Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives


Source: January 1994 Volume 32 Number 1, Pages 3–18


The Borough of Great Valley: An Attempt to Secede from Tredyffrin

Bob Goshorn

Page 3

Among the legal notices appearing in the West Chester Daily Local News and the Upper Main Line News during the month of April 1959 was the announcement that May 14, 1959, at ten o'clock in the morning, had been set by the Court of Quarter Sessions of Chester County "as the date and time for hearing a petition filed for the incorporation of a portion of Tredyffrin Township ... into the Borough of Great Valley".

The filing of the petition was prompted by a concern over a report which had been issued in February by the Tredyffrin Township Planning Commission, whose members included John P. Bracken, H. Nelson Edwards, Elizabeth Wildman, Erich Schifter, and E. Lewis Burnham, chairman. The report was prepared with the technical assistance of the Fels Institute of Local and State Government of the University of Pennsylvania.

In the forwarding letter accompanying the report the chairman of the Commission noted that the report was being "submitted to the Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors, and in turn to the residents of Tredyffrin, with the objective of focusing the community's attention at this crucial stage of its development on the importance of creating a positive land use policy to guide this growth". He also noted that Tredyffrin township was "in the direct path of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Region's outward expansion" and that there could be "little doubt that land in Tredyffrin will be keenly sought after for many purposes".

It was the section of the report dealing with the potential for industrial development that was of principal concern to the residents of the Great Valley.

Page 4

"Tredyffrin has land suitable for industrial development," it was pointed out. "Tredyffrin has extensive areas of level land in the Chester Valley portion of the township with excellent rail and highway facilities, good ground water supplies, electric power and natural gas lines, and a public water supply available within one-half mile. ... Suitable land in blocks large enough to permit the development of integrated industrial districts must be reserved until needed if Tredyffrin is to realize the most desirable potentialities of its industrial growth possibilities. ...

"The question of possible future industrial growth is of considerable import financially to every resident of Tredyffrin. The 1957 study by the Bureau of Municipal Research and Pennsylvania Economy League concluded that development of 150 acres in administrative, executive or professional offices, or research laboratories, could have the effect of lowering the typical homeowner's projected 1965 tax rate by approximately seven percent. On the basis of this study, therefore, it is reasonable to assume that any further light industrial development would have an even more significant effect on future tax rates.

"One final consideration which cannot be ignored is the dire need for suitable industrial land for the future well-being of the four-county [Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks] area. ... The study also lists the Chester Valley as one of the prime potential areas for future industrial growth in the metropolitan region. Hence, it would appear that Tredyffrin has an opportunity to share in the region's industrial growth, if it desires, by allocating appropriate land areas for light industrial uses."

Included in the report was a map [see opposite page] indicating areas in the Valley "which possess the various transportation and service advantages desired by the lighter types of industry for which Tredyffrin is most ideally suited". These areas included some 3000 acres altogether.

It was, however, also noted that "Tredyffrin's residential areas are its most important resource, and it would be clearly unwise to encourage industrial development to the detriment of present and additional future high quality residential development" and that its "open spaces constitute a most important local resource both from the standpoint of the Township and the Metropolitan Region as a whole, and should be protected".

Despite these observations, many of the residents of the Great Valley felt that the tenor of the Planning Commission's report would lead to development that would have an adverse effect on the beauty, traffic and safety, comfort, and residential values of the area.

On March 1st about ninety of them gathered at "a meeting of a group of residents of the Great Valley". Although most of the residents present were also members of the Great Valley Association, it was agreed at the outset that the meeting was not an official meeting of the Association. H. A. Thomson served as chairman of the meeting, with Molly [Mrs. Edward] TenBroeck acting as secretary.

Page 5

MAP V POSSIBLE PRIME INDUSTRIAL AREAS TREDYFFRIN TOWNSHIP, PA. OCTOBER, 1958

Page 6

As reported in the Minutes of the meeting, the chairman opened the discussion with "a short description of the situation confronting the residents regarding the relocation of Route 202, the prospect of certain sections of the area being subject to possible downzoning to industrial, and the political situation on the election of a township supervisor [to represent the interests of the residents in the Valley]". It was then noted from the floor that it was felt that the "climate" for these problems was "unfavorable" and that there would be "difficulties" in obtaining favorable action from the Supervisors on these matters "since this group represents less than 5% of the voters of the Township, although it owns more than 40% of the land".

