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Chester County Press

Franklin Supervisors hear resident concerns about hay storage and truck traffic

10/25/2016 11:23AM ● By J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

At the Oct. 19 meeting of the Franklin Township Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission member Brent Van Lith summarized the commission's discussion of the Gourmet’s Delight Preliminary Plan.

Two areas of concern were the storage of hay bales on the property and the threat of fire, and truck traffic on Auburn Road near the mushroom processing facility.

After discussion and comments from area residents, the Planning Commission recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve the plan, with four waivers and several conditions. After the report, there was a lengthy discussion about the possibility of hay bale fires on the property and truck traffic on Auburn Road.

West Grove Fire Company captain John Chambers and Franklin Township emergency management coordinator Harold Walls both commented on the hay bale storage issue. Chambers said that the fire companies have handled hay fires in the past. They isolate the burning bales and protect any nearby structures. He said that the Department of Environmental Protection has requested that fire companies let the hay burn instead of wetting it down, so there is no unintended runoff into nearby streams or ponds.

Some residents asked about the possibility of an ordinance to govern the hay bales. Board chairman John Auerbach read from a copy of London Grove Township’s ordinance that restricts the size of hay bales to 100 feet long by 20 feet high by 35 feet wide. The ordinance also requires 25 feet between piles and any structure. Auerbach said New Garden Township does not have an ordinance in place at this time.

Another area of concern was truck traffic on Auburn Road. Residents requested that the township restrict trucks from using the road. Solicitor Mark Thompson said that even if the township did restrict the trucks by weight, local deliveries must be allowed.

On a motion by Auerbach, and a unanimous vote, the board approved the Gourmet’s Delight Preliminary Land Development Plan Phase 1, 2 and 3 Composting Facility, revised on Sept. 30, with several waivers and conditions regarding details of stormwater pipes and other issues at the site.

In other business, the owners of Fox Chase Farm asked to meet with the board to discuss possibly adding a winery at the site. Owners Scott and Kim Wilkinson wanted to find a use for as stone barn on the property, and want to combine their efforts with those of the owners of a vineyard off of McMaster Boulevard. All of the board members approved of the idea and agreed it would be a positive addition to the township.

The board unanimously approved a resolution regarding the Christina Watersheds Partnership Collaboration Project that will have all involved townships work together to meet the DEP’s requirements for stream load reduction. The resolution enters the township into a two-year commitment, at a cost of $1,000 per year.

The renovation of the manager’s office at the Township Building is complete. The board will next focus on the conversion of the bathroom in the meeting room to meet ADA guidelines.

The first step in improvements to the Municipal Complex site site took place recently. Trees and shrubs were planted along the fence behind the parking area to shield the area from the view of traffic heading north on Appleton Road.

For more information on township issues, visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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