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Sewage solution is sought for Franklin Township development

07/24/2017 03:36PM ● Published by J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

What to do with the sewage from the partially built Lexington Point subdivision was the focus of the July 19 meeting of the Franklin Township Board of Supervisors.

Lexington Point is a 38-house subdivision on South Guernsey Road, although only six houses are presently built and occupied. Since 2008, waste from the homes has been pumped to a holding tank and hauled away every third day. The tank is inspected three times each week. The pump-and-haul system wasn't intended to be a long-term solution.

When the building permit for the seventh home is submitted, the developer, Keystone Custom Homes, must begin building a wastewater treatment plant for the subdivision. Once it is fully operational, the township will take ownership of it and Lexington Point residents will pay for the service. The developer has resisted building the treatment plant for the past eight years, and has been looking for less expensive alternatives.

At the meeting, sanitary engineers Sandi Morgan and Stan Corbett said they were concerned about how long the process has taken. The developer has recently proposed an alternate system that Morgan and Corbett said is likely to be more expensive, and is based on faulty data.

They noted that the way infiltration beds are spread out across the development is unique, and it will be difficult to find an operator who knows how to maintain these beds. Eight years ago, Keystone submitted a plan to use the Orenco system, which was used in Oregon and at the time had no reportable data from this part of the county. Now that the system has eight years of successful data in this area, Franklin Township engineers would approve the use of this system, with some modifications. Morgan told the board that the recorded plan and agreements should be revised if Keystone chooses to proceed with a system that is not the already approved treatment plant.

Related to the Lexington Point development, supervisor Penny Schenk reminded the board that the township has asked the developer to install a gate to stop trespassing in the vacant area of the development. The area is littered with drug paraphernalia and attracts illicit activity. It was also mentioned that the developer occasionally mows the area, but the weeds are tall and unsightly. Schenk asked township solicitor Mark Thompson what the township could do to force the developer to install a fence, and Thompson said he will contact the developer.

In other business, the board discussed the abandoned Basics gas station property in Kemblesville. The township has tried repeatedly to contact the owner of the property, without success. The township has mowed the weeds there several times, but Thompson suggested using the “blight act” to pressure the owner. Township manager Joan McVaugh said she will investigate the amount of back taxes owed on the property.

The board also approved an expansion plan for the Avon Grove Charter School. The school has submitted a plan to expand the school, add parking, expand their existing rain garden, install a new underground stormwater system, and add a new on-lot septic area to accommodate an additional third grade. The board approved the plan, with nine waivers and several conditions.

The ongoing effort to remedy the traffic situation at the intersection of Strickerville and Appleton roads was discussed. PennDOT has told the township they will use both non-reportable and reportable accident data to determine if the intersection warrants a four-way stop. Board chairman John Auerbach has announced a “Community Call To Action,” and letters from Auerbach, Sen. Dinniman, Rep. John Lawrence and the property owner have been sent to PennDOT. The township has also engaged Traffic Planning & Design to perform an independent traffic study of the site.

A video of the meeting, and additional information, is posted on the township's website, www.franklintownship.us.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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