CHOP facility coming to old Sears Hardware building
● By J. Chambless
The former Sears Hardware building on Route 1 in East Marlborough Township is on its way to housing the CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) medical center, which is currently located about half a mile down the road.
Supervisors Chairman John Sarro called the approval of the conditional use petition “good news” because the center’s present location is often crowded with too many cars. The parking lot at the new location has spots for 91 vehicles.
The board spent a significant portion of its May 6 meeting discussing conditional use requests. These procedures are lengthy, detailed and tedious. They are required when the potential facility occupant’s use does not conform exactly to current zoning, or is not the same as that of the previous owner.
The 9,000-square-foot CHOP center will serve medical needs of youth from birth to 18 years old, and will be in the old Sears building only. It will not displace the Pet Valu store adjacent to it.
There were 21 conditions set forth by the supervisors, ranging from construction of a crosswalk to installation of a sprinkler system and a method of disposal for medical waste.
Supervisor Julia Lacy insisted, as she had with an earlier application, that the contribution the owners make for local emergency services be increased from $200 to $400 per 1,000 feet of total floor space, because of growing expenses of the Longwood Fire Company.
In related actions, the supervisors also approved the review of the subdivision of the 309-acre Weisbrod estate on Mill Road into five parcels; and the extension, by a month, for approval for the Royal Farms convenience store across from Applebee’s on Route 1.
In other business, attorney Ross Unruh said he was surprised at the reaction to a discussion of the proposed burning ordinance. Several individuals, including board member Bobby McKinstry and township resident John Provinski, asked for clarifications of what would and would not be allowed for burning, and what the requirements would be for safety. The supervisors agreed to discuss the provisions in the coming weeks, along with hearing what the public had to say. Interested residents of East Marlborough may e-mail township manager Laurie Prysock about their concerns and opinions at email@example.com.
In another controversial discussion, traffic engineer Jerry Baker reported that PennDOT has recommended that a planned crosswalk at the new Toll Brothers development on Route 82 near Pratt’s Nursery be moved about 25 feet to the south. Dick Pratt, whose house is near that proposed new location, said he was unhappy about the advice, because the lighting would be annoying.
The agenda was concluded with a report by Prysock that she had been contacted by representatives of Historic Kennett Square and asked to participate in a Gateway Project involving the roadways between Longwood Gardens and the borough. Planning Commission chairman Cuyler Walker said he had spoken with several borough councilors about it, and they told him they knew nothing about it.
For updated township information, visit www.eastmarlborough.org.