Open Space Committee
The Open Space Committee was created by the Board of Supervisors in 2002, with the charter to help identify potential open-space properties and explain the conservation options to those property owners. It also works with the Board of Supervisors and township administration to develop procedures to maintain and acquire open space.
In November 2002, East Brandywine voters, by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, approved a referendum to increase the Earned Income Tax by one-eighth of 1% to finance the preservation of open space within the township. Based on this dedicated funding source, the township supervisors floated a bond issue in 2003 that included $3 million dedicated for open space preservation expenditures.
In 2004, after months of negotiation, the first payoff from the voter-approved plan to preserve open space became a reality. Using grants from the Chester County Preservation Partnership program totaling approximately half of the purchase price and Open Space Funds, the township purchased the conservation easement on 39 acres of fields and woods fronting Dowlin Forge and Rock Raymond Roads. As part of the deal, the township also purchased a nearby two-acre lot on Dowlin Forge Road for future trail access and a small park. Since then, the Township has acquired 7 more property easements and 2 additional fee simple properties. The total land preserved through the Open Space Program is over 200 acres. State and county grants have covered almost half of the cost of preserving this land.
Because of the sensitivity of its discussions with landowners, most of the Open Space Committee's deliberations take place in executive session. As a result, there has been little publicity about its work. The committee is always interested in considering proposals from residents who wish to preserve their land. Please contact Township Staff at (610) 269-8230 so they may direct your inquiry to the Committee.
Open Space Committee representatives also attend township Planning Commission meetings to provide feedback on new development proposals, and encourage adoption of open space-friendly ordinances that allow development to the same density, but promote more creative use of a property to preserve open space elements such as the view shed. In 2010 the Growing Greener Ordinance was passed. It was based on the Natural Lands Trust Growing Greener Model Ordinance.