Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

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March 16, 1998

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Brightside Farm - GVSD's 55 Acre Parcel

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Click Brightside Farmon any other page to return to this page.
This page provides links to a variety of maps, diagrams, photos and narrative regarding Brightside Farm. Much of the discussion shown pertains to the decision as to whether or not the Township should purchase the farm, which it has done.
Information on this matter is organized into four categories below -
Latest news...
Community Garden

Click here for a brief history.
"Pyle's Last Stand" - Watercolor Painting by Geraldine M. Berg
Maps and Property Diagrams
Where is the 55 Acre Parcel?
Brightside Farm before 1997 Sale
Brightside Farm area after 1997 Sale
Deerfield - Development Plan 1
Deerfield - Development Plan 2
Early History and Ownership to 1930
Tax Assessment records to 1930.
Photo Album - First year of the Community Garden
Brightside Farm CLEANUP DAY Saturday, September 22, 2001.
Hypothetical "Before" and "After" housing development construction on Brightside Farm.
The view from the Rapp House.
The view from Hollow Road.
The Viewshed from south of Yellow Springs and Hollow Roads, 1999
The Barns of Brightside Farm, 1997
Harvesting Soybeans on Brightside Farm, Nov 2000
Harvesting Oats on Brightside Farm, 1997
Auctioning the Herd of Gurnseys, 1998
Plowing Brightside Farm - May 1999
Reports, "White papers" and other Information
  • Minutes of June 10, 2002 Board of Supervisors Brightside Farm Visioning Meeting.
  • Minutes of April 22, 2002 Board of Supervisors Brightside Farm Visioning Meeting.
  • Restoration Architect and Township Consultant Dale Frens presented "Highlights of the Conditions Assessment for Brightside Farm" to the Board of Supervisors Brightside Farm Visioning meeting on April 22, 2002. Mr. Frens provided a document summarizing his presentation about the historic, condition and possible use attributes of the key structures at Brightside Farm. This interesting document is posted here as both a web page and as a PDF file.
  • Excerpts from the "Chester County Landscapes 21st Century Fund Grant Program" pertaining to the restrictions associated with the County's offer of a $450,000 grant to the Township to offset costs of purchasing Brightside Farm. (Also available as a PDF file.)
  • Open Space Survey results are posted here.
  • The Golf Course Plan proposed for the combined Deerfield and Brightside Farm tracts has been posted and is available here.
  • The December 01, 1999 formal report from the Charlestown Farm Committee to the Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors reporting the results of the Election Day Open Space Poll.
  • A comprehensive report on the October 18 special Supervisors' meeting on Brightside Farm was written by Loretta Watson and provided by Charlestown Green.
  • A brief report on the October 18 special meeting on Brightside Farm.
  • "Saving Charlestown's Century Farm" - This is a revised "newsletter" from the ad hoc Charlestown Farm Committee that provides a good overview of the possible uses of Brightside Farm. (Updated 10/18/99)
  • The October 18 Philadelphia Inquirer article "Charlestown land deal is on agenda" by Michelle M. Martinez is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
  • Preliminary Agenda for October 10 Special Meeting - Even if the details change before Monday's meeting, this page indicates the scope of issues likely to be presented and discussed.
  • Excerpt from the Minutes of the Sept 13 Board of Supervisors Meeting - There was discussion of the School Board's decision to sell the entire 55 acre parcel during the Sept. 13 Board of Supervisors meeting.
  • "For Sale" - A defaced "For Sale" sign was erected at the farm entrance the weekend of Oct 2-3 and was removed Oct. 4 between 5pm and 7pm. Bob Esty, President of the Board of School Directors, reported that the sign was not placed there by GVSD,and in fact they had not yet put the property on the market.
  • August 23, 1999 letter from the GVSD to the Board of Supervisors withdrawing their sub-division plan and stating their intent to sell the entire 55 acres.
  • Minutes of August 2, 1999 Board of Supervisors Meeting - There was a lengthy discussion of the Brightside Farm issue at the first August meeting of the Board of Supervisors. It was at this meeting that the draft newsletter (below) was distributed.
  • What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)? - CSA is one of the possible uses of the Brightside Farm property. This is one of the best sites explaining how CSA works.
  • The Kimberton CSA - This single page describes the Community Supported Agriculture farm on Seven Stars Road in Kimberton. This CSA farm has been in operation since 1987.
Brief History (to 10/02/99) -
Brightside farm, approximately 133 acres on Yellow Springs Road, was owned by the Pyle Family since the 19th century and operated as a dairy farm. In 1997, the farm was sold, with General Residential Properties, Inc. (developer John Panizza) purchasing approximately 47 acres south of Yellow Springs Road to be combined with part of the Coryell property as the Deerfield development, Charlestown Township purchasing approximately 20 acres at the northwest corner of Yellow Springs Road and Hollow Road, and the Great Valley School District purchasing approximately 55 acres north of Yellow Springs Road, opposite the Valley Hill Road intersection (see maps below). A neighbor of the farm purchased the remaining acreage.
The Great Valley School District (GVSD) originally intended to sell approximately 25 acres on the western end of their parcel and use the remaining 30 acres for practice fields for various sports teams. In August 1999, GVSD decided it did not need the practice fields and announced its intention to sell the entire 55 acre parcel.
Considerable interest has been expressed in Charlestown for the Township to purchase the GVSD property, which combined with its 20 acres purchased in 1997, would yield a 75 acre property suitable for agricultural or recreational use. A primary goal of these discussions has been to protect the viewshed seen by anyone crossing the PA Turnpike on Yellow Springs Road and breaking out of the woods just before Hollow Road.
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