Pennsbury moves to transfer easements to Brandywine Conservancy

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Concerns over Mendenhall historic structures being vandalized

By Kris Firey-Poling, Staff Writer, The Times

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Supervisor Wendell Fenton accepts a printed copy of Pennsbury’s first known map from Historical Commission Chair Lynn Luft at Pennsbury’s board of supervisors meeting.

PENNSBURY — The township’s Board of Supervisors focused on properties, agreements, and swimming pools at Wednesday night’s meeting.

The board approved the transfer of the Mendenhall easement to the Brandywine Conservancy. The Conservancy has been monitoring the agricultural-based easement for several years.

”Monitoring and enforcing easements is what they do. This transfer will protect the property in perpetuity,” said Supervisors Chair Scotty Scottoline.

Chairman Scottoline explained that the supervisors also want to transfer two additional open space properties to the Conservancy as well.

The Mendenhall farmhouse and barn, owned by CFP Associates, has been deemed “demolition by neglect,” which is prohibited by township ordinance for historical structures. Previously, the township asked the owners to board up the structures. Several reports of vandalism have occurred at the vacant farmhouse.

Solicitor Tom Oeste has asked the owners to secure the property and to stop the ATV vehicle activity. According to Oeste, if the owners do not comply, the next step will include district justice.

The supervisors are concerned about losing the historical and cultural value of the Mendenhall structures. If the owners do not comply and the problem escalates, a judge may not view the historic structures as significant.

In other news, the board of supervisors terminated a memorandum of understanding between the township and Pennsbury Historic Preservation (PHP). For many years, there was an agreement that PHP projects could use up to $12,000 per year of township funds.

Also, Historical Commission Chair Lynn Luft presented the supervisors with a framed copy of the first known map of Pennsbury Township.

“This is an exact replica of the original 1770 map. It shows the historical resources that were here during the Battle of Brandywine, and has all the property owners,” explained Luft. She believes the map, that includes Kennett Township and portions of Pocopson, will be a great resource for the township.

In other agenda items, the board of supervisors was neutral on Parker Preserve resident Eric Schnabel’s request to build a pool and deck on his property. In the past, there have been many similar requests at this development, where homes on one-acre lots are already at the 15% impervious cover ordinance limit.

“Your application will stand on its own. Just because seven others in your development have pools doesn’t mean that you should have one,” said Supervisors Vice-Chair Aaron McIntyre.

The Schnabel request will be reviewed by the zoning hearing board on November 24th.

Lastly, Lieutenant D’Ambrosio, of the State Police Barracks in Avondale, warned residents of increased criminal activity during the holiday season. He recommends that residents call state police if they see “something off” or something strange in their neighborhoods.

D’Ambrosio reported that Pennsbury is “relatively quiet.” However, he believes that neighbors should look out for one another, especially during the daytime, when most burglaries occur.

The next meeting of the Pennsbury Township Board of Supervisors will be held Wednesday, December 16th at 7:00 p.m. in the Township Building, located on 702 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford.

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