Pocopson OKs daycare prelimary site plan

926 bridge closure creates Denton Hollow Road traffic concerns

By Karen Cresta, Staff Writer, The Times

PocopsonPOCOPSON – The township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a preliminary land development plan for the Ducklings Early Learning Center on Winston Lane in the Riverside at Chadds Ford community on Monday night. This was the third meeting that centered on parking and traffic concerns from residents of Riverside.

The 10,000 square-foot daycare center will house up to 128 children and 15 teachers and drop-off and pick-up times are likely to produce much traffic during opening and closing hours beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. during the week. Residents were concerned that the existing “nightmare” for traffic would only get more congested at the entrance and within the community.

“It’s a dangerous situation…I don’t know how it is feasible,” said a resident of the Riverside community.

According to Supervisor Alice Balsama, the board consulted with the township solicitor, Amanda Sundquist, the engineer, McCormick Taylor, and the planning commission before making the decision to move forward.

One of the attorneys for Riverside Homeowner’s Association, Robert Hoffman, stated that the development plan for the daycare center does not meet the zoning ordinance requirements and will challenge the violations.

Regardless of possible legal challenge ahead, the supervisors voted in favor of the preliminary land development plan after Sundquist read all 19 conditions that must be met by the developer, Riverside Daycare Partnership, such as a designated crosswalk, off-site parking for special events, and a circular drive.

Another traffic issue that was discussed at Monday’s meeting was the anticipated cut-through on Denton Hollow Road in anticipation of the Route 926 bridge closure expected for six months, according to PennDOT, beginning in February 2017.

Residents voiced concerns of the road being heavily travelled as a detour as previously experienced when the Route 52 roundabout was under construction. Residents mentioned that the narrow road, speeding vehicles, and heavy traffic made for another dangerous six months and requested that the board assist in closing a section of the road or making it temporarily one-way.

Supervisor Elaine DiMonte informed residents on Denton Hollow Road that she would do more research as the appointed PennDOT liaison for the township, although she stated concerns that the warrants on the application to limit access to the road do not seem feasible, especially since there are no other access roads off of it.

DiMonte recently met with the county solicitor and a few members of the Chester County Planning Commission regarding some options on the use of the Barnard House and is awaiting a definitive decision. The board wants clarification on its permission for use as a municipal office before making any decisions about purchasing costly new windows or making repairs to the existing ones. The township does not want to lose the Keystone grant if the deadline expires.

“I don’t want to throw that money away is it can be used for the windows,” DiMonte said.

The board will contact the county to expedite the process and explain the urgency of a timely decision.

In other township business, Chairman Ricki Stumpo recently completed interviews to appoint two representatives for the township to the Kennett Library Board of Trustees. After consideration and a favorable vote, Brad Piper and Chris Larson were chosen.

The board also voted in favor to reinstate the Parks, Recreation and Trails Committee that was suspended last month after 27 years due to the lack of an appointed chairperson and members. Since the announcement, many residents expressed interest in serving on the committee and the board appointed Tom Bierl to serve as the new chairman along with many new members.

Public Works Director Mark Knightly reported to the board that the West Creek Road repair and reinforcement to the embankment was completed ahead of schedule. In addition, the board approved the sale of a used chipper in the amount of $16,000. Knightly said the chipper was sold for double the original bid price. The board expressed their gratitude for the profit to the township.

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