(One suggestion then proposed was that the Supervisors "cancel their existing contract with the Fels Institute", with comments that "perhaps the Planning Commission [itself] is [in fact] in accord with the wishes of this group". Although it was also suggested that this motion "would not solve the dilemma", it was passed by an "unofficial and unconfirmed count" of seventy-four in favor and three opposed, with thirteen abstentions.)

It was then proposed by Frank A. Stewart, and moved and seconded, that the group "act immediately to withdraw from Tredyffrin Township and form its own borough, to include all of Cedar Hollow and the R-1/2 [zoned] district" of the Valley, it being alleged, "We know of no other way to help assure proper highway location and to insure against unwanted zoning invasions than to have our own government". Amended to include the taking of "all necessary legal steps to implement this action", the motion was approved by an "unofficial and unconfirmed count" of 89 to 2.

Inasmuch as it had earlier been agreed that the meeting was an informal one and not an official meeting of the Great Valley Association, it was then observed that the action taken was somewhat "drastic for an unofficial meeting". Accordingly, the chairman then proposed that the president of the Great Valley Association call a meeting of its directors "at his earliest opportunity" to review this action, and that all efforts should be coordinated through the Association, with its officers serving as a steering committee.

During the next two weeks the officers reviewed the feasibility of the establishment and administration of a separate borough, its projected budget and effect on local taxes, and the alternatives available to provide for schools, fire and police protection, and the maintenance of the roads in the area. Its findings were reported at a meeting of the directors of the Association held on March 15th.

Since the schools were operated by a school board "entirely independent of township or borough government", it was reported, the change to a borough status would "not require any change in the school system or in school taxes", and that the children "would go to the same schools and on the same basis as now".

Page 7

Similarly, it was noted that the principal roads in the area were "maintained by the State, and [thus] their status will not be changed by the incorporation of the borough". Although the maintenance of the other roads in the area, estimated to total about five miles, would be the responsibility of the borough, it was further noted that the State would "pay to the borough for the maintenance of the borough roads a sum equal to $300 per mile plus $1.08 per capita of the borough population" and that the total receipts from this source "would provide for snow clearance and maintenance", though not for road renewal or major repairs. And fire protection, it was noted, was being supplied by the Berwyn Volunteer Fire Company and the Paoli Fire Company, both of which had "indicated that they would continue to serve the area for a fee under a contract with the borough".

Three options, it was reported, were available to the proposed borough for police protection: "the option of service of the State Police, which would be free, or contracting with Tredyffrin Township for police services, or having its own policemen". The steering committee recommended use of the State Police, operating from the Downingtown Barracks, as was being done by both Charlestown and Schuylkill townships, but in the projected budget funds were included for the borough's own policeman and the maintenance of its own police car.

Revenue for the administration of the borough, it was anticipated, would come from real estate taxes, the road subsidy from the State, and the collection of fees for building permits, zoning chanqes, and the like. In the projected budget it was estimated that these revenues, with the real estate tax millage projected at the same rate as the then-current township tax, would exceed the expenditures of the borough, including the costs of borough management, fire and police protection as noted, and inspectors' fees, by almost 16 per cent.

After describing the procedures and costs of application for incorporation as a borough, the committee concluded, "We conclude The Borough of Great Valley is practical ... is well within our means of payment ... is our one hope of escaping the dangers that would develop from an urbanizing community ... assures us control over our affairs ... [and] promises that the intrinsic value of our homes increases rather than decreases." [punctuation original]

Accordingly, at the meeting on March 15th the directors "voted 13 to 1 to support the filing of a Petition in the county court, seeking borough status for the Great Valley area, provided that 2/3 of the resident Freeholders, or the resident owners of property, bearing 2/3 of the total assessed value of the area, indicate their approval by signing such a petition". (Actually, the Borough Code required that such a petition be signed simply by a majority of the Freeholders residing within the area of a proposed borough, rather than 2/3 of the total.)

On the strength of this report, before the end of the month almost 200 persons had signed the petition.

Page 8

The petition "In the Matter of the Incorporation of the Borough of Great Valley" was filed in the Chester County Court of Quarter Sessions, "pursuant to the Act of 1927, May 4, P. L. 519, Art. II, 201, et seq., as amended", the so-called "Borough Code" [see Appendix 1], on March 31, 1959, with John 0. Platt, of the firm of MacElree, Platt & Marrone, representing the petitioners. The petition bore 197 signatures, attested to by Frank A. Stewart, Margaret M. Simpson, Henry J. Kaltenthaler, and Joan S. Longnecker, four of the signers, who also stated that the facts set forth in the petition which were within their knowledge were true and that those based upon the information of others they believed to be true.

