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Chester County Press

Gateway beautification project in early stages

09/18/2018 01:56PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer

The Historic Kennett Square's Design Committee, in collaboration with Kennett Township and the township's Environmental Advisory Committee, is in the very early stages of a collaboration with Longwood Gardens to create a gateway beautification project near the eastern entrance to Kennett Borough, at the grassy median area off of Route 1 on State Street.

News of the partnership was shared by Nate Echeverria, the director of economic development for Historic Kennett Square, who delivered his report at the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors meeting on Sept. 5.

While the project, Echeverria said, is still in its infancy, it's one that would, if implemented, create a meadow of tall grasses, wildflowers and other foliage in the triangle-shaped patch of ground that serves as the eastern entrance to the borough. Its concept would extend the landscaped appearance of Longwood Gardens and create a beautification link to the borough.

Projects of this shape and scope are in keeping with the objectives of the Design Committee, which coordinates downtown design concepts; helps to establish financial incentive programs for design improvements; and works with vendors to improve the design and appearance of the borough's business district.

The committee serves as a working component of the 2016 Kennett Region Economic Development Study, which implements the economic goals and recommendations of the borough, the township, in conjunction with county's comprehensive plan.

Echeverria announced that the Chester County Planning Commission will host a Planners Forum on Oct. 24 at Longwood Gardens, at which Longwood Gardens' Executive Director Paul Redmond will provide an update on current and future projects there. In addition, the forum will also invite representatives from the Chester County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Echeverria also discussed the community workshop and open house, which will be held Sept. 13 at the American Legion Hall, 208 E. State Street in Kennett Square. The workshop will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Led by Kennett Area Economic Development Director Nate Echeverria and the consulting firm Looney Ricks Kiss, the workshop sessions will be arranged in an open-house style to solicit public feedback and encourage one-on-one/small group discussion. Invitation is open to one or both of the facilitated sessions, as well as the open house. Spanish speakers and interpreters will be available for both sessions and throughout the day. All workshop materials will also be available in both English and Spanish.

In other township business, the board voted 3-0 to adopt the 2015 international code that applies to the township's fire, building inspection, property maintenance, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and energy codes.

The board also appointed five individuals to its Architectural Review Committee. They include architect Ed Rahme, Marla Palmer and Jim Guthrie of the township's planning commission, township zoning officer Diane Hicks and Tom Comitta, the township's landscape architect.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].