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Chester County Press

Township board gives conditional use approval to Kennett apartment complex plans

08/21/2018 12:40PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

On the heels of a July 18 conditional use hearing, the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors gave approval at their Aug. 15 meeting to a conditional use application that permits the development of a 175-unit apartment complex. The 14.5-acre property is on the south side of Route 1, to the east of Walnut Street and to the west of the Exelon facility.

The application was granted to Merion Realty Partners and Merion Residential, who will be teaming with High Associates, Ltd., in the development of the property.

The July 18 meeting served as a revised conditional use hearing to request an amendment to the original conditional use approval that was set on Sept. 16, 2015 – granting the permission to construct one 175-unit apartment building – to develop a three-building complex with 175 units, consisting of four stories each.

The dimensions of the complex fall within the township's zoning laws, which permit such apartment dwellings in its business zoning district at a density of 12.5 dwelling units per acre, on tracts of 10 acres or more, with direct access to two or more public streets. The complex will include parking, lighting and landscaping, and will be serviced by public water and sewer.

The final decision granting the conditional use included 26 conditions for the developer to abide by, which included:

  • Locating the apartment swimming pool and amenities deck between or to the north of the two southernmost buildings;

  • Planting an additional row of trees, an earthen berm and plantings that will be used as a border between the complex and an adjacent property;

  • Keeping lighting on the western internal roadway at the minimum allowed by the township;

  • Limiting the amount of disturbance to existing trees on the property;

  • Working with the township's engineer, planner and trails committee to provide a safe pedestrian trail system with access to Anson B. Nixon Park; and

  • Providing fire hydrants and mountable curbs throughout the complex.

“We thank you for your decision tonight, and we will work hard to develop a project that you will be pleased with,” said Anthony B. Seitz, vice president of development for High Associates, Ltd.

In other township business, Police Chief Lydell Nolt urged township residents to contact 911 if they have difficulties with door-to-door solicitations. The suggestion comes in conjunction with the township's recent decision to establish an address list of residents who choose to join a “No Solicitation” registry that will be made available to solicitors who seek to conduct door-to-door sales in the township. He said that calling 911 is the most expedient method of reaching a township police officer.

“If you contact 911, the call will go directly to the Chester County Dispatch, which will then automatically dispatch the call to a Kennett Township police officer, based on your location,” Nolt said. “That is the best and fastest way to get a response.”

Bruce Mitchell, president of the Kennett Fire Company No. 1, urged all motorists in the Kennett area to proceed with caution when approaching flooded roads, of which there were many during the recent storms in Chester County. Mitchell said that he and his colleagues have conducted several water rescues during the storms.

“It's unnecessary,” he said. “Just turn around and go the other way. We're specialized in [water rescues], but please don't drive through the water when it is high.”

Roadmaster Roger Lysle said that storm damage in the township has been extensive over the past month, and has led to ground saturation, mudslides and fallen trees. He said that road patching has been postponed due to the township's public works department tending to repairs resulting from the rainstorms, but will resume next week, on West Hillendale Road, Bucktoe Road, Marshall's Bridge Road and Meadow View Lane.

The township's Environmental Advisory Council and Land Stewardship will present “Green Landscaping for Home Owners” on Sept. 20, beginning at 7 p.m. at the township building. The presentation will feature guest speaker Margot Taylor, a township resident who is a registered landscape architect and the owner of Land Ethics. Her residence is one of two certified SITES residential class projects in the U.S., and serves as a landmark demonstration and educational resource for sustainable landscape design.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email