Township Supervisors in Lower Makefield, Pennsylvania, with police in attendance for “crowd control”, ignored the advice of their own Planning Commission this week, and voted 4-1 to approve a 985,000 s.f big box and double hotel, office building complex on 186 acres near Big Oak and Oxford Valley roads. (see December 15,2001 newsflash for background). The Planning board in neighboring Middletown township has also recommended the plan be rejected. The one Supervisor who voted against the developer, told her colleagues on the town board that their names would “go down in infamy” for their pro-sprawl actions. The New Jersey developer, Matrix, has sweetened up local officials with plans to invest $5 million in road improvements, plus $1.38 million for the town, and $100,000 a year for police and fire expenses. But the plan has already lost one of its anchor tenants, when Sears pulled the plug on the so-called Octagon center. The other tenant, Lowe’s is reportedly still interested in the plan. Residents Against Matrix (RAM), who have packed every public hearing, vowed to take Matrix into court to overturn the decision. “I’m here to tell you tonight that me and 4,500 petition signers will not go away,” said Larry Borda, RAM spokesman. “If you approve this, you are condemning this township to a life of congestion and harried weekends. It is your names that people will remember as they sit in traffic and ask, ‘How did we approve this eyesore.'” RAM is already in court over the town’s vote in 2000 to revise its Master Plan to fit this project, instead of insisting on the reverse.
To find out more about RAM’s efforts to keep Matrix out of town, go to www.bucksram.org.