After eight years of planning, the first phase of Applebrook Meadows received a green light from the Willistown Board of Supervisors Monday night.
In a 2-0 vote, the board gave land development approval to Toll Brothers, who can now proceed with construction of 54 homes on Paoli Pike near Willistown's border with East Goshen.
The full, three-phase development plan calls for 139 new units in a "luxury carriage home community," according to the Toll Brothers' website.
Before the vote was cast, supervisor Robert Lange took a moment to register his disappointment at being unable to stop the development and protect the land, calling it one of the most difficult things about his 12 years on the board.
"This will change the whole character of that part of the township," Lange said. "The traffic, the services needed to take care of this; and it’s just frustrating, being a lifetime resident in Willistown, to watch the township erode [in] different areas. It’s just so frustrating."
Lange, who also voiced concerns about stormwater runoff, abstained from the vote. Supervisors Norman MacQueen and William Shoemaker voted in favor of approval.
Shoemaker, responding to Lange's concerns, noted that the issue of stormwater being pumped to an adjacent property was part of Phase II.
"We still have the opportunity to work on that issue. And Phase I—which is, I think, overall, the smallest piece of the three footprints, if you will—represents a fairly modest impact," Shoemaker said. "We will keep working on trying to do what we can to make the subsequent two phases, if and as they are built, the best we can do."
No construction has taken place yet, but Toll Brothers representative Robert Fluehr said after the meeting that the homes could be built and ready for occupants in a year, depending on several variables. Also in attendance were Toll Brothers attorney Alyson Zarro and vice president Rich McCormick, who said that the forthcoming homes are already available for purchase.