Not all development is progress

Guest Opinion on the choice of who represents us in shaping township developments, proven experience or zero experience. by Ed Farling, Northampton PA

EdFarling_May5_2008SMI grew up in Bensalem’s Nottingham section.  Big C, an indoor, open-stall discount market on the edge of the neighborhood, closed soon after we moved there.

The building stood vacant and deteriorating for years.  The site was a hangout, an eyesore, and eventually dangerous.  Then, the Inn of the Dove went up.

The dilapidated ruins were replaced with an active, taxpaying business, and considered progress.

The towering Big C sign changed from spotlights pointed at the sign to an internally lit fixture that brightened my bedroom at night.  More motels, a singles bar, and a Hooters followed.

The other neighborhood border, Rte. 1, grew used car lots and a pawn shop.  The Krispy Kreme became a gigantic takeout beer and wine store, and the sleazy motels remain.

Clearly, not all development is progress.  Managing development is as much about the path being cleared as each step along the way. 

This brings me to the Davis Pontiac site.  Even viewed on its own, the proposed massive retail and residential development would be a huge change in any neighborhood.  It will certainly change the character of Richboro drastically and forever.

Such a change will also surely pave the way for future development elsewhere in Northampton township, perhaps on an even bigger scale.

The Supervisors we elect this November will shape the development of this site.

George Komelasky has been part of the Republican leadership team that has accommodated substantial growth while keeping Northampton the kind of place in which we want to live.

Eileen Silver shares his vision of Northampton as a family-friendly community.

My own neighborhood of Tapestry is a great example of the both the vision and tactics used in dealing with development.  The current mix of singles, townhomes, condos and open space replaced a much denser development plan.

The current configuration was worked out between the developers and our elected leaders at the time.   They understood what sort of development did and did not fit on a stretch of Middle Holland Road, and in Northampton.  Incidentally, it is a fine place to live.

Marvin Gold and Linda Dobbins have zero experience dealing with developers or development, save Ms. Dobbins’ representation of corporations in environmental matters.

Mr. Gold has proven the lawsuit is his weapon of choice for resolving differences, launching several mostly failed suits against the Township and Sewer Authority in just the last two years.  The lawsuit has also proven the most expensive and least effective means of affecting the course of development time and again throughout Bucks County.

Their actions and proposals at public meetings also demonstrate a lack of either understanding of, or concern for, long term consequences.  They seem to prefer a lawyerly, one-case-at-a-time approach, lacking any kind of longer view.

Whatever development plan emerges for the Davis Pontiac site will have the greatest impact on us, the residents of Northampton.  The choice of who represents us in shaping that plan is between the people who shaped the community that drew us and keeps us here; and two argumentative newcomers.

You can trust the team of Komelasky and Silver to fight for a plan that fits Richboro today and safeguards the rest of our community tomorrow.

Vote for George Komelasky and Eileen Silver on November 3rd.

Edward Farling
Northampton PA 18966

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