Skip to main content

Crowd turns out in Franklin over mushroom proposal

05/27/2014 03:53PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print


By John Chambless

Staff Writer

An overflow crowd attended the May 21 board of supervisors meeting in Franklin Township as the five supervisors considered the most recent request from Gourmet's Delight Mushroom Company to expand its composting facility.

The expansion plan, which was first introduced to the supervisors in 2003, has been a subject of sometimes intense debate over the past decade. The mushroom farm in London Grove Township is seeking to expand onto an adjacent property which lies within Franklin Township. The company wants to build an 80,000-square-foot growing plant on the property, which had been proposed as the site of a housing development at one time.

At the May 21 meeting, resident Pat Talwin submitted a petition signed by 65 people from Franklin Township, and presented a power point report. Board president John Auerbach led the open discussion and said that the board supported a 2009 zoning officer's opinion that mushroom composting is not allowed at the proposed location. About 12 residents gave their opinions and concerns about the plant proposal, and the board asked the current zoning officer to respond to an attorney from Gourmet's Delight  with the zoning opinion.

In a March 2014 letter, Gourmet's Delight wrote to township manager Joan McVaugh to address the concerns of residents. 

The company says that odors from the proposed composting plant will be reduced by an indoor aerated process. Gabe Valentino, controller for Gourmet's Delight, wrote in his letter to McVaugh that, “It is our view that we have demonstrated our commitment to a low-impact, state-of-the-art composting facility that will be a major upgrade to the traditional composting processes that are associated with mushroom growing in Chester County.”

Gourmet's Delight currently operates 34 mushroom growing rooms on about 40 acres in London Grove Township. In 2011, the company got approval from London Grove Township to add 12 additional growing rooms on the existing farm. They have not begun building. The company produces the mushroom compost needed for the 34 rooms. About half of the compost production is on an outdoor wharf, and the other half is done in a semi-enclosed building with aeration slots in the floor to reduce odor.

In order to build the 12 mushroom growing rooms that have been approved by London Grove Township, the company must replace the outdoor composting area. They are proposing to build an enclosed facility on the disputed 24-acre property in Franklin Township. Once the new facility is operational, the outdoor area would be shut down and 12 additional growing rooms would be built on the footprint of the outdoor operation. The company estimates a three- to five-year time frame for the project. 

The March 2014 proposal from Gourmet's Delight details 14 points, saying the company will:

Comply with all state and federal regulations;

Get all of the required plans and analyses required by Franklin Township;

Examine possibly screening between the compost facility and adjacent residential properties;

Complete an annual water budget analysis looking at surface water and groundwater to show that the company will not harm any well within 1,000 feet of the site;

Install an air quality monitoring program that would test hydrogen sulfide levels at neighboring property lines;

Demonstrate safe access routes to the site for fire and rescue personnel, and control odors and litter blowing or spreading from the site;

Provide a topographical plan by a registered engineer; 

Provide lighting that will comply with Franklin Township requirements.

The Gourmet's Delight proposal now will be answered by Franklin Township's zoning officer. The issue will be addressed at future board of supervisors meetings. Visit www.franklintownship.us for updated information.



london grove township franklin township franklin township board of supervisors gourmet's delight mushroom company


You might also like

Dinniman announces recycling grant for Franklin Township

State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that Franklin Township will receive $3,073 in state funding to support its recycling efforts.

Supervisors hear about speeding on Old School House Road

The problem of speeding along Old School House Road was the focus of debate at the supervisors meeting on July 16.

  • Antique Appraisal Fair

    09/02/2014
    09:00am — 02:00pm

    We will have appraisers at the event to appraise your antique or vintage items Proceeds from thi...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/02/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Antique Appraisal Fair

    09/03/2014
    09:00am — 02:00pm

    We will have appraisers at the event to appraise your antique or vintage items Proceeds from thi...


  • Zen Group Startup

    09/03/2014
    05:00pm — 06:00pm

    Find out for yourself why people have respected Zen for thousands of years. One hour introductio...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/03/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Antique Appraisal Fair

    09/04/2014
    09:00am — 02:00pm

    We will have appraisers at the event to appraise your antique or vintage items Proceeds from thi...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/04/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Antique Appraisal Fair

    09/05/2014
    09:00am — 02:00pm

    We will have appraisers at the event to appraise your antique or vintage items Proceeds from thi...


  • SCCCC Business & Family Friendly Event

    09/05/2014
    04:00pm — 08:00pm

    Please visit www.scccc.com for more information.


  • "Trees" Art Exhibit and Reception

    09/05/2014
    06:00pm — 09:00pm

    Join us for the First Friday Art Stroll in Kennett Square, September 5th, 6-9 pm, watch the Mushr...


  • "Trees" Art Exhibit and Reception

    09/05/2014
    06:00pm — 09:00pm

    Join us for the First Friday Art Stroll in Kennett Square, September 5th, 6-9 pm, watch the Mushr...


  • "Trees" Art Exhibit and Reception

    09/05/2014
    06:00pm — 09:00pm

    Join us for the First Friday Art Stroll in Kennett Square, September 5th, 6-9 pm, watch the Mushr...


  • MUSHROOM FESTIVAL

    09/05/2014
    06:00pm

    For 28 years the Festival stretches more than half a mile and features culinary events, growing e...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/05/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Antique Appraisal Fair

    09/06/2014
    09:00am — 02:00pm

    We will have appraisers at the event to appraise your antique or vintage items Proceeds from thi...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/06/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Antique Appraisal Fair

    09/07/2014
    09:00am — 02:00pm

    We will have appraisers at the event to appraise your antique or vintage items Proceeds from thi...


  • Grandparents Day

    09/07/2014
    10:00am — 05:30pm

    Grandmothers, bubbies*, and nanas! Grandfathers, zadies*, and pops! Grab your grandkids for a day...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    09/07/2014
    01:00pm — 04:00pm

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/07/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Antique Appraisal Fair

    09/01/2014
    09:00am — 02:00pm

    We will have appraisers at the event to appraise your antique or vintage items Proceeds from thi...


  • Come on out for our opening UPICK Apple Adventure! We will offer Royal Gala, the ever so popular...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/01/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Antique Appraisal Fair

    09/02/2014
    09:00am — 02:00pm

    We will have appraisers at the event to appraise your antique or vintage items Proceeds from thi...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/02/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Antique Appraisal Fair

    09/03/2014
    09:00am — 02:00pm

    We will have appraisers at the event to appraise your antique or vintage items Proceeds from thi...


  • Zen Group Startup

    09/03/2014
    05:00pm — 06:00pm

    Find out for yourself why people have respected Zen for thousands of years. One hour introductio...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/03/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


Chester County High School Sports