Kennett Township trails plan advances

KENNETT TOWNSHIP >> The burgeoning system of trails and sidewalks in Kennett Township took another step forward on Monday night.

The township’s board of supervisors voted to authorize a potential payment of $360,050 to cover about half the cost of a 20-acre parcel that Township Manager Lisa Moore said would provide linkages among various proposed trails being planned around the area.

Moore said that as with all such situations, the location of the parcel is being kept confidential until the negotiations are finished. Scudder Stevens, board chairman, said residents would be able to comment on the proposed purchase at that point.

The other half of the funding would come from county and state grants, Moore said. The vote authorizes the township to commit its own funds once the outside funds are available.

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The proposal to purchase the 20-acre parcel is unrelated to another parcel of 80 acres the township is also considering to buy and preserve as open space, Moore said.

Moore also said progress continues on several stretches of proposed sidewalk that would allow pedestrians to walk from Rosedale and McFarlan roads into the borough and from the borough to the shopping center on Scarlet Road. The projects are out for bids now and will start construction in June, Moore said.

Trail news continued with Moore’s reporting that the Parish Trail, which extends south from near Pennock Park and across Hillendale Road, would be resurfaced with a porous surfacing material called trail surface aggregate. She also said the township had received a $1.2 million grant to extend a trail all the way south to Chandler Mill Bridge.

The supervisors voted to make a number of revisions and additions to a sign ordinance they adopted a year and a half ago. Moore said one of the changes allowed signs in commercial areas to be somewhat larger than normally allowed if the owners enhanced their attractiveness with landscaping or other decorative elements.

Township Police Chief Lydell Nolt said the speed limit on Old Kennett Road would be reduced to 40 mph from the Delaware state line to Clifton Mills. He said this would make speeding on the stretch more obvious and enforceable. Stevens noted that it would also increase the fines for the speeders who were caught.

The supervisors voted to approve a resolution encouraging Westtown Township to preserve Crebilly Farm, a 330-acre historic piece of farmland on which Toll Brothers has proposed a development of 319 houses. About a dozen other municipalities have signed on to the resolution, the supervisors said.

Abe Hughes, a member of the Kennett Arts Alliance, gave the supervisors a presentation of the group’s efforts to promote the arts as a way to boost the area’s economy.