In the petition it was respectfully represented that the petitioners constituted "a majority of the freeholders residing within the limits of the proposed borough"; that the name of the proposed borough was to be "the Borough of Great Valley"; and that "the proposed borough consists of one or more towns or villages and is located wholly within the existing boundaries of Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania"; wherefore they prayed the Court "to decree that area described in Exhibit 'A' hereto, being presently a portion of Tredyffrin Township, be incorporated into a borough to be designated and known as 'The Borough of Great Valley1". [Exhibit "A", the "particular description" of the area to be included in the borough, is reproduced as Appendix 2.]

The area for which incorporation was sought was generally the northwestern portion of Tredyffrin Township -- the Cedar Hollow area and that part of the township zoned R-1/2. It was bounded on the west and north by the township line, on the east by the township line and Valley Forge Road, and on the south by Swedesford Road, the Chester Valley branch of the Reading Railroad, the Trenton cut-off of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and a part of Willistown township. [See the map on the opposite page]

Approximately 4.2 miles long and 1.9 miles wide, it comprised some 5168 acres (of the township total of 12,800), with a population of 843 (of the township total of 13,952). There were 229 houses in the area of the proposed borough (of a total of 3781 in the township), and the assessed property value was $2,531,559 (of the township total of $32,830,638). The proposed borough included 12.4 miles of state roads, while there were 7.7 miles of township roads, 5.3 miles of them improved roads and 2.4 miles, unimproved roads.

The Board of Supervisors of Tredyffrin Township promptly adopted a resolution authorizing its solicitor, Thomas A. Riley, to enter an exception to this petition for the incorporation of a borough. In the resolution it was held that "it is deemed in the best interest of the township, the public, and the property owners residing within the area of the proposed borough that the Township of Tredyffrin be preserved in a single and unified entity as it now exists". The Supervisors also suggested that the creation of the borough "might result in substantial harm by way of increased taxes and loss of proper service to the many property owners" in the Valley.

Page 9

TREDYFFRIN TOWNSHIP

Page 10

Accordingly, on April 29th an exception was filed "on behalf of the township".

In the exception the three supervisors, Charles A. Swann, Norman A. Skow, and Robert Funkhouser, averred that "the proposed Borough is contrary both to the word and spirit of the Act of May 4, 1927, [etc.]" under which borough status was being sought, pointing out that "there is no part or portion of the area proposed to be incorporated . . . that might in any manner be described as a town or village within the ordinary or common meanings of the terms as set forth in the Act"; that the "land area proposed as a Borough is largely farm and unsettled lands consisting of more than five thousand acres with less than two hundred and twenty family units and less than one thousand persons residing there, averaging more than five acres per person and more than twenty-two acres per family unit and the same certainly does not constitute any built-up section as contemplated by the Statute"; and that the "only section of the area proposed for incorporation even remotely being describable as a village and that with an extreme stretch of the English language, namely the Cedar Hollow section, is a group of nineteen homes within an approximate area of twenty acres of land, and it is averred that more than ninety per cent of the residents and property owners of this particular section have protested against the Borough incorporation".

They also raised a question as to the conditions necessary for the creation of a separate and independent borough, contending that "it is violative of sound municipal government and public policy" that a borough be created "upon the mere whims, fancies or desires of some residents" rather than "upon sound and basic need and governmental requirement or advantage such as might not be available under the existing or current municipality". They further averred that they were "unable to determine any such need or requirement as would warrant the establishment of a Borough form of government and in any manner justify the separation of the proposed area from Tredyffrin Township".

Finally, they argued that it was "violative of sound government and public policy" to create a separate and independent borough "without the assent of a vast majority of the residents and landowners within the area", and that they were "informed, and upon due investigation believe that, while a majority of the freeholders have executed the petition ... a majority of the ownership of the area as well as a substantial percentage of the residents of the area are expressly opposed" to the creation of the proposed borough.

