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Chester County Press

Franklin supervisors discuss mushroom plant expansion and proposed gas pipeline

02/03/2015 09:23AM ● By J. Chambless

At the Jan. 28 Franklin Township Board of Supervisors meeting, the supervisors updated how they will be notifying residents about an upcoming Zoning Hearing Board meeting regarding the expansion of the Gourmet's Delight mushroom facility.

Supervisor Penny Schenk pointed out that during public comment at the board's December meeting, the board had agreed to send written notices to all residents regarding the date of the hearing. Since then, the township solicitor and Zoning Board solicitor have recommended not sending notices to all residents because that would not adhere to the township ordiance. The ordinance specifies that the township must notify property owners within 1,000 feet of any subject properties.

At the last Zoning Hearing Boad meeting, residents could sign up for information, and they can receive notices. However, all residents of the township will not be receiving written notice. Updated information about the mushroom company's expansion plans can be found at the township's website (

Board chairman John Auerbach reported that in December, five new permits (including one for a new home in Wyndemere) were issued, and 29 inspections were performed. There are four ongoing zoning issues in the township.

James German of the Franklin Sportsman's Association reported that the deer season ended on Jan. 24, and the total harvest was 13 deer. There were no known injuries or issues recorded during this season. The FSA will prepare their final season report for the February supervisors meeting.

Ralph Olivier, chairman of the Planning Commission, reported that the commission had accepted the resignation of longtime member Richard Squadron. The supervisors honored Squadron for his 12 years of service with a written proclamation. John Gontarz was unanimously appointed to fill the vacancy on the Planning Commission. His term will expire on Dec. 31, 2017.

Auerbach outlined the Eastern Shore Natural Gas open house that was held on Jan. 14 at the Avon Grove Intermediate School. Auerbach, who has extensive experience working with pipelines after his career with DuPont, said he was confident about the credentials of Eastern Shore representatives.

The company wants to install a 16-inch pipeline through the township to increase the flow of natural gas to sites in Delaware. The company will keep the existing 12-inch pipe system that cuts through the township as a reservoir and bypass. The proposed pipeline will be buried four feet deep.

Pipelines are governed by the Federal Energy Regulation Committee, and townships have very little input on pipeline construction. Auerbach said he will try to set up a meeting with Eastern Shore to discuss issues of pipeline placement, disturbance to homowners' properties and potential land devaluation.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, e-mail [email protected].