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Chester County Press

Board adopts revised Kennett Township zoning code and map

02/07/2023 01:13PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

By a unanimous 3-0 vote, the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors adopted the township’s revised township zoning code and map, which was presented at its Feb. 1 meeting.

The upgraded codes and map have been re-developed over the past five years by the Chester County Planning Commission, the Kennett Township Planning Commission, township supervisors, consultants and members of the township’s zoning update task force. It was discussed in a public hearing presented by Diane Hicks, the township’s zoning and codes officer, and Jeannine Speirs, senior community planner for the Chester County Planning Commission. 

“The current zoning code was last updated 15 years ago,” Hicks told the board. “The task force was charged with cleaning up internal inconsistencies, examining incompatibilities with other codes, folding in past amendments and providing new and changing uses related to the county’s comprehensive plan policy.”

Hicks said that the updated map shows how the township is divided into zoning districts such as residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and agricultural, and two new districts designated as cultural conservation. It also includes borders for each district, zoning rules and land uses for each district, land uses, yard and setback provisions, and a series of procedures for administering the zoning ordinance.

“The update is in line with the [county’s] comprehensive plan, in that it continues to promote and preserve our agricultural, historic, natural and open space [districts],” Hicks added. “The update also encourages the support of our tax base – ratables for industrial and commercial uses -- which help to offset residential fees, that is based on the township’s economic development study.”

Major components that factored into the updated zoning code involved determining uses, definitions and standards for and of cultural conservation districts, limited industrial and specialized agriculture, preservation and adaptive reuse of historic resources, sustainable development and renewable energy, cell tower and small wireless communication standards, natural resources protection, open space development and various types of housing.

Hicks said that notification was recently sent to property owners whose properties were being changed to a new zoning district.

In other township business, the board authorized township manager Eden Ratliff to apply for a grant through from the county’s Municipal Grant Program with the Chester County Department of Parks and Preservation. Ratliff said that the township will use the grant – if awarded – for the cost associated with the purchase of an open space acquisition. The award is expected to be granted in September. 

The board also approved the renewals of Mark Rybaczyk and John Gaadt as members of the Kennett Area Park Authority through Jan. 1, 2028; and the appointment of Karen Marshall to the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway Commission through the end of 2023, replacing long-time member Tom Nale.

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