The Warner Company, located in the Cedar Hollow area, similarly entered an exception to the freeholders1 petition, on the grounds that the incorporation of the proposed borough "must necessarily result in a great increase in the tax burden" of the company; that the "entire area" of the proposed borough was "overwhelmingly devoted to farm land or is of an unsettled and undeveloped character with no town or village or other municipal incident peculiar or inducive to a Borough form of government, as distinguished from the present existing Township"; that "no compelling or even persuasive reason exists, or has been proposed, to substantiate a change from the present efficient, operating governmental body to a borough form of operation"; and that there was "not only no unanimity of feeling or desire for the proposed incorporation but on the contrary sharply divided opinions with respect to the proposal with a large and substantial proportion of property owners and residents [within the area] opposed to the same".

Page 11

It was also pointed out that more than 130 acres of the land of the company was "open and unsettled" and therefore "should rightfully be excluded from the area proposed to be incorporated".

Confirming the contention that there was "no unanimity or feeling of desire for the proposed borough", five petitions, signed by more than 85 residents "situate within the boundaries of the proposed borough", a number of them from the Cedar Hollow area, were also presented. Stating that they had been informed of the petition requesting the formation of the borough, these petitioners asked that the original petition "be dismissed, and that the application for the incorporation of the Borough of Great Valley be denied". In "voicing their opposition", they asserted their belief that there was "no community of interest existing within the area sought to be designated a borough ... which can properly be subserved by borough government as distinguished from township government, and on the contrary ... services now supplied by the existing township government, including police, fire protection and the like, will either have to be abandoned, or can only be provided at a greatly increased cost". (In two other similar petitions it was also observed that the "administration of Tredyffrin Township affairs have been satisfactory"; that it was believed "that borough taxes will greatly exceed those of the Township with less protection to the citizens and their property"; and that the incorporation of the borough would "deprive the voters [in the borough] of any participation in the affairs of Tredyffrin Township" which would abut the borough on the south and east.)

Ten petitions for exclusion were also filed, signed by 15 landowners, asking that the "Court change the boundaries of the said proposed borough so as to exclude therefrom" the land of the petitioners. In addition to their concern over higher taxes and the "quality and extent" of services, their principal reason for their request was that their lands were "exclusively used for the purposes of farming and constitute large and unsettled lands" which did "not properly belong to the proposed borough or a borough form of municipality. Two business firms in the Valley, the Bethlehem Limestone Company and the Burroughs Corporation, similarly filed petitions for exclusion should the borough be incorporated. These properties for which exclusion was requested encompassed altogether over 1350 acres, or more than a quarter of the land of the proposed borough.

Also submitted was a petition signed by fourteen freeholders, all of whom had signed the original petition. In it they acknowledged that after signing the original petition they had "changed their minds as to the advisability of the creation of such a borough" and were "now in opposition" to its incorporation, that it was their desire that the incorporation "not be decreed", and requesting that their names "be deleted from the original Petition for incorporation".

Page 12

Their reasons were similar to those in the petitions previously summarized: that they were now of the opinion that there was "no community of interest . . . which can be served better by a borough form of government than is now being served under a township form of government, ... that they believe that the services now rendered by said township cannot be provided by a borough to the same extent and with the same efficiency as they are now being provided, unless the costs of such services is greatly increased, thereby increasing the amount of [their] taxes ... [and] that the best interests of the community will be served by the continuance of the government of the Township of Tredyffrin in said area".

A similar petition was filed by Eleanor Cassatt Laird, the owner of the 632-acre Chesterbrook Farm, who acknowledged that at the time she signed the original petition she "did not fully understand the entire implication and effect of the creation of such a municipal unit nor its consequences upon Tredyffrin Township nor upon her own lands", and therefore she was requesting that a rule be granted that the remaining petitioners in the original petition "show cause as to why she should not be permitted to withdraw as a party thereto".

The hearing on the petition for the incorporation of the Borough of Great Valley was conducted by Judge Ernest Harvey and began, as announced, at ten o'clock in the morning on May 14th. There were, it was reported, "about 80 spectators in the courtroom, many of them lawyers" who anticipated that the decision might make this a landmark case in the law concerning the establishment of a borough.

It was also noted that "several conferences of counsel were held throughout the day in an effort to avoid burdening the record with matters on which both sides agreed or which do not bear directly on the issues at hand", with Judge Harvey stressing "from the beginning ... that testimony should be limited to matters pertinent, and present in the case".

