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Chester County Press

Pipeline work to begin in Franklin Township on Aug. 29

08/22/2016 10:42AM ● By J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The long-discussed work to add a natural gas pipeline in the Kemblesville area will begin on Aug. 29. At the Aug. 17 meeting of the Franklin Township Board of Supervisors, board chairman John Auerbach announced the date, and said he would attend a pre-construction meeting on Aug. 23 in Cochranville for more information.

The members of the township Historical Commission will submit comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding FERC's Environmental Assessment of Eastern Shore's planned 2017 work, which will be to the north and south of the work that begins this month, once they have determined which historic properties may be affected. The supervisors noted that Eastern Shore has presented its information well, and there seems to be very little public comment on the work to be started next week.

The board also heard from two representatives of the Christiana Watersheds Partnership Collaboration Project. The Department of Environmental Protection has charged the townships in the Christiana Watershed to remove nutrients and sediments from impaired streams. This collaborative program is attempting to unite townships in their efforts to remove the pollutants. Franklin Township will be working with London Grove Township, New Garden Township, London Britain Township and the boroughs of Avondale and West Grove.

Supervisor Steffen Torres submitted a plan from a landscape designer that would screen the township municipal yard as cars enter Municipal Lane to visit the post office, and provide screening where materials will be stored. Torres said he will will speak with the landscaper again and get more details on the types of plants to be used.

Township Manager Joan McVaugh presented a list of issues regarding zoning and land development ordinances. Among them is the issue of having two residences on one parcel in the Agricultural District. The current zoning allows for multiple houses on one parcel in the district. The board feels that only one additional house should be allowed, and the parcel must be large enough to meet setback requirements, host well and septic, and have the ability to be subdivided. The issue will be presented to the Planning Commission for review.

The issue of fences in the township was sparked by a resident who installed fencing in a stormwater swale, causing flooding. Township solicitor Mark Thompson said that if the swale was part of a subdivision plan, the township had the legal right to have the homeowner remove the fence.

The board also discussed dead trees which are in the right of way, and Thompson said that even if trees are in the right of way, they belong to the property owner and are the owner’s responsibility. However, if the property owner is not dealing with dead trees and causing a hazard, the township should have the right to take action. Thompson said he will draft an ordinance that enables the township to notify homeowners of the need to take down a dead tree. If the homeowner fails to do so in the allotted time, the township will be able to remove the dead tree and bill the property owner. The board authorized Thompson to draft and advertise an ordinance for adoption at the September meeting.

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