Skip to main content

Chester County Press

New police facility design gets first look

05/16/2017 01:19PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

Gerald Simpson, Police Chief of the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department, unveiled an artist's rendering of the department's future headquarters on Gap-Newport Pike, at the New Garden Township's Board of Supervisors' meeting on May 15.  
The design, currently being developed by the Wilmington-based architectural design firm Tevebaugh Associates, will be an 11,716-square-foot, single-story, L-shaped facility that is expected to begin construction in 2018, on the site where the now-closed New Garden Township Police Department's barracks and temporary offices are located.
The facility will include a 400-square-foot lobby and a 540-square-foot community multi-purpose room; a secure administration area, which will include offices and a conference room; a detective bureau area and interview and testing rooms; storage and locker rooms; and holding cells and two sally ports for transportation of the incarcerated and storage of vehicles retained as evidence.
Before construction begins, the former site of the New Garden Township Police, now closed due to mold infestation, will be demolished and the temporary police facility – connected trailers – will be moved off the site. While the new facility is being built, the regional unit will use temporary space.
Engineering and construction for the facility will go out for bidding on June 26; a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for late August-early September; and it is estimated that construction should be completed by October 2018.
In other township business, the follow-up conditional use hearing regarding planned construction of a 125-foot-tall high wireless cellular communications tower on 1511 Yeatmans Station Road in Landenberg will be continued on June 19 at the New Garden Township Building, beginning at 7 p.m.
This announcement was made by township solicitor Vince Pompo prior to the Board of Supervisors meeting on May 15, the date the continuance of the hearing had originally been scheduled for. 
At the first conditional use hearing on April 17, several residents of the Nivin Lane-Watson Mill community in Landenberg voiced their displeasure over the concept introduced by Eco-Sites, LLC, a Durham, N.C.-based supplier of wireless and infrastructure solutions. During the more than one-hour-long public hearing, several said that the planned placement of the tower – adjacent to the Watson Mill-Nivin Lane community and built on the site of the former Little Stenning Farm – would, if built, obstruct their views of the adjacent White Clay Creek Preserve and negatively affect the property values of their homes.
Built of galvanized steel, the proposed tower, if approved, will be of a monopine design -- a monopole disguised as a pine tree. Due to more stringent zoning laws and the need for more towers in densely populated areas, wireless carriers have been forced to come up with alternatives to traditional lattice towers or monopoles.
In addition to its base height, the tower will also include a five-foot high lightning rod at its top, and will be approximately the same height as many trees that border these properties.
The majority of the homes in the Nivin Lane-Watson Mill community were first constructed in 1999, and in the early 2000s. The online search engine indicated that these homes have a property value average of $731,000 and a household income average of $222,000.
Public Works Director Ken Reed provided the supervisors with a rundown of several paving and tar and chip projects in the township, planned for several roads this year. Reed said that the township's annual spring clean-up, held April 21-23, yielded slightly fewer drop-offs from last year's clean-up event. Despite less traffic, the Public Works department took 16 dumpsters to the landfill, from brush to household items that totaled 75 tons, higher than last year's 41 tons.
The board approved the application of Kennett Area Community Service to host its 62nd annual Christmas Distribution event at the township's maintenance garage on Gap-Newport Pike, from Dec. 13-16. KACS board member Bob George told the supervisors that last year's event donated 600 boxes of food, 2,000 coats and 2,000 toys to more than 500 families. 
Beginning on May 24, the township will be sponsoring “Wine & Wheels Wednesdays,” with additional dates scheduled for June 28, July 26, Aug. 23 and Sept. 27, in New Garden Township Park.
The event is free and open to the public, and will feature live music by Moon Dawgs, beverages from Harvest Ridge Winery and Rebel Seed Cider, food from Hood's BBQ Food Truck, ice cream from Punk's Pineapple, and activities for children.
In addition, the township will also be offering Tuesday Family Fun Nights at the park on June 13, July 11, and Aug. 8; and Friday Family Movie Nights on June 23, July 28 and Aug. 25.
The township is inviting the public to attend an open house on May 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. At the township building, to hear progress on the development of its comprehensive plan, which spells out a ten-year blueprint for the township's future. The session will ask for resident's input on roadways; the revitalization of Toughkenamon; preferred characteristics of future development; and suggested spending priorities. Refreshments will be served.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].