Birmingham residents seek township relief

Board of Supervisors declines to intercede in neighborhood issues

By Kris Firey-Poling, Correspondent, The Times


Birmingham township Supervisors Scott Boorse, John Conklin and William Kirkpatrick discussed a number of neighborhood issues Monday night.

BIRMINGHAM — The township’s Board of Supervisors agreed not to get involved in two neighborhood disputes at Monday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Bill Barrett and Howard Blue, Spring Meadow residents, told the supervisors that they were against an earlier proposed emergency access road next to their homes.

At last month’s meeting, a representative from the Spring Meadow Homeowners Association (HOA) proposed a third access to the neighborhood that would connect Sherbrook Drive into Radley Run.  Currently, Spring Meadow has two access points onto Route 926. The request was brought about by traffic back-ups on Route 926, and a concern that emergency vehicles could not get into the development. 

Barret and Blue currently live on either side of the right of way off of Sherbrook Drive.  They currently maintain the grass in this area and acknowledged that residents use the space as a walking path.

“This access has not been used as a road since 1981.  We consulted a lawyer who said that if no action has been taken in 20 years, the township’s rights have disappeared,” said Barrett.

Supervisors Chairman John Conklin said that there is no need to create an access road.

“This is an HOA issue, not a township issue,” said Conklin.

He recommended that they work with the Spring Meadow HOA since they are the ones pushing the access road.

In another dispute, Brinton Bridge resident Kathleen Harkins said that her neighbor, Leonhards Landscape Construction, “has been harassing us with ten blue containers.”

According to Harkins, owner Victor Leonhard is using the ten blue containers as a fence that backs up onto her property.  She wants him to keep the barrels closer to his business, which encompasses 24 acres of land.  In addition, she said that the owner has large disposals of trash. Harkins believed that the owner was not following township rules.

However, Building Code Officer Richard Jensen said that on his recent visit, Leonhard was within code.

“There is nothing in our ordinance about blue containers,” said Jensen.

Conklin acknowledged that Harkin’s issue was bothersome, but that the township cannot deal with neighbor versus neighbor issues.

“We will have Richard check to see if the barrels are empty.  If Leonhard uses them as a fence, we can’t do anything.  I believe you have a civil issue,” explained Conklin.

In other topics, the Board of Supervisors agreed to not participate on the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway Commission.  Their decision was based upon three things: the Byway only includes 400 feet of Birmingham Township, an annual township fee, and a lack of interested volunteers.  Overall, they did not see how Birmingham residents would benefit from participation.

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