WEST VINCENT – Supervisors will vote on a controversial application Monday for proposed offices buildings next to the historic Birchrunville Schoolhouse.
The hearing will begin at 7:30 p.m. as the start of the regularly scheduled board meeting at the township building.
Numerous residents of the area have complained over the months that the development proposal will hurt the rural character of the village of Birchrunville.
The Chester County Planning Commission filed a recommendation Sept. 30 that the plan be denied. The commission stated in a Sept. 30 letter to supervisors that the application does not meet township ordinance requirements.
The county’s recommendation is not binding on supervisors.
The conditional use application was prepared by Wilkinson & Associates Inc. in December 2009. The application was submitted by the developer, Birchrun Village LLC.
The developer is proposing to build three two-story office buildings along Flowing Springs Road. The plan includes 34 parking spaces. The site is slightly less than 3 acres.
The application also proposes water and sewer service.
The schoolhouse, built in 1863, will be saved. The structure was previously used as the township’s administration building.
The county planning commission noted a township zoning ordinance requires the plan to include details of existing man-made and natural features within 500 feet of the property. The details are not shown on the proposal.
The plan requests a variance related to the setbacks from the historic structures.
As the site is within the Birchrunville National Register Historic District, the county planning commission asked township officials to ensure that any development “does not affect the integrity and context of the existing historic resource.”
The site is within the rural and natural landscape designations of the 2009 County Comprehensive Plan.
According to the report by the planning commission, the development is not consistent with the guidelines for rural landscape area, and may have negative impacts on the historic resource.
The commission noted that the application does not include a
historic resources impact study.
Here is a follow up article in the Daily Local News http://www.dailylocal.com/government-and-politics/20131014/township-delays-hearing-on-birchrunville-plan
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