East Marlborough BOS focuses on zoning & safety

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No compromise reached to allow for events at Whitewing Farm

 

By Karen Cresta, Correspondent, Times of Chester County

 

EAST MARLBOROUGH – Neighbors of Whitewing Farm who were in attendance at East Marlborough Township’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Monday night, and the board objected to any compromise to continue to hold events at the farm.

 

whitewingfarm

Whitewing Farm.

Events on Whitewing Farm, located at 370 Valley Road, adjacent to Longwood Gardens, recently ceased over the last several months while a series of hearings are being heard by the judge. Lance and Sandra Shortt purchased the 1700’s farmhouse bed and breakfast in 2012, and currently market the property on their website to host events such as weddings and private parties.

 

 
The Shortt’s attorney, Ron Agulnick, wants to work it out and come up with a compromise per the township’s zoning ordinance code that does not allow large events in a residential neighborhood. He presented a written proposal to the board and suggested that every point on the proposal was negotiable in the hopes to reach a compromise in lieu of a settlement he sensed the judge may be favoring.

 

 
Agulnick and the Shortts argued that events, including a recent wedding, are being held at the Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery and object to being singled out for trying to do the same at Whitewing.
Jane Laslo, township manager, mentioned that Galer’s events were charitable events and not many took place over the last two years but that she would contact the owner to verify and insure compliance with zoning ordinances.

 

 
Agulnick insisted the indoor events held in the barn were not disruptive and would be held to standards for traffic and noise. He suggested that the Shortts’ property could hold up to 14 outdoor events a year but the number of events was “flexible.”
“We appreciate your proposal but this board has concluded that our zoning ordinance does not permit these types of events at all,” board president Cuyler Walker stated. “I haven’t heard the neighbors say they want any events,” Walker added. Walker told Agulnick that that board would review the proposal and if it looked like a settlement could be reached, they would discuss it with him.

 

 
In other news, $2.6 million in escrow amount was approved for the Union Walk (formerly called Walnut Ridge) community at Walnut Road. The development site includes a demolition of an abandoned mushroom facility and the widening of Walnut Road to include a turning lane.

 

 
Supervisor Robert Weer urged the Union Walk representative to change the name to avoid any confusion with the Union Square development for emergency services purposes.

 

 
The board unanimously approved the proposal to select 65 trees from the Krautzel property for removal to be hauled out over five days in August and/or September. A $5,000 escrow amount was agreed upon as insurance against any damage to the roadways in the area.

 

 
Also approved was the plan for Upland Country Day School for a 2,600 square foot addition to an existing building that will house a science classroom and a gallery.

 

 
In addition, the board approved the line painting bid for the affected township roads. According to Laslo, the bid was under the $28,000 that was originally budgeted.

 

 
The board discussed an upcoming proposal that included a pedestrian study, survey, and design to improve crosswalk safety by Hood’s Barbeque and the Unionville Recreation Association ballpark that could also include the high school and middle school. The board needs to discuss the best way to proceed and decide if a study is needed at all.

 

 
Walker suggested that a study counting pedestrians was not needed and concluded that an unsafe crosswalk didn’t need a study to produce recommendations. The safety committee will be consulted and a presentation submitted to the board for further action.

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