During the first day of the hearing testimony was heard in support of the petition from six witnesses living in various sections of the area proposed for incorporation: Frank A. Stewart, Joan S. Longnecker, William Malloy, Helmuth Braendel, Gordon P. Larson, and C. Colket Wilson. The gist of their testimony, as reported in the Daily Local News, was that they felt "that while the Tredyffrin twp. supervisors are quite capable of administering township affairs, those supervisors are not protecting Great Valley interests, especially in regard to zoning matters"; that they wanted "to keep their valley 'open, rural and beautiful'"; and that they "would rather have their tax money go toward a strictly local government than toward township administration". Stewart also acknowledged that their request for separation from the township was prompted by the report of the Planning Commission in which "several sectors of the Great Valley had been designated as industrial development zones".

Their attorney, John O. Platt, also indicated that he was prepared to present about 25 more witnesses to give similar testimony, but, to expedite the procedings, in lieu of further testimony their names were simply read into the record, together with their reasons for supporting the petition and incorporation of the borough.

Page 13

Testimony was also given on the first day by two witnesses, George P. Orr and Robert C. Ligget, both of whom had filed petitions for exclusion, and on the next morning attorneys presented the names of other witnesses they had intended to call to the stand in opposition to the petition and the gist of the testimony they would have given. As summarized in the Local, their contention was that they were "satisfied with the present government and feel that the proposed borough would not adequately render the services -- such as fire and police protection -- which are now provided by the township"; that "the lack of adequate revenue would force the borough to skimp in its governmental responsibilities"; and that "the rural character of the region makes the creation of a borough impractical". Ligget was also quoted as observing that he was "in sympathy with the petitioners but not their [proposed] form of government".

On the second day of the hearing testimony concerning the area to be included in the borough was also given by Casper J. Tollinger, the township assessor, who pointed out, it was reported in the Local, that "in the sector under consideration there are two churches that could be used as places of public assembly, ... only two schools, both of them abandoned, and no railroad passenger station". And finally, testimony was given by Clarence S. Staats, who stated that he was not only opposed to incorporation of the borough but had, in fact, asked the township supervisors "to consider the rezoning of his land [234 acres in the southwest corner of the proposed borough] for the purposes of light industrial utilization".

The hearing was then adjourned.

On June 19th the six attorneys met before Judge Harvey to present summary argument. The principal points discussed were whether more than the one governmental issue of zoning was involved, and the extent to which residents in all portions of the proposed borough, and particularly those living in Cedar Hollow, shared the same desires as the petitioners to preserve the rural and residential character of the community.

Judge Harvey handed down his decision three weeks later, on July 10th.

He opened his opinion with a review of the statutory provisions applicable to a petition for incorporation and a "narrative" of "the pertinent facts and circumstances surrounding the application".

At the end of this summary he noted that the report of the Planning Commission, "seemingly threatening industrialization of a portion of this area with the assumed deleterious effects on the beauty, traffic-safety, comfort and residential values of the area, [had] actuated the [Great Valley] Association and the residents to forestall and prevent that possible misfortune by incorporation of the area" and that there "appears to be no other governmental issue or problem, such as police and fire protection, sewage disposal or education which is peculiar to the area or which it is claimed reasonably requires other than township government".

Page 14

Nevertheless, citing several precedents, he stated that he was "of the view that the petitioners were entitled to this method of political home rule" if the area for which incorporation was sought comprised "a town or village or two or more villages" and if the various sectors of the proposed borough, "although physically distinct and separate, or locally known by different names ... together with appurtenant lands, form one harmonious whole, with interests in common which can be properly subserved by borough government". That much of the land was farm or unsettled land thus did not, in his opinion, in itself preclude incorporation.

Noting that the Court may not "rewrite the corporate boundaries of the proposed borough", as requested in the petitions for exclusion, Judge Harvey then addressed the question of common interest and the "harmonious whole".

"We cannot conclude," he wrote, "that [in fact] all the communities or sections comprising the area sought to be incorporated have homogeneity or that common civic or governmental interest, and the problems necessarily incident, to protect and preserve the nice and desirable residential features, qualities and conditions of that area by the exclusion therefrom of industrial or commercial enterprises. That governmental interest and those problems are not in any degree or any way common to the community of Cedar Hollow; nor to the land in the southwest corner [of the proposed borough] . . . which is traversed by the Chester Valley Branch of the Reading Railroad Company and the Philadelphia Electric Transmission Line and the Trenton Cutoff of the Pennsylvania Railroad, nor to much of the lands abutting the northern boundary line of the area, and none of these lands could reasonably be held appurtenant for general governmental needs and purposes to the Wisteria Drive and North Valley Road communities.

