By BILL RETTEW, JR.

brettew@phoenixvillenews.com

Pending County Planning Commission approval, Charlestown Supervisors at Monday's meeting gave approval for land owner Tom McClure to sell off part of his property.

McClure intends to sell a 27-acre tract, part of the Seven Oaks Farm on Seven Oaks Road, to David J. Melich who wants to improve a farm house and barns on the property and preserve the tract as a single piece of open space.

McClure asked supervisors to allow him to separate a five acre parcel from what was a 32- acre tract and combine it with a three acre tract that his mother-in-law lives on.

"I'm asking that a simple five acres be added to another property that I already own," said McClure.

McClure said that he would likely never build on the five acre tract in his life time, although he did want to assure himself that if his heirs chose to develop the land that they could.

As a per right use, the property could be the site of as many as two homes on plots of at least two acres each.

McClure said that any construction at the five acre site would diminish the value of a yet another property in the area, the one that he lives on, by 50 percent.

"It would ruin the value of my home," said McClure. "It's a very pretty view right down the valley."

McClure said that realtors were clamoring for the chance to buy the 27-acre tract to subdivide and build on the former farm site but he decided to sell to Melich to preserve the property as one parcel.

"I restored a barn and I'm looking for a similar one that needs restoration badly," said Melich.

Melich intends to keep the twenty seven-acre tract as open space. He said that he is an outdoorsman and hopes to use the property to shoot guns and hunt for sport.

The restoration of the barns and home will cost more than $100,000 with work to the shutters alone pegged at $20,000, according to Melich.

"To develop around (McClure's) home would be to build around the most significant property in Charlestown," said Melich.

Township Solicitor McErlane said that the county planning commission would likely have a positive response, so that the property might transfer from owner to owner as soon as within a month.

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