Birmingham’s preliminary 2016 budget approved for inspection

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Neighbor disputes top public comments, zoning policies upheld 

 

By Kris Firey-Poling, Correspondent, The Times

BIRMINGHAM – At Monday night’s meeting, the Birmingham Board of Supervisors authorized advertising, approved residential upgrades, heard neighbor disputes, and discussed commercial signage.

The Comprehensive Plan Update was approved, with a hearing scheduled for December 7th at 7:00 p.m. Supervisors Chair, John Conklin, praised the Planning Commission’s work; its members were responsible for producing the document.  The draft of the plan can be viewed on the township’s website: www.birminghamtownship.org

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Birmingham Township Supervisors inspect siding samples at Monday night’s meeting.

The board also approved public inspection of the preliminary 2016 budget.  According to Secretary Quina Nelling, residents can request a copy of the document from the township office.  The budget will be formally adopted at the December 7th board of supervisors meeting.

Two residents discussed neighbor disputes during public comment.

John Alivernini, of Radley Drive, discussed an ongoing light issue that is impacting his privacy.  Specifically, his neighbor has spotlights directed onto his property and into his windows.  The lights have been a frequent issue since 2013.  Alivernini presented the supervisors with past letters to his neighbor from Rich Jensen, the township’s zoning enforcement officer.

Supervisors Vice-Chair, William Kirkpatrick, acknowledged the township’s lighting ordinance, and said that the lumens need to be measured. “Lumens measure the amount of light that is produced – the more lumens in a light bulb, the brighter the light,” explained Kirkpatrick.  He recommended that Jensen further investigate to enforce the lighting ordinance.

Resident Joe Denest said that the condition of his property has worsened since last month’s meeting.  Last month, Denest reported how trash and debris from Piazza Mazda was impacting his yard. Piazza Mazda is an auto dealership abutting his property line.

Supervisor Kirkpatrick described how he and the township’s solicitor visited the property and also spoke with the car dealer’s general manager. He acknowledged that the 30 year-old trees are losing their leaves and falling onto Denest’s property.  He also learned that the car dealer does regular pruning.

“What we have is a neighbor issue.  This is a civil issue, and we would like to avoid litigation,” said Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick encouraged Denest to speak with the dealership’s general manager “neighbor to neighbor” first.

Also, the supervisors approved siding and window replacements on Wes Moore Drive and window upgrades on the 1850s tenant house on Birmingham Road.

Lastly, the supervisors discussed Oakmont Capital Services’ request to allow a sign on the back of their truck at their location on Route 202.  According to Kirkpatrick, “Signage on Route 202 has come up many times.  We hear from everyone – they want more signs, and our ordinances don’t allow it.” Conklin added, “I challenge anyone to read all the signs on Route 202.  They are not effective and they don’t contribute to the community.” The supervisors were against the truck signage, saying that if it’s a hardship, the business could make a request with the zoning hearing board.

The next meeting of the Birmingham Township Board of Supervisors will be held Monday, December 7th at 7:30 p.m., in the Township Building, located on 1040 West Street Road, West Chester.

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