember.  I am hoping to fill the remaining spots for the night – would you please consider attending.  You can visit our website, www.tredyffrinhistory.org to order tickets or send me an email at tredyffrincommunitymatters@gmail.com and I will add your name to the ‘will call’ list and you can pay at the door 

Be ready to shake, rattle and roll. Dust off your blue suede shoes, whip out your poodle skirt, roll up your dungarees, polish your saddle shoes, curl your ponytail, and grease back your hair . . . the evening promises fun, laughter and rockin’ to the sounds of the 1950’s.
 

Date:             Friday, October 22
Time:            7 PM
Location:       Barn at King’s Grant Farm,  869 Yellow Springs Road, Malvern, PA 19355
Tickets:          $75   Purchase tickets online at www.tredyffrinhistory.org
Questions:     Pattye Benson, 610.644.6759 or Judy DiFilippo, 610.688.772.

The evening promises to be a great party and all proceeds of the event go toward a great cause – Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s Phase II of the Jones Log Barn reconstruction project at historic DuPortail.  Phase I that includes the barn’s foundation and stonework is completed and with the public’s help, we can complete the final phase of the project.  Once reconstructed, the Jones Log Barn will be living history museum for the entire community to enjoy for many years to come!  Will you help us with the final phase of the Jones Log Barn project . . . by purchasing a ticket to In the Mood?

I hope that you will show your support of the Jones Log Barn project and historic preservation in our community by purchasing a ticket to In the Mood.

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Wilson Farm Park Gazebo Dedicated to Judy DiFilippo!

Yesterday’s threatening sky and a few raindrops was not going to keep members of the community from thanking Judy DiFilippo for her 20 years of public service to Tredyffrin as a township supervisor.  Judy had the vision for Wilson Farm Park so it was only fitting that the park’s gazebo was named  in Joe Barks, Jack Edson & Jack Trimmer join Judyher honor.

Providing accolades for the occasion was Joe Barks from the township’s newly formed Parks & Recreation Foundation and Jack Edson and Jack Trimmer of the Parks & Recreation Board.

Tredyffrin Township supervisors Olson, Richter, DiBuonaventuro and Kampf  joined former State House Rep Carole Rubley, current State House Rep Paul Drucker, Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell, T/E School Board member Debbie Bookstaber and Assistant Director of Chester County Planning Commission David Ward at the dedication.  Public Works Director Steve Norcini, township Parks and Recreation Director Hillary Mallory and township Inspector Mike Pilotti also attended as did several members of the township’s police department.  Family and friends joined in the celebration. 

The appropriate inscription on the gazebo plaque reads, “Leading by example to make Tredyffrin a better place”.  The next time you are Wilson Farm Park, I hope that you take the time to stop by and see the newly named gazebo.  An honor well deserved, we thank Judy for her many years of service to our community!

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Judy DiFilippo . . . Leading by example to make Tredyffrin a better place!

Reminder:  Gazebo Dedication Today @ 3 PM — Please attend as Judy is honored!

‘Leading by example to make Tredyffrin a better place’  describes former township supervisor Judy DiFilippo and are the words chosen as the inscription for the gazebo to be named in her honor, at Wilson Farm Park.  The dedication and reception will take place this Sunday, 3 PM at Wilson Farm Park. This special recognition is to honor Judy’s work in creating Wilson Farm Park and also to thank her in a very small way for her 20 years of public service to the township as a supervisor.

My friendship spans 20+ years with Judy and I cannot imagine a more deserving person for this honor.  She may have retired from the Board of Supervisors, but her volunteer efforts continue . . . Judy is on the board of the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust and is helping raise the necessary remaining funds for the rebuilding of the Jones Log Barn at DuPortail.  Together, she and I will be again co-chair In the Mood, the Trust’s annual fundraiser (Friday, October 22).  

I hope that you will take a break from your summer activities and join me at Wilson Farm Park on Sunday afternoon to celebrate a very special person — my friend . . . Judy DiFilippo!

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‘422 Corridor Master Plan’ Overview is Coming to Tredyffrin on Monday Night

In checking the agenda for Monday night’s Board of Supervisors Meeting, I noted Chester County Planning Commission presentation of the 422 Corridor Master Plan.  Not being quite sure exactly what this ‘master plan’ entailed, I did some background research. Here’s a link for the 422 Corridor master plan if you’re interested.

On a schedule since the first of June, representatives from the Chester County Planning Commission, Montgomery County Planning Commission and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission are presenting their 422 Corridor Master Plan outreach program to the various municipalities.  They are bringing their draft master  plan to Tredyffrin this Monday’s  Board of Supervisors meeting.  A new transit line, as well as tolls on Route 422 may be in the area’s future (albeit probably not in the immediate future). A possible train line is seen as an option to provide an alternative to travel by automobile — extending transit service beyond Norristown along an already-existing rail line.

The creation of the 422 Corridor Master Plan is to provide a comprehensive approach to planning development in the 24 corridor municipalities in Chester, Montgomery and Berks counties. The 422 Master Plan is a comprehensive land use and transportation infrastructure plan that looks at the entire corridor.  An important element of the master plan is how to handle growth, development and the ever- increasing traffic on 422.  The plan suggests the widening of 422 in addition to ramp and interchange improvements. 

Since the tolling of Interstate 80 has fallen through, the financing required for the 422 Corridor Master Plan would appear to be a bit in limbo.  Why does the fate of all local state improvement projects seem to lead back to I-80’s loss of tolling?  It is my understanding that the tolling of 422 is still considered a possibility to help offset the major land developments costs contained in the 422 Corridor Master Plan.

The county planning commissions are taking the 422 plan ‘on the road’  to each of the municipalities hoping that elected officials and residents will provide comments.  The township supervisors will be asked to consider adopting a resolution endorsing the master plan’s principles and strategies.  Looking to have the municipalities work together in partnership with the county planning commissions is probably the premise behind Monday’s presentation at the Board of Supervisors meeting.  

State Rep Paul Drucker is on record as supporting 422 tolling and, as I recall, was later criticized by his state representative opponent Warren Kampf for supporting the project.  With the county planning commissioners seeking a partnership agreement with Tredyffrin’s supervisors for their 422 Corridor Master Plan, it will be interesting to hear Kampf publically voice his opinion.

On another note — the Board of Supervisors meeting agenda is the scheduling of the public hearing for student housing registration ordinance.  This is a first step in the process to manage student housing issues in the township (specifically in the Mt. Pleasant community). I am glad to see some positive movement in this direction and look forward to some resolution for residents with student rental issues.

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