Citizens of the historical town of Embreeville are befuddled today as organizers from Embreeville Redevelopment L.P. are polishing a plan to build an estimated 1,100 new houses on a 245 acre tract of land across Newlin and West Bradford townships. Embreeville citizens are concerned with the plan as it looks to convert 83 acres of institutional and mixed-use land into residential through a rezoning request. Embreeville Development L.P. attorney and representative, Brian Nagle, reassured citizens that the the sports fields leased by a local youth association will remain unharmed and will continue to be leased as they have been for over twenty years. Ultimately, citizens remain frustrated with the failure of the development team to produce a set, fixed plan for the construction or conservation of the land.
Embreeville is an old, historical and respected town. Its open land and small communities provide a home-style feel. Positioned mainly in Newlin township and reaching partially into West Bradford township, this Chester County town has prospered since the 18th century. From the burial site of the last surviving Lenni-Lenape Indian, to the 18th century astronomical observation point used by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon called the Star Gazer’s Stone; the historically old landmarks and infrastructure that stand at Embreeville’s heart are a force to be reckoned with. Citizens take pride in their history as much as they take pride in the preservation of the place which they call home. It is understandable that these citizens are worried about the construction of 1,100 new homes nearby because frankly, that many new homes could potentially begin to industrialize and compress the open land that the town is known for. Additionally, expansion at this drastic rate could cause an influx of a new and different environment; not only in terms of geography but also in terms of social structure and demographics.
It seems that the citizens of Embreeville have set a goal to maintain the town as much as possible and they are entirely within their right to do so. Of course many houses will be built on this 245 acre tract of land, that is inevitable, but the controversy of this situation is not so much the construction of the houses on the specific land, but rather the transformation, socially and geographically, that may occur following the conclusion of the plan.
The construction of 1,100 new homes in such a rural town just 30 short miles outside of Philadelphia could potentially allow the initiation of industrialization; because where new homes are created, new job places must be established.
This plan threatens the town that Embreeville is today, so we must keep a watchful eye on tomorrow.