"In view of this," he added, "we need not discuss the question of the expediency of incorporation when obviously the sole present objective of the petitioners (inasmuch as the area otherwise is protected by zoning regulations) is to keep free of industry and commerce the lands within the area which the Planning Commission has reported as Possible Prime Industrial Areas, nor need we give consideration to the factors of benefit or disadvantage, such as involve sources of income, expenditures, taxation, and other matters of like importance.

"In conclusion, we are constrained to exercise our judicial discretion against the prayer of the petitioners and deny the decree of incorporation for the compelling reason that the area is not one harmonious whole having homogeneity and a common interest to be served by a borough government."

(Since it was deemed that there was no need to discuss many of the concerns raised by those opposing the formation of the borough, however, it was not the landmark decision that some had anticipated.)

Page 15

Despite his decision, Judge Harvey commended the efforts of the Great Valley Association, which he noted had spearheaded the action for incorporation, as having been "successfully zealous and competent in pursuit of the laudable purpose to protect and preserve the condition and qualities, both natural and artificial, which have characterized most of the area as an unusually beautiful, safe, and healthful section of the county for serene, comfortable and so-called gracious living", and noted that it had been "instrumental in keeping most of the area within zoning use regulations".

But the hopes of the Association and the attempt of the petitioners to secede from Tredyffrin township and establish a separate Borough of Great Valley were not to be.

Top

Postscript

The development of the Valley over the past thirty-five years has proved the accuracy of the Planning Commission's prediction that Tredyffrin Township was "in the direct path of [the] Philadelphia Metropolitan Region's outward expansion" and that land in Tredyffrin would be "keenly sought after for many purposes". It has also proved that the concerns of the many residents who predicted down-zoning in some areas of the Valley and that the area would experience deleterious effects on traffic and safety, if not necessarily on the beauty, comfort and residential values, were equally well founded.

While much of the area is still zoned R-1/2 certain sections have been downzoned to R-1 or R-4, permitting a greater density of housing, and others have been rezoned to permit office buildings or apartments, to provide for a planned industrial park, and, in the southwest corner of the area of the proposed borough, to permit limited industry. Other portions of the area that in 1959 were "farm and unsettled lands" have since then become housing developments, as the open space in the township has to a large extent disappeared.

It is interesting to speculate as to what differences there might have been in this development of the Valley had the petition for the incorporation of the Borough of Great Valley been approved rather than denied by the Court of Quarter Sessions.

Page 16

Top

Appendix 1

Excerpts from P. L. 519 as amended July 10, 1947 [P. L. 1621]

ARTICLE II

CREATION OF BOROUGHS

(a) Incorporation of Boroughs

Section 201. Towns and Villages May be Incorporated.-- The courts of quarter sessions may incorporate any town or village or any two or more towns or villages within their jurisdiction into a borough. Every town or village or towns or villages so incorporated shall be a body corporate and politic by the name which shall be decreed by the court.

Section 202. Application for Incorporation.-- The application for incorporation shall be by a petition signed by a majority of the free-holders residing within the limits of the proposed borough, which signatures must be secured within three months immediately preceding the presentation thereof to the court. Such petition shall be subscribed by and sworn to by at least one of the signers. The number of signers required to the petition shall be ascertained as of the date the petition was presented to court.

Section 203. Contents of Petition.-- The petition shall set forth the name of the proposed borough, with a particular description of the boundaries thereof, exhibiting the courr.es ana distances be accompanied witn a plot of the same.

Section 204. Filing of Petition; Notice; Decree; Costs.-- Upon presentation to the court, the petition shall be filed with the clerk, and notice thereof shall be given in one newspaper in the county and in the legal journal, if any, for a period of not less than thirty days immediately following the filing thereof, during which time exceptions may be filed to the petition by any person interested. The notice shall be published once a week for four consecutive weeks. The notice shall state when and where the petition was filed and the time during which exceptions may be filed to the petition. The court, if it shall find, after hearing, that the conditions described by this article have been complied with, may grant the prayer of the petitioners and make a decree accordingly, but, if the court shall deem further investigation necessary, it may make such order thereon as to right and justice pertain. The petition and decree shall be recorded in the recorder's office of the county, at the expense of the petitioners, who shall also pay all other expenses and costs in connection therewith.

