Uncle Irv - The Great Wilkinson Well Caper
By Uncle Irvin
Charles Wilkinson, a prominent builder/developer, started building homes on his father Leon's land in New Garden Township approximately 25 years ago.
The Wilkinsons were dairy farmers with large land holdings in the township and a great deal of political muscle—especially with the three-man Board of Supervisors in New Garden at the time. With approval from the supervisor cronies, the Wilkinsons subdivided one of the parcels around Newark Road and Broad Run that contained a well and sold the well parcel to Artesian Water Company, a private water company in Delaware.
At the time of the sale Charles Wilkinson had left the dairy farming business to his father, and was busy building large, expensive single-family homes on his father's land and other land he acquired.
At the time of the well sale, all the adjacent Wilkinson farmland was rezoned R-1 by the supervisors.
Charles Wilkinson had to know that New Garden's R-1 zoning requires all residential subdivisions containing more than five homes to be served by public water.
The Wilkinson land holdings near the well site is over 100 acres, allowing for between 50 and 60 large home sites that all of a sudden appreciated five-fold because of easy access to public water engineered by Charles Wilkinson.
Wilkinson's development business took a big hit from 2007 to the present because of the fraudulent mortgages and the beginning of massive foreclosures that impacted the U.S. economy.
Now, with cheap mortgages, Charles Wilkinson is ready to go to town and stands to make millions from the shrewd Artesian deal.
Apparently, the present five-person New Garden supervisors had no knowledge of this deal and fomented residents to protest an already done deal, even spending township money with the solicitor, Vincent M. Pompo, to attempt to deny the well site subdivision.
The whole fairytale story became clear when Chester County Press reporter Richard L. Gaw found a PA PUC application that Artesian wanted to start pumping water after testing the well's capacity on behalf of the Wilkinson family.
It boils down to a legal “sucker punch” Charles Wilkinson cleverly connived.
As Uncle Irvin said several times in the past, the New Garden “Save our Water” movement was a joke and Charles Wilkinson is still laughing.