Pocopson delays action on day care, Barnard House

Supervisors again reject road dedication from The Preserve

By Karen Cresta, Staff Writer, The Times

Pocopson officials are awaiting clarification from the county on uses allowed for the Bernard House before taking further action.

Pocopson officials are awaiting clarification from the county on uses allowed for the Bernard House before taking further action.

POCOPSON – Two voting items that have been consistently postponed were again put on hold at Monday night’s board of supervisors’ meeting in hopes of gathering more information to move forward at the next township meeting scheduled for June 27.

The first item seeking final approval from the board was the preliminary land development plan for a Ducklings Early Leaning Center in Riverside at Chadds Ford. Questions were brought up by the supervisors regarding traffic flow, parking overflow, and a possible recreation fee and the exact dollar amount to assess, if at all.  

“No one was able to come up with documentation that this parcel was included,” Supervisor Alice Balsama said in regards to the recreational fee. “There is no concrete calculation that exists today,” she added.

There was conflicting information about the allowance of off-street parking in the community during special events at the center. The supervisors were under the impression that participants would be shuttled from another location as previously suggested.

“There’s still minor tweaking that we need to do,” concluded Balsama.

The supervisors, along with the township solicitor, need to do some additional research and tabled the vote until the next meeting.

The other expected vote – to give final approval for the security system proposal for the Barnard House – was also tabled. This final vote will allow the occupation of the Kennett Underground Railroad Center (KURC). This is the final outstanding item standing in the way of the occupancy. The supervisors still need to review the Protection Bureau’s contract terms on leasing the security equipment versus buying it outright. The previous option of buying the equipment is $13,000 – for only one occupant, KURC.

“Another two weeks and we can talk about where we are,” said Balsama.

Supervisor Elaine DiMonte discussed the letter she received from the county solicitor that referenced the deed restrictions and prohibit any commercial operation for the historical home. There appeared to be no willingness to modify the use of the building or to change the current covenant. The building renovations have already cost the township approximately $800,000.

Chairwoman Ricki Stumpo would like to extend an invitation to the county commissioners to tour the Barnard House to better understand its limitations to serve for municipal use. Residents were urged to contact the county commissioners to voice their concerns.

Another concern was the Keystone Grant report that is due at the end of June in regards to the replacement doors and windows. The grant amount was based on the entire building renovation and questions remain if only the first floor could be done.   The board will contact State Rep. Steve Barrar (R-160) to request a face-to-face meeting to see if the grant could be modified.

“It’s not that we don’t value the stewardship of the building but we don’t want it to be a burden on our residents,” Balsama added. The supervisors agreed that the building should be preserved but the application of its use is in question.

As for another agenda item that keeps resurfacing – the fourth request for the dedication from Toll Brothers for the Preserve at Chadds Ford. The dedication was rejected by all the supervisors based on inspection issues that are still outstanding. One of these issues, according to Stumpo, is that 124 trees still need replacement. No one from Toll Brothers was in attendance for a rebuttal.

“I think it’s ridiculous this far out and we are still having the same conversations,” Balsama stated.

In other township news, based on the success of the last garage sale in May that benefited the Locust Grove Schoolhouse, another one will be held on June 25, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The supervisors also agreed to a breakfast fundraiser at Applebees restaurant in Kennett Square on October 1, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at the township building and will be available at Founders’ Day on September 25. The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children, 12 and under and is all you can eat.

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