Pennsbury receives tax-exemption on newly acquired open space

Board adopts Brandywine Creek Greenway Plan

By Kris Firey-Poling, Correspondent, The Times


Solicitor Tom Oeste, Supervisors Scotty Scottoline and Aaron McIntyre, and Manager Kathleen Howley discuss Pennsbury Township issues with residents at Wednesday night’s meeting.

PENNSBURY — At Wednesday’s meeting of the township’s Board of Supervisors, a lighter than usual agenda included local conservation, open space land, and homeowner challenges.

The board easily adopted a resolution to support the Brandywine Creek Greenway’s 2015 Strategic Action Plan. The Greenway is a 30-mile long conservation corridor that connects open space, river access points, parks, and area attractions. This Brandywine Conservancy initiative involves 24 municipalities and will focus on community planning of natural, cultural, and recreational resources.

Engineer Matthew Houtman reported on his work with the Brandywine Conservancy and Pennsbury Land Trust to create easements on the three acquired township properties. Last year, the township acquired 23 acres of land for open space and recreation, located on US-1 east and west of the township building, and at the corner of US-1and Hickory Hill Road.

According to Secretary Kathleen Howley, Chester County has granted Pennsbury a tax-exemption on school taxes beginning in 2015 for these properties.

According to Supervisors Chair Scotty Scottoline, this is a better deal for the school district as “no one will be living on these properties.”

Supervisors Vice-Chair Aaron McIntyre agreed that, “with us owning the land, it will save the schools money in the long-run.”

Howley explained that county taxes are still owed on this land. However, the township is scheduled to meet with county commissioners to request county tax-exemption status.

In his Roadmaster report, David Allen announced that the oil and chipping on roads has been completed. Also, he is currently collecting data to determine the need for a four-way stop at the Fairville-Cossart intersection.

Also, the township is helping Hillendale Elementary with stormwater management issues. In addition, McIntyre and others have partnered with Hillendale staff to create a one-mile trail that loops around the school and incorporates education on water flow and erosion principles.

In other agenda items, Code Enforcement Officer Rusty Drumheller reported on continued challenges at Hawk’s Crest development, where residents with large homes on one-acre of land don’t have room to add pools or other impermeable expansions. He noted that if they want to do anything, residents have to work with the Zoning Hearing Board.

Following onto this discussion, Bob Crandell said that the Planning Commission is currently working to add a paragraph about impervious coverage to the Open Space Design ordinance. According to Crandell, residents on one-acre of land are currently allowed 15% of impervious cover or landscape that cannot absorb or infiltrate rainfall –  including the house, driveway, sidewalks, and pool. This requirement ensures that rainfall is absorbed into the soil and vegetation, creating sufficient drainage.

The next meeting of the Pennsbury Township Board of Supervisors will be held Wednesday, August 19th at 7:00 p.m. in the Township Building, located on 702 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford.

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