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  • Writer's pictureMarta Driscoll

Agenda Item IV Powell Property Presentation

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

My notes from the January 6th Borough Council Meetings....


3 newly elected Council Members were sworn in today Susan Clarke, Laura Lim, and David Frisker. Given the Mayor’s absence at the meeting the Council President Drew Baum presided over the reorganization meeting where the following council positions were elected:

President of Council – Drew Baum, Vice President of Council – Steve Cocozza, ProTem – Ginamarie Ellis

All other positions were re-appointed, and the meeting was adjourned.



The vacancy on the council was formally announced. Please submit your resumes and letters of interest if you'd like to be considered to


The most interesting item on the agenda tonight was the PRESENTATION OF THE SKETCH PLAN FOR THE POWELL PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT.

We will get to that in a moment but first…


A young woman approached the Borough about helping finance the recycling at the CHESTER HEIGHTS POST OFFICE. She is taking part in a competition where they look for opportunities to develop recycling programs. She determined that the post offices were a great location to start since they often do not recycle. It is a well-known fact around here that all that mail we chuck at the post office just goes in the garbage and does not get recycled. She had approached John Russo, our postmaster, and he stated that due to his restrictive budget there was little he could do to incorporate a recycling program. She asked the Borough to fund or consider partially funding the $25 per month fee to provide recycling for the Chester Heights Post Office. (I usually do not personally comment in these memos, but I am extremely glad that this girl stepped forward. I believe it’s a great idea and a worthwhile expenditure for a borough that has a $1M surplus.) I did miss her name, but I’m certain the official minutes will have it. The borough said they would look into what they could do to help resolve the issue.



The presentation was made by Attorney Joseph D’Amico and Planner Thomas Comitta on behalf of the developer and the Powell Family.

The proposed plan is to develop 62.64 acres of the Powell Property with

52 Clustered Single-Family Carriage Homes.

The proposal is being offered as a “reasonable residential development, preserving most of the property in its natural habitat.” and avoiding the build of over 240 high-density homes.


  • Total Acres 62.64

  • Total Proposed Homes 52 on 13.7 acres

  • HOA Open Space- 3.28 acres

  • Land Dedicated to the Borough as Open Space: 48.2 acres

  • Additional Students in School District: 15

  • Net Positive Surplus to the school district: $200K

  • 77% of land to be dedicated to the borough…but read on.


  1. During the presentation, we were told that the 52 home was generous and were warned that 248 homes could be built in the land. – As noted by former Councilman Block -Nothing could be further from the truth. The land is a 100-year flood plain and an EPA wetland, therefore, some of the land is already not able to be built upon. Approximately 25 acres or more.

  2. Even with the plan being proposed under the PRD (Planned Residential District),

  3. It will require a ZONING CHANGE. The most homes that could be built at this property would be 23 homes because it is zoned 1.5 residential or 1 home per 1.5 acres.

  4. Finally, let’s leave the School District impact calculations to the District – Those were the words of our school board members in attendance. They will work with the council to provide more realistic numbers than 15 children per 52 homes.

  5. President Baum also brought up a point that the council would want to see potential sewer plans that would assist in making a determination if the development is in the best interest of the Borough.

No public questions were permitted at this presentation. The next presentation for this development will be on March 23rd, 2020. Keep checking the Agenda’s as these things often change.

Here are a few photos of the plans. Councilwoman Ellis stated that the official plans will be scanned and posted by the borough.

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