Section 205. When Borough Government Becomes Effective.--**** *

Section 206. Exclusion of Farm and Unsettled Lands. -- When in any petition for the incorporation of a borough, the boundaries fixed by the petitioners shall embrace lands exclusively used for the purposes of farming or other large and unsettled lands, the court may, if it deem such land does not properly belong to the proposed borough, at the request of any party aggrieved, change the boundaries so as to exclude therefrom the land used for farming or such other purposes.

Page 17

Top

Appendix 2

Exhibit "A"

DESCRIPTION OF BOUNDARIES BOROUGH OF GREAT VALLEY

BEGINNING at a point in the south line of Charlestown Township, said point being in the right-of-way of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and being the northeast corner of East Whiteland Township; thence from said point of beginning along the south line of Charlestown Township in a northeastwardly- eastwardly direction 9970 feet more or less to a point in the bed of Diamond Rock Road, said point being the southwest corner of Schuylkill Township; thence continuing in a northeastwardly-eastwardly direction along the south line of Schuylkill Township 11810 feet more or less to a point in the middle of Valley Creek, said point being in the west line of Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County; thence in a southerly direction along the middle of Valley Creek and along the west line of the said Upper Merion Township 2370 feet more or less to a point the southwest corner of the said Upper Merion Township; thence leaving Valley Creek along the south line of Upper Merion Township in a northeastwardly -eastwardly direction 95 feet more or less to a point in the center line of State Route 83; thence along the center line of State Route 83 in a southeastwardly to eastwardly direction 2300 feet more or less to a point the junction of Route 83 with Baptist Road; thence continuing southeastwardly along the center line of State Route 83 crossing over the Pennsylvania Turnpike 5930 feet more or less to a point marking the intersection of the center line of State Route 83 with the center line of West Anthony Drive; thence along the center line of West [continued on following page]

Anthony Wayne Drive (formerly Swedesford Road) and continuing along the center line of U.S. Route 202 in a southwestwardly direction 6070 feet more or less to a point marking the intersection of the center line of U.S. Route 202 with the center line of the Reading Railroad, Chester Valley Branch; thence continuing in a southwestwardly direction along the center line of the Reading Railroad, Chester Valley Branch 6530 feet more or less to a point marking the intersection of the center line of the Reading Railroad, Chester Valley Branch with the east line of lands of Jackson A. Wilson; thence along the east line of lands of the said Jackson A. Wilson the following 3 courses and distances: (1) southeastwardly 1062 feet more or less to a point, (2) northeastwardly 363 feet more or less to a point, (3) southeastwardly 1385 feet more or less to a point marking the intersection of the center line of U.S. Route 202 with the center line of the Pennsylvania Railroad (Trenton Branch); thence along the center line of the said Pennsylvania Railroad in a westwardly-southwestwardly direction 5480 feet more or less to a point marked by the intersection of the center line of the Pennsylvania Railroad with extension of the west line of Willistown Township at the northwest corner of said Willistown Township; thence southeastwardly along the extension of said township line 80 feet more or less to the point marking the northeast corner of Willistown Township; thence in a westwardly- southwestwardly direction along the north line of Willistown Township 3970 feet more or less to a point marking the southeast corner of East Whiteland Township; thence along the east line of East Whiteland Township in a northwestwardly direction 12650 feet more or less to the point and place of beginning.

Page 18

Top

Sources

Chester County Archives: Court of Quarter Sessions Papers, In the Matter of the Incorporation of the Borough of Great Valley, No. 18, Miscellaneous 1959

Chester County Historical Society: Clipping file [clippings from the Daily Local News (4-30-59, 5-15-59, 5-16-59, 6-20-59, 7-10-59); Upper Main Line News (4-30-59)

Chester County Law Library: Pennsylvania Statutes [1927, May 4 P.L. 519; 1941, August 6, P. L. 881, No. 333; 1947, July 10, P. L. 1621]

Great Valley Association: Minutes of a Meeting of a Group of Residents of the Great Valley, March 1, 1959

Great Valley Association: Minutes of Directors of the Great Valley Association, March 15, 1959 [dated March 21, 1959]

Tredyffrin Township Planning Commission: Existing Land Use and Physical Characteristics of Tredyffrin Township. February 1959. [in conjunction with the Government Consulting Service, Fels Institute of Local and State Government, University of Pennsylvania]

Tredyffrin Township; Zoning Map [revised September 30, 1933]

 
 

Page last updated: 2009-05-12 at 10:09 EST
Copyright © 2006-2009 Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society. All rights reserved.
Permission is given to make copies for personal use only.
All other uses require written permission of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.