NEW GARDEN — The first female community leader in New Garden unexpectedly resigned from her senior community leadership role over the summer.
Ramsey Reiner left the role of New Garden Township manager on August 22nd. She was hired in April 2020 to fill that position during the peak of the pandemic shutdown.
Still, more changes are ahead.
Chris Adamek, the New Garden Zoning Officer, is also leaving his leadership role with the community. His last day is September 30th. Adamek answers questions and addresses concerns related to zoning, code violations and building permits.
And there’s a lot of potential for buildings ahead of New Garden: Development. With one third of Chester County established as permanent, one third built up, the remaining third of the land – including pastures, forests and wetlands – is available. Conservationists anticipate that within the next 30 years there will be a great deal of growth in development in Chester County, with ironically many people wanting to move to southern Chester County to be closer to nature.
But with the construction of new houses here, this nature is becoming more and more fragile and threatens to disappear forever in many places. This is especially true for New Garden.
Chester County land is worth a lot. Considering that the land is also considered one of the most fertile in the country for farmers, it might be priceless. For those who love the White Clay, land in Landenberg, spanning the townships of New Garden, London Britain and Franklin, is worth more than gold.
The population of Chester County as of July 2021 was 538,649 including 4,424 in Franklin, 3,177 in London Britian and 11,393 in New Garden.
In June, the New Garden Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to amend the community’s Uniform Development Ordinance. These guidelines affect hundreds of acres of undeveloped land and have established new permits and requirements for future development along the Route 7 and Route 41 corridors. Kennett Township and New Castle, Delaware both border the site.
Within this area, 200 acres, including at least 100 acres of woodland and many acres of wetlands at the Broad Run Watershed, are on the chopping block to be leveled at the corner of Sunny Dell Road and Route 41.
Although JP Morgan Chase is a stakeholder in the development plans, the official owner of record for the application to develop this property is Los Angeles, according to an application filed by Right To Know Daily local news last summer. The registered owner and applicant is New Garden / Chesco & New Garden I LLC with a mailing address at 9854 National Blvd., No. 147, Los Angeles, California.
In a submitted plan to develop part of the land on Sunny Dell Road, sketches submitted by this applicant to the municipality called for 309 townhouse units built with a high density plan to build as many as possible on the area, and there are several documents suggesting demolition of the forested areas there by dynamite.
On September 10, 2007, a settlement agreement was signed between New Garden for the proposed unified development of multiple land parcels consisting of 182.2 acres adjacent to the north and south sides of Route 41, east of Sharp Road and adjacent to Sunny Dell Road Township and the developers, including PR New Garden/CHESCO LP and PR New Garden LP, collectively known as PREIT.
At the June 22 public meeting, Tom Comitta, the New Garden Township planner, said, “We are not initiating development. We use the enthusiasm.”
Following the Board’s unanimous vote to amend the Unified-Development Ordinance Zoning Ordinance, regulators approved JP Morgan Chase’s application to extend its plan to develop a portion of White Clay Point comprised of four parcels totaling 200 acres.
An environmental study of the 200 acres that JP Morgan Chase plans to develop in partnership with Wilkinson Builders, as previously reported, has yet to be submitted to New Garden by the developer.
As early as June, the public encouraged the board to reach Mount Cuba for an environmental study of the country. The Brandywine Conservancy also offers similar support to save nature from total destruction when destroyed. For example, in Franklin Township, the Stonegate neighborhood was created four decades ago to house 100 acres while preserving an additional 100 acres permanently in partnership with the Brandywine Conservancy.
As of press time, there is no information on the species of endangered species inhabiting the wooded 200 acres on land of White Clay Point at the corner of Route 41 and Sunny Dell Road.
There are currently no public answers as to why Reiner resigned.
“It’s a personnel matter. That’s between the parish and Ramsey. We can’t really comment on that,” William Christman, board member and community attorney, said Friday.
Christman said the Daily Local had to file a right-to-know request to see the separation agreement signed by Reiner and approved by the board.
Christman said the Township Supervisors approved a resolution to appoint John Granger as interim manager following Reiner’s departure.
Granger recommended that the board conduct a forensic review at New Garden.
“To my knowledge, Mr. Granger naturally recommended it when management changed,” Christman said. “I think Chairman Allaband mentioned at the last meeting (New Garden Board of Supervisors) that they don’t think there has been any impropriety, but the public can’t necessarily take that for granted.”
He said there hasn’t been a vote on the forensic exam yet.
“There would have to be a vote for that,” Christman said.
Reiner was unavailable to comment on this article at press time. Several attempts have been made to reach them.
Chairman Stephen Allaband issued a public statement at the Sept. 5 New Garden Township Board of Supervisors meeting following Reiner’s resignation.
“Ramsey Reiner has resigned as Township Manager of New Garden Township. It wasn’t an easy decision,” Allaband said.
“The board thanks her for her services to the community and wishes her well in her future endeavors,” said the chairman.
The next meeting of the New Garden Board of Supervisors will be on September 26th at 5:30pm. The focus of the session is the 2022 budget, although many other items can be discussed.