Kennett Square Borough officials discuss large State St. project, parking garage expansion, and committee assignments
By Steven Hoffman
StanAb, LP., a West Chester-based real estate development company, first approached Kennett Square Borough officials about a mixed-use project that would include 175 luxury apartments in the 600 Block of West State Street in April of 2015.
The project has been discussed by Kennett Square Borough Council intermittently since then. At one point, the developer petitioned to have the borough amend its zoning regulations that would allow for an overlay to the C-2 District. More recently, StanAb, LP. filed an appeal of a ruling by the borough’s Zoning Hearing Board. A Zoning Hearing Board is a quasi-judicial body that renders decisions on specific types of land-use appeals and applications under the borough’s zoning ordinances.
At the meeting on Feb. 18, Kennett Square Borough Council once again discussed the proposed plan for luxury apartments—at least peripherally.
Rusty Drumheller, the borough’s code enforcement officer, explained that with the developer filing an appeal of a Zoning Hearing Board’s decision to the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, it would be necessary for the borough to file paperwork to still be involved in the legal process as the appeal progresses. Borough council unanimously approved the filing of the paperwork.
Additionally, StanAb, LP made a request that the borough should consider a zoning text amendment regarding steep slope regulations. This would address at least one of the issues that the developer is appealing. A lengthy discussion followed, and ultimately borough council directed its Planning Commission to evaluate whether it would be beneficial to take a borough-wide look at making changes to the steep slope regulations, rather than directly addressing the request by one developer on one site.
Borough manager Joseph Scalise offered a report about the parking garage expansion project. Scalise explained that a crane was on site for approximately two weeks as the construction work progressed. There was minimal disruption as a result of the construction, Scalise said.
Council member Peter Waterkotte, who serves on the Finance Committee, explained that so far there has been less than $10,000 in change orders for this parking garage expansion. This will help keep the project’s costs in line with what was budgeted.
Council president Dr. Brenda Mercomes announced some of the new committee assignments. She explained that council members Rosa Moore and Doug Doerfler are serving on the Personal Committee. LaToya Myers was appointed as the council member on the Human Relations Commission. Waterkotte will continue to serve on the Finance Committee, while council member Ethan Cramer will continue to serve on the Fire and EMS Commission.
Borough council approved a series of consent items, which included the minutes from the Feb. 3 meeting, the payment of bills, the approval of a Vision Partnership Program grant commitment letter for a parking study, a temporary use zoning permit extension for T-Mobile’s Cell on Wheels, and the Passport Parking Enforcement software contract.