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West Nantmeal Township Attorney Kristin Camp said there are several things at the Fairview Road property owned by Mr. and Mrs. James Ford which do not comply with township ordinances.
Referring to a letter he received in May regarding his operation of a horseback riding facility on the property, contractor Terry Walsh asked what he could do to resolve a cease and desist order.”
“By law we are obligated to contact you. You are using the land as a tenant. It is zoned R2. Part of it is being leased for Ag, which is permitted. The stable may be leased to you (and) there is no problem with the use of the stable, but there are requirements for a horseback riding facility,” explained Camp. “There are needs for water and sewer, and a minimum lot size of 5 acres.”
She also mentioned the report of construction debris being found in the wetlands. An ordinance exists which applies to dumping construction debris near wetlands. The ordinance states that doing so is a violation of the zoning code, and the lot owner or the tenant has to respond.
Walsh said it was clean fill and that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Chester County Conservation District had several meetings with him about it.
Zoning Officer Frank Newhams said there were pipes and other debris in the fill.
April Barkasi, the township engineer, said that while the DEP requires a 20 foot buffer from the wetlands with an erosion control screen, that the township requires a 50 foot buffer.
Property owner Jim Ford, who had been quietly observing the conversation said, “Let’s calm things… …We can remove the fill. We can clean it up.”
The DEP requires that the area must be dry before the fill be removed. The expectations are that the time to remove the fill will be in July or August.
Camp said that although a tree harvesting permit was issued for the property in 2011, a new permit would be needed if trees continue to be harvested on the property. Camp was told that the work currently being done was on already felled trees that were still being cut up and removed.
Ford said he did not come to argue, but rather straighten out the issues and go home.
Two residents living along Bollinger Road complained of excessive noise from kids riding dirt bikes on weekends, and offered concerns that traffic is destroying a historic bridge. Solutions suggested to the township were implementation of a lower speed limit, use of speed bumps, a weight limit at the bridge, or a sign barring all trucks except for local deliveries.
Camp said she would look into what power the township has over local roads and what the options are.
Chairman Gary Elston said, “We will work on it (and will) see what we can find out.”
Regarding the dirt bike noise, Newhams said that a sound meter only measures certain kinds of noise. No more than 65 decibels of continuous noise is permitted at the property line. The residents were told to contact Newhams about filing a noise complaint.
The State Police will not respond to a noise complaint said Supervisor Nelson Beam. Township Secretary/Treasurer Susan Ward added that if there are guns being fired, the State Police will come out.
Supervisor Dave Mast announced that the new volleyball court has been finished at the park next to the township building.
About 1700 feet of Isabella Road will be repaired this summer. Work will start at Chestnut Tree Road.
“We are working with PennDOT to have them remove brush that is growing out over Route 82 at some locations,” said Elston.
Visitors to the August 30 tour of Isabella Furnace and Langoma Mansion will have the thrill of riding a hay wagon through scenic West Nantmeal on August 30. The West Nantmeal Historical Commission sponsors the visit to the Potts Mansion and the ride along the dry stone walls built by the furnace workers. Members of the public should call 1-877-442-2476 ex 110 for more information on the wagon rides.
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