Decision On Placing Generator Draws Ire From Some Residents Lucy Lane Dwellers Felt Betrayed By The Skippack Board's Decision To Go Ahead With The Plan Over Their Protests.

Posted: January 16, 1994

SKIPPACK — Over the repeated objections of area residents, the Board of Supervisors has approved a plan to place a backup Sewer Authority generator on township land in front of a Lucy Lane home.

About 15 residents attended last week's supervisors' meeting to again express their dissatisfaction about the plan. They said the board's action illustrated that little consideration had been given their opinions despite three months of discussion.

Lucy Lane is a cul-de-sac off Mensch Road. Residents contend that locating the generator in a shed next to an existing sewer pump, all to be surrounded by a four-foot fence, would ruin the aesthetics of their neighborhood.

Township officials said the sewer authority would maintain the generator, but they would not elaborate on its capacity or how it would be acquired.

After hearing the residents' complaints, the supervisors agreed to postpone action until Martin DelGrippo of Len Mar Builders, the Worcester firm that owns the development, could devise a plan that might prove satisfactory to all.

Board Chairman Philip Cholet said that through Wednesday's decision, the board was "defining what it (the plan) will be if no other accommodations can be reached."

Lucy Lane resident Mark Bukata, whose property sits behind the generator site, said residents met three weeks ago with the supervisors, the township engineer, DelGrippo and a representative of the sewer authority, and that all decided that a second generator was not needed.

"Why did you change your minds?" Bukata asked. "It may be my property that's affected, but when it's in a cul-de-sac, everyone in the neighborhood is affected."

Cholet said the recent ice storm convinced him that a second generator was necessary. He added that although he understood the neighbors' concerns about the generator and fence, the original plans for the development, approved in 1987, called for a second generator.

"I probably would not be happy about looking outside of my door and seeing a fence," Cholet said. "(But) they should have looked at the plans before they bought (the property)."

The residents also complained that they had to wait almost three hours at the meeting to discuss an issue that they thought had been decided weeks ago.

Waiting to speak does not mean desirable results, Cholet said.

"You sit there and say that you have to sit through the dreary township business so you can talk about your grossly important problem," he said. ''We're giving you the opportunity to speak without being muzzled. Whether or not you are successful has not been determined."

Placement of the driveway leading to the generator and pump station also raised concern. Bukata said the original plan called for the driveway to be at an angle that would severely cut into his property and would prohibit the township from putting shrubbery around the wall to hide the pump station.

The supervisors made no decision about the driveway's location.

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