I do not like billboards, I can’t even pretend to think this abominations to our landscape are okay.
East Whiteland is one of many communities in the region who was in the opinion of residents bullied into billboards.
Soooo….you can imagine how upset residents near the site are that the billboard company did some clear cutting of trees etc?? Ummm don’t recall clear cutting in the plan??
Here is a statement from Scott Lambert, Chair of the East Whiteland Board of Supervisors:
A statement pertaining to the Catayst tree removal On the evening of June 30th, a resident with a keen eye notified the Township that extensive tree removal had been performed around the Catalyst billboard site situated along Rt. 202 and Conestoga Road. The resident provided disturbing pictures of the tree’s removal.
Pursuant to previously signed documents with 202 (L)East Whiteland Land Holdings LLC (Catalyst), no trees were to be removed without prior review and approval from the Township. This was a point of extensive conversations during the initial review process and an element of the project which the Board carefully negotiated in order to minimize impact to the site and surrounding properties.
I notified the Board, Staff and Solicitor that I wanted to conduct a site visit Friday morning to view, document, and secure the site from further ecological damage. Despite being a holiday weekend with a skeleton staff, I was joined at 11:15 am by our Codes Department, and our Township Engineers from ARRO – who had a representative drive in from Reading to assist with the information gathering. Members of our Codes Department then notified the Chester County Conservation District and PennDOT of the incident. At the site, we observed topped trees, extensive pruning, and complete removal of trees and vegetation – not only along Little Valley Creek but also on the steep slope areas leading down to the creek from the approved construction area. At this juncture, the township solicitor had not determined if the could be temporarily pulled and all work stopped. We proceeded with an action plan and received a commitment from the Catalyst site manager for the following:
1) No additional tree or vegetation removal would occur until Township approval had been granted
2) All earthwork and debris removal would cease until all stakeholders had input on an ecologically safe removal plan
3) To protect the Creek and stabilize the site to prevent erosion of the now barren slope, especially with the forecasted weekend storms they were to install erosion control devices (such as silt sock) as directed by our Engineer by the end of the day (This was completed).
4) All engineer costs related to this issue beginning immediately are to be paid by Catalyst.
Following the initial site visit, the Township hired an arborist to assess the physical damage to the trees and determine the potential monetary value of the trees that were trimmed or removed.
On Friday July 11th, the Board of Supervisors, our Solicitor and Staff met to discuss our response and on July 12th the Township sent a notice of default to Catalyst pursuant to the terms of the lease .
The township provided Catalyst with six conditions that must be met to cure (remove)the default, including a $151,000 penalty, plus an additional $15,000 for expenses incurred by the Township. Additional details regarding the conditions of the cure were read into the record during the Board of Supervisors meeting on July 13th. Should the conditions not be met, and payment not made by September 12th, the lease is terminated and the Township will demand Catalyst remove the sign at their expense will be found in default and will be terminated.
More information on this subject is available by viewing the July 13 2022 EWT Board of Supervisors meeting
~ scott lambert chair of east whiteland board of supervisors regarding the clear cutting by catalyst/east whiteland outdoor
I will update this post with the meeting video when it is available. In the interim take a good look at those photos. Way to go East Whiteland Outdoor LLC, way to extra stick it to the community and now what? I hear East Whiteland Township isn’t pleased either, are they?