East Marlborough zoning issues ignite controversy

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By Karen Cresta, Staff Writer, The Times

Kennett Square-based attorney attorney John Jaros presenting access roads for Longwood Preserve during Monday night’s East Marlborough Board of Supervisors meeting.

EAST MARLBOROUGH –  The Township Supervisors met on Monday, Nov. 6, and spent much of the two-hour meeting reviewing zoning issues for a proposed occupancy of a used car sales facility at a warehouse on Gale Lane and access roads for a proposed Longwood Preserve townhome development on Schoolhouse Road.  They also approved a new member to the Zoning Hearing Board and announced the projected budget for 2018.

Attorney John Jaros presented several zoning issues for a few of his clients.  The first was for the owner of an Audi dealership looking for additional storage and service space for its preowned cars.   The new space at 200 Gale Lane is on a three-acre property that was the previous home to a 24,000+ square foot warehouse for Metal Sales and Service, Inc. – a metal fabricating plant.

“The majority of the use happens inside the building,” said Jaros.  “We feel that this is an appropriate use in this area.”

Supervisor Christine Kimmel was concerned about the body work and lifts needed for safety checks and inspection approval on the preowned vehicles and the activity of customers coming in to pick them up.  The general consensus from the board members upon further review was favorable though.  Jaros will brief his client and will take the direction of scheduling a conditional use hearing if it moves forward.

Jaros was also representing the developer for CJK regarding placement of access roads for the proposed Longwood Preserve, a townhome development.  Jaros presented the revised plan based on previous feedback from the township to relocate the road from the south to the northwest.  The board approved the new favorable location with Supervisor Eddie Caudill opposing.

The location of an access road at the intersection on Schoolhouse Road sparked a heated debate with a few residents in attendance.  David Adamson, a neighboring property owner near the proposed road, and CJK partners and Jaros argued back and forth about the placement and resolutions proposed to meet township requirements for sight distance.

Adamson continuously offered to sell a piece of his property for $500,000 to remedy the issues but Jaros proposed a three-way stop sign at the intersection since it would be expensive to reduce the incline in the road and move telephone poles.

“Cars speed on Schoolhouse Road and placing the three-way stop sign there will slow that traffic down,” Jaros added.

Chairman Richard Hannum agreed and added that it was the consensus from the township that the stop sign made sense.

Supervisor John Sarro suggested another alternative – to move the access road a little farther south to the crest of the incline to avoid sight distance issues.

After a very long debate back and forth, Hannum took order back and stated that he thought Sarro’s idea was viable and a good one but also wanted to keep the options open for the three-way stop sign. Jaros stated that the options would be explored but was concerned with delays.  He will most likely be returning at next month’s meeting with information for all options.

The supervisors reviewed the resumes for a vacancy, due to the death of a member, on the Zoning Hearing Board.  The three candidates included were Jane Laslo, the former township manager, attorney Bruce Jameson and Jack Greenwood.

The supervisors voted in favor to appoint Jane Laslo whom Caudill said was very familiar with the zoning issues.  The vote was 4-1, with Supervisor Robert Weer opposing.  Weer nominated Jameson without a second motion.

There will be no tax increase for residents of East Marlborough for 2018.  Township manager Laurie Prysock announced details of the projected 2018 budget and it will be advertised for the public’s inspection and voted on at the next township meeting on Dec. 4.

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