Tell the Lower Makefield Supervisors: Residents Deserve a Voice on Snipes!
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The Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors is currently moving forward with a proposal to construct a multi-sport complex on the beautiful 36-acre wooded public property (shown above) known as “Snipes Tract”. The $3 million proposed complex includes the following:
1. Three full-size football fields.
2. A youth and flag football field.
3. A 1,925 sq. ft. concession stand with restrooms.
4. A 1,200 sq. ft. pavilion.
5. A 160-space parking lot; approx. 0.5 miles of driveways; sidewalks; and a large storm water basin.
6. Field lighting on 80-ft poles.
Neighbors are justifiably concerned about this proposed development!
A sports complex of this size is likely to generate noise day and night, light pollution, increased traffic, storm water runoff, and other environmental concerns. It will hurt the quality of life for many in the area, while benefiting only a few. To make matters worse, the proposal has come together with little or no input from the neighbors as to their recreational wishes for this important public resource.
Signers of our petition ask the LMT Board of Supervisors to ensure that the Snipes Tract be developed for recreation in a way that maximizes cost effectivenessand minimizes disturbances and risk to the environment, nearby neighbors, and their properties. The project is in the Engineering Design Review Stage, so now is the time to make modifications that improve the final design to better meet the needs of all LMT residents.
We call upon the LMT Board of Supervisors TO HOLD NO VOTES ON THIS PROJECT until input has been received from all township advisory commissions and boards. We ask that the township engineers are directed to consider suggested alternatives and incorporate reasonable modifications and requests from the public to make the Snipes Tract a park that has benefits to all residents and neighbors.
Read on if you want to know more about the Snipes Tract and the rationale behind this petition:
The area known as "Snipes Tract" is the former Christmas Tree farm located on the NW corner of Dolington Road, where it bends sharply near the intersection of Creamery and Quarry Hill Roads. It sits directly across the street from several historic LMT properties, and two schools. Since 2000, the property has lay fallow, and has remained wooded, with trees and wildlife.
• LMT purchased “Tax Parcel #20-16-2” in 2000 for $1.2 million. The word “Snipes” does not appear in the official minutes of the meeting at which the purchase was approved by the Board of Supervisors, so residents would not have known which property was purchased unless they knew that “Tax Parcel #20-16-2” referred to the tree farm on Dolington Road owned by the Snipes family (http://www.lmt.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/bos/2000/BOSAUG21.htm
• At the time of purchase, LMT Supervisors publicly discussed limits on parking and construction of recreation fields.
• Over the years, it has been considered as a potential location for a third firehouse/rescue squad, a community center, or a dog park, but those proposals were abandoned and the land was mostly left untouched. Many neighbors believed (or were told) that nothing would be built there and many, especially newer residents did not know it was called “Snipes”.
• On June 1, 2016 the Board of Supervisors voted to go forward with the land development process to potentially build a sports complex. The agenda mentioning “Snipes Tract” was posted publicly a few days before the meeting, but residents adjacent to this property were not notified.
• In November 2016, the Zoning Hearing Board and Planning Commissions met to discuss aspects of this plan (Nov. 15 and Nov. 28, respectively). A few residents (in properties adjacent to Snipes) were informed in writing and did appear at those meetings to oppose and get information the plans. The Planning Commission meeting was stopped by the Chairman before all in attendance were allowed to speak. Requests for the number of LMT youth who would benefit from the project were unanswered.
• A subsequent Planning Commission meeting took place May 8, 2017. Again residents voiced their concerns. At the meeting, the Supervisor representative to the Planning Commission expressed the strong view that since this had already been voted on in June 2016, that it was going forward regardless of resident disapproval. This left residents feeling discouraged and dismissed by the very people they elected to look out for their best interests.
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