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Manor officials to seek meeting over sidewalks

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

After another round of residents' complaints, Manor officials are trying to arrange a meeting between the new developer in the Woods of Brandywine housing plan and current homeowners whose properties were built under a former developer's conditions.

Several homeowners last week continued their criticism of council for its July approval of a 70-home phase by Brandywine Recovery LP that does not include sidewalks for the new lots. All of the existing homes in the plan were built with sidewalks.

Though some council members noted that few of the homeowners came to the series of planning, zoning and council meetings involving the new phase before it was approved, they voted at their Sept. 4 meeting to contact Kevin Braun, president of Brandywine Recovery, to try to address the homeowners' concerns.

Earlier this week, borough manager Joe Lapia said officials began that effort, but no formal meeting had been scheduled yet.

“Things are proceeding on a positive note for now,” Lapia said Monday.

Braun did not respond to messages requesting comment about the homeowners' concerns.

Some residents said they were confused by council's explanation of whether sidewalks were to be included in the plan.

Council President Dawn Lynn said the borough planning commission suggested Braun prepare a second map showing sidewalks after the map he presented at a meeting did not show any.

But Councilman Bruce Hartman said he recalled that Braun had indicated in July that sidewalks would be on one side of the road. Hartman said he made a motion that no sidewalks be required in the plan because of issues that Braun raised about their maintenance.

Though previous phases of the Brandywine plan have sidewalks, the borough's subdivision-and-land-development ordinance does not require them.

Jamie Hunter of Brandywine Drive questioned why nobody on council asked the current homeowners their opinions about the lack of sidewalks in the new phase before approving the plan.

When she and her husband bought their home, they had to sign a notarized document indicating they would have their sidewalk and driveway installed within five months, Hunter said.

“Why didn't someone else up here say, ‘They already have sidewalks; why don't we keep those in there for aesthetics? It's going to look nice. It's going to keep the value of their homes up?'” she said.

Dawn Stapinski of Saddle Ridge Court also was among the residents who criticized the lack of sidewalks in the plan.

“When we vote you in, you're supposed to be looking out for us,” she said. “And I sort of feel like we fell through the cracks, and that's a shame.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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