Chester County Commissioner
Term Expires: 2024
1. Do you consider over-development to be an issue in Uwchlan Township and, if so, what would you do to minimize it?
I believe in protecting our open spaces and farmlands as much as possible, including Uwchlan Township. I live in Downingtown and have seen firsthand the impact of overdevelopment on our schools, traffic, and taxes. The County government should continue supporting efforts to prevent over-development by proactively preserving open spaces like we did with Bryn Coed and Crebilly Farms.
2. Do you believe that Uwchlan Township should require open space and, if so, how would you protect it?
I encourage municipalities to invest in open space, specifically townships with limited sewer, water, and transportation infrastructure. The County provides matching grant dollars to municipalities prioritizing preserving open and agricultural lands.
3. Do you believe that Uwchlan Township should protect its remaining farm land and, if so, how would you protect it?
Yes. Investing in farmland is good for the environment and our community. The County provides agricultural preservation grants to preserve hundreds of acres every year, sometimes hundreds of acres a month.
4. If the current Agreement of Sale for Lionville Station Farm is canceled, would you facilitate a referendum for Uwchlan Township to purchase the property? If so, how do you envision the property being preserved and/or used in a way that enhances the character of Uwchlan Township and Chester County?
I am not a Uwchlan Township resident and, therefore, could not facilitate a referendum. I can, however, ensure that Chester County Voter Services provides clear information on how to get a referendum on the ballot, and they're working side-by-side with Uwchlan Township. Often, the property is preserved in an agreement between a land preserve, the township, the property owner, and the County in a way that the community supports. A similar situation was recently advanced in Westtown Township with Crebilly Farms with support from Chester County Voter Services.
5. What measures, if any, will you take to prioritize the general physical health and general well- being of the residents of Uwchlan Township and Chester Country?
The County Government is taking steps to build circuit trails that connect parks, preserves, and trails throughout the County. That means extending the Struble to Marsh Creek and connecting it south of Uwchlan into the Chester Valley Trail that connects to Philadelphia and the suburbs.
We also worked with Penn Medicine on the expected acquisition of Brandywine Hospital, which will bring another high-capacity provider that can serve central Chester County.
Additionally, we are providing grant funds to address mental health by developing nearly 100 mental health in West Chester and $10 million to set up a 24/7 mobile mental health crisis unit that can get to anywhere in the county to support an adult or child that might need supportive services. As a Downingtown School District resident, I know how important providing this new resource could be.
6. What measures, if any, will you take to protect the environment and its effect on the residents of Uwchlan Township and Chester Country?
During my first time, we passed Chester County’s first Climate Action Plan. Shortly after, we hired a Sustainability Director to implement it. Our approach focuses on four areas: Building and Energy, Transportation and Land Use, Waste Management, and Food, Agriculture, and Forestry. Some of the tasks that we are working on that encompass Uwchlan Township are:
1) Developing the C-Pace Program to make it easier for commercial buildings to become sustainable.
2) Transitioning to renewable energy through Renewable Energy Credits and directly purchasing renewable energy.
3) Encouraging smart growth partnered with land preservation.
4) Developing efficient commuting and transit options
5) Growing and preserving more open space
6) Supporting local food production, the agricultural community, and sustainable agricultural practices.
7. What measures, if any, will you take to facilitate the proactive coordination of development between neighboring townships in Chester County?
We can provide grants to municipalities working together on planning and zoning documents through our Vision Partnership Program. This program is designed to lessen the financial burden of rewriting outdated zoning maps and incentivize communities to collaborate. Additionally, we can host planning summits to discuss how zoning maps can affect the long-term development of a region.
8. What local, state and national Conservation Programs do you support that can benefit the general well-being of the residents of Uwchlan Township and Chester County?
We provide millions of dollars annually to land and agriculture conservation programs throughout Chester County. To date, we’ve prevented over 30% of Chester County from ever being developed, most recently with projects like Crebilly Farms and Bryn Coed. Our most extensive program is the Preservation Partnership Program, which provides grants to land preservation non-profits and municipalities to preserve open space. We also implement the Brandywine Headwaters Preservation Program, Northern Chester County Initiative, and our robust Agriculture Preservation Program. These grant programs often come with Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resource grants and sometimes federal resources.