In January 2019, Easttown Township appointed a “Task Force” to consider a vision for the Devon area. The Task Force conducted a public input process through an online questionnaire and a public workshop. Many of us actively participated in the process and attended the meetings of the Task Force.
The results of the public input process overwhelmingly support our positions in opposition to changing the zoning in Devon to allow for high density apartment buildings, or to rezone residential properties for commercial use. The public is clearly opposed to high-rise, high-density apartments. The public does not want parking garages or hotels in Devon. The public supports maintaining a “country, green” feel to Devon.
Despite the clear result of the public input process, the outside consultant hired by the township, Lisa Thomas of the firm, Glackin Thomas Panzak, pushed for numerous pro-development zoning amendments. These amendments would benefit the one developer who had proposed a large apartment building, hotel, and three-story parking garage in Devon next to the horse show grounds. It was revealed after a public complaint and an investigation by the township that the developer who has made this proposal for Devon is a former client of the Glackin Thomas Panzak firm.
The consultant made other destructive proposals including rezoning the entire horse show fair grounds for various commercial uses, rezoning for commercial use the St. John’s Church property on Berkley Road which is currently in a residential district, raising building heights to 50 feet from the current 35-foot limit, and to increase allowable impervious cover from 65 to 85 percent.
Through the efforts of the public and the citizen members of the Task Force, most of Glackin Thomas Panzak’s efforts to hijack the Devon Task Force process were rejected. The Task Force did not recommend rezoning the horse show properties for commercial use or a parking garage.