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Chester County Press

Business park plans call for improved sight lines, attention to safety

03/29/2016 12:02PM ● Published by Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

The widening of Newark Road and two entrance-exit lanes are the latest tweaks in the continuing schematic of ideas that hope to someday bring a 160-acre business park to Toughkenamon.
These plans, unveiled by Modern Mushroom Farms., Inc. at the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors meeting on March 21, are part of a revised schematic engineering plan that first began eight years ago. The overall design of the business park calls for an eight-building complex, mostly used for light manufacturing, adjoined with offices, parking and capability for large vehicles to have safe and easy access along Newark Road.
The first seedlings of the plan to create a business park on the site began in 2008, when engineers and representatives from the mushroom company met with township supervisors to apply for conditional use approval of the plans at the site, which is located on Newark Road, across the road from the New Garden Flying Field and approximately one-quarter mile from the Route 1-Toughkenamon bypass. 
"We did receive conditional use approval, with certain conditions, and our purpose for coming tonight is to bring the board up to date on where we are, and where we hope to go," said Peter Temple, an attorney who is representing Modern Mushroom Farms. "In a nutshell, we're ready today to begin to apply for Planning Commission approval of the preliminary plans."
Chris Burkett, an engineer with Gilmore & Associates, Inc., told the supervisors that the plans have gone through more than one dozen conditional use hearings, and there were a number of issues that came up during the review process; namely, the sight lines and access points along Newark Road. At the time of these hearings, Burkett said that there were several conditions set forth during that time, namely calling for improved access points leading from the entrance of the location to Newark Road; the installation of buffers needed in order to "separate" the business park from nearby residential communities; as well as adequate plans for public sewer and water usage.
"This area going from Old Baltimore Pike to the Route 1 Corridor is really the center spine within the township," Burkett said. "It is the primary piece of vehicular infrastructure that allows some of these interior properties to access the Route 1 Corridor, and the Route 1 Corridor is really a lifeline both north and south, and it gets you to I-95, and to main areas that truckers need to get to.
"It works for Modern Mushrooms' purposes and it also makes it available for the rest of the township. It also makes safety [improvements], for the benefit of the using public."
Arthur Bernardon, chairman Bernardon, an architecture, interior design and landscape company in Kennett Square, told the supervisors that the updated plan for the business park and vicinity calls for an additional 1,400 feet of road improvements which, if completed, will reconfigure Newark Road both north and south of the business park and include regraded embankment and improved sight lines along the road.
In addition, Burkett said that the revised plans call for for the installation of two widened access routes into the business park, which will include dedicated right- and left-hand turning lanes.
If completed, the planned business park stands to have a major fiscal impact on the township. A 2010 study revealed that the tax consequences of such an entity would provide an annual $134,000 in tax revenue to the township, and $1.4 million annually to local school districts.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@chestercounty.com .





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