Stop sign placement leads to confrontation in East Marlborough
07/10/2018 10:13AM ● Published by J. Chambless
By John Chambless
At the opening of their July 9 meeting,
the East Marlborough Township Board of Supervisors held a hearing on
an ordinance that would place several new stop signs in the township.
The meeting was straightforward, under 10 minutes long, and was held
without incident. When the issue came up for a vote during the formal
meeting a little over two hours later, however, resident Dave Adamson
– who had been waiting through the whole meeting – was ready to
confront the board.
Reading from a prepared statement, he said that stop signs that will be placed at the intersection of Schoolhouse Road and Cascades Boulevard were dangerous and unwarranted, and he questioned the authority of township traffic engineer Jerry Baker, who had recommended the placements.
Adamson had appeared before the board several months ago because his property sits at the intersection of Schoolhouse Road and the planned Longwood Preserve community access road. One of the proposals regarding the entrance to the as-yet unbuilt development was to widen Schoolhouse Road and take a small piece of Adamson's property, paying him for it. At those earlier meetings, Adamson said that developer CJK Associates would have to pay a “fair price” for the property. In subsequent discussions, however, it was decided that stop signs would suffice at the intersection and that paying Adamson for any property was unnecessary.
At the July 9 meeting, Adamson took exception to being excluded from the deal, saying that his property “was still available for purchase,” and that Baker had excluded him and was proposing an unsafe solution at the intersection.
In response to repeated questions from Adamson and his attorney about Baker's qualifications and the safety of the proposed traffic solution, Richard Hannum, Jr., the chairman of the supervisors, repeatedly stated, “I don't think I have to answer that,” or “I believe I've answered that.” He maintained that “Mr. Baker, our consultant, provided the utmost professional services. Mr. Baker has done his professional duty.”
Hannum also rejected a claim from Adamson and his attorney that there was “a secret meeting” held with CJK attorney John Jaros to exclude Adamson from a settlement and instead install stop signs.
After Adamson had finished his statement and the supervisors refused to answer his questions, the board voted to adopt the installation of the stop signs as written in the ordinance, which is posted on the township's website.
In other business, the board heard details of the proposed Northridge development, a community of 27 twin homes that will be built on what is now the 34.7-acre Everfast property in the township. Details of sidewalk placements and connections to nearby communities need to be fine-tuned, but the board voted unanimously to grant preliminary approval for Northridge, allowing the developer to make alterations and move ahead to seek final approval.
A crosswalk for a planned development on the property of R.P. Nurseries was brought to the supervisors by Toll Brothers representatives. A sketch of the crosswalk calls for a six-foot-wide concrete island on Route 82, with an eight-inch curb. There will be lights at both ends of the crosswalk, and there is no plan to widen Route 82, because keeping the road its present width at the crosswalk will calm traffic and not allow motorists to pass cars that are stopped, waiting to turn left at the new community entrance. There is also a proposal to reduce the speed limit to 35 miles per hour at the crosswalk.
The exact placement of the crosswalk may move by a few feet after tests are made to determine turning radius for trucks entering or exiting the nursery property. Details of landscaping to shield the crosswalk from neighboring properties still need to be worked out, although Toll Brothers representatives were open to providing additional shrubs or trees, depending on the number requested. The board approved the crosswalk plan.
The board heard an overview of the Landscapes3 plan from Chester County Planning Commission representative Susan Elks. The results of a county-wide survey are posted on the commission's website (www.chescoplanning.org), and Elks asked the supervisors to provide their input on the plan before the end of the month. There is a public meeting planned for October when a draft of the final plan will be presented, Elks said.
A revision to the allowable size of signs at the Shoppes at Longwood Village on Route 1 tipped off the board to new tenants coming to the shopping enter. The new businesses will be a Ross clothing store, an Ulta beauty products store and a Carter's children's clothing store. There was no timeline for the store openings provided at the meeting. The board approved the slight alteration of the allowable sign sizes.
For more information, visit www.eastmarlborough.org.
To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email email@example.com.