Birmingham supervisors want historic home maintained

2015 road program goes out for bid 

By Kris Firey-Poling, Correspondent, The Times


Birmingham Township Supervisors approved construction of a new home on a 10-acre lot, but with the condition that this 1837 structure on the property be preserved and maintained as part of the plan, Monday night.

BIRMINGHAM — Sometimes it’s easier to build a house on historic land than deal with the old house already there!

At Monday night’s meeting, the township Board of Ssupervisors approved the location of a new house on the 10-acre lot at 1301 Birmingham Road.  But they expect the new landowner to maintain the accompanying Wylie House, an 1837 historic serpentine home.  A bank barn is also located on this perpetually eased historic open space.

Bill Mullray, of Mullray Builders and representing the potential buyer, presented ways to use the historic house, including office space, and removing the kitchen and plumbing to create a storage space.  However, the Historic Commission did not like the storage idea.  Mullray added, “My client is also willing to donate the building to the township.”

Supervisor Chairman John Conklin, who was “loathe in taking the donation option,” acknowledged that the buyer is in a difficult situation.  “We’ve seen many historic structures go into disrepair and then have to be demolished.  This property is in the heart of our historical district and the town’s history. I encourage you to be creative. We want you to use the building and we want to protect it at the same time. We are here to work with you.” Conklin explained.

Supervisor Scott Boorse added, “You need to choose an idea that fits within the township zoning laws and also meets the easement requirements.  Look hard at the legal requirements and come back with your formal concept.”

Both supervisors agreed that they will need a maintenance agreement to ensure that the structure does not fall into disrepair inside and out.

Mullray and his client will work to create a development plan for the new home and determine how they want to maintain the old structure.

In other topics, Roadmaster Dave Rathbun reviewed the upcoming 2015 road program that includes seal coating, patching, and miscellaneous repairs.  According to Rathbun, “The slurry seal coating process will extend the life of the roads at about one-third the cost of paving.”  Roadwork costs are estimated to be $90,000.  Supervisors approved advertising bids for the program.

The supervisors also approved advertising bids for the Nitrogen Removal Upgrade Project.  “This is a mandated upgrade to our wastewater treatment facility to reduce effluent total nitrogen to very low levels,” said Boorse.

For the record, Conklin restated his prior quote, calling it, “a useless project required by the DEP (the state Department of Environmental Protection) to impact nitrogen that we breathe every day.”

In other township business, supervisors approved two Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) recommendations: the addition of a shed at 1360 Brinton Run Drive, and exterior renovations at 935 Stoney Run Drive.

Also, the Radley Run Country Club will celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer.  According to Jim Rosenthal, Festivities Committee member, “Radley Run opened July 4, 1965.  Radley will be celebrating this milestone all year, with various activities through the July 4th weekend.”  General Manager Joe Mendez announced that on Sunday, July 5th, they will offer a Community Day for residents as well as the community.  Various activities will be provided, culminating in a fireworks display.  Mendez and Rosenthal shared preliminary information, and asked supervisors and Chief Thomas Nelling for guidance.

In his November report, Chief Nelling cited 981incidents, 7435 police miles logged, and six criminal arrests.

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One Comment

  1. Jerrym1957 says:

    Typical local politics: The Township’s Board of Supervisors demands that the house be preserved but doesn’t want to contribute any money to its upkeep and maintenance. This is America and if the Township wants to preserve the house it should accept the owner’s generous offer of dedication and assume responsibility for the building. Otherwise, since ten acres is more than enough to support the proposed single family dwelling in accordance with the provisions of the Township’s Zoning Ordinance, the Township should issue the owner a permit for the construction of a new house and get out of the way.

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