Mansion, dating to 1770, other building would have 12 rooms
By Nicole Brown, Correspondent, UnionvilleTimes.com
BIRMINGHAM — A local landmark might just become a destination for tourists and travelers, but the fate of such plans will be in the hands of the township Zoning Hearing Board, tonight.
The ZHB will hear a request for a variance to allow the stately Radley Run Mansion to become an inn, operated on the grounds of Radley Run Country Club, with 12 rooms, including a suite in a neighboring building, Doll Cottage. The hearing is slated to start at 7:30 at the municipal building.
At last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting on November 21, Brian Angel presented the final plan to turn two historic buildings on the Radley Run Country Club property into an inn.
About three months ago, two different residents proposed the plan to the board. The plan remains the same: The Radley Run Mansion will become the main house with a maximum of 11 rooms, and the Doll Cottage will become a suite. At this meeting, however, Angle requested a letter of support from the supervisors that will be sent to the Zoning Hearing Board, which will make the final decision to approve the plan or not.
When the plan was first introduced to the supervisors, the preservation of the historic buildings and the consent of the neighbors were their only concerns.
At this meeting, the supervisors again stressed the importance of preservation of the buildings’ historical value. The buildings are considered two of the area’s oldest landmarks. According to the Radley Run Country Club website, the cottage was built in 1749 and the Mansion house was built in 1770. They remain icons of the area’s significant role in historical events including the Revolutionary War.
Angle insisted that the project “does not involve any exterior construction and very little renovation,” and preservation of the buildings remains a priority.
According to Angle, this project will have a positive effect on the maintenance of the buildings. “Time has proven that the Mansion House and the Cottage have not been adequately maintained,” said Angle. The inn will allow the proper maintenance of the Mansion and Cottage, while retaining the historical value.
The notification of residents in Radley Run was the other concern of the supervisors. Notices have already been sent to properties within 500 feet, which is the requirement; however, there are only 12 homes that close to the property of the buildings.
The supervisors did not think this was a good representation of Radley Run and requested that Angle vocalize the plan more to the residents of the neighborhood.
“We just want people to know,” said Supervisor John Conklin.
Supervisor William Kirkpatrick added that they should have “as many people representing the neighbors as possible.”
The supervisors had no other issues with the plan and agreed to support it when it is presented to the Zoning Hearing Board. This board will be presented the plan on November 30.
The rest of the meeting consisted of the nomination of Fredda Maddox, fresh off a run for Chester County Court of Common Pleas, for the open spot on the Zoning Hearing Board and a discussion of the expansion of the Giant in the Dilworthtown Center on Route 202.
Giant, a large supermarket, plans to expand into the space where BlockBuster used to be. The plans are not complete, but the township has already started an agreement with RJ Waters & Associates regarding adjustments to the sewage system. Kevin Lahn, Vice-President of RJ Waters & Associates, was present at the meeting; however the Supervisors requested that the agreement be extended until the end of next September.