East Marlborough Township Supervisors last week approved a $3.5 million project for renovation and construction of the outbuildings and pool at the Kennett Square Golf and Country Club.

The Tuesday, Sept. 5, meeting of the board was the second in as many months that country club representatives attended, hoping to get their plans approved.

The country club hoped that by complying with East Marlborough's request for 15-foot the right-of-way along Route 82, the board would not require the right-of-way and expansion of East Locust.

Riley, Riper, Hollin and Colagreco lawyer, John Jaros, representing the club, said the expansion on East Locust would be like "opening up Pandoras box."

Also representing the club was Mark Beeson, a member of the board of governors and part of the building committee for the club. "We will not be in a position to build this year with the conditions the board wants," Beeson said.

Beeson and Nichols presented several reasons for objecting to widening the road.

The first was the cost.

If the supervisors required the right-of-way and expansion on East Locust Lane, from the second entrance of the club up to Walnut Road, the club members would have to re-open the vote and discussion on price, delaying the construction another year. Beeson said that from 2005 to 2006 construction costs went up 20 percent. A 2007 date for building would increase the 3.5 million dollar price tag up significantly.

Another problem involves the cramped quarters for the golf course on 133 acres of ground

Regulation golf courses built today are a minimum of 150 acres -- and that only includes the course and a building to facilitate that course.

If East Locust Lane were widened, the tee boxes would have to be moved, causing the greens to be moved. And that would necessitate the relocation of the hazards such as sand traps. Considerable cost would be involved, Jaros and Beeson said.

Still, Supervisor Eddie Caudill said the township needs a right-of-way for widening the narrow road. "If we don't get it now, we won't have it in the future," he said.

Following the back and forth between Caudill and the country club's representatives, Supervisor's Chairman Cuyler Walker made a motion to approve the club's building plans with the amended right-of-way and upgrade of the Route 82-East Locust Lane intersection area, without the southern expansion of East Locust Lane to Walnut Road. Walker said that since the future use of East Locust that the township was talking about was simply "potential" use and that no concrete plans are being made, that he sided with the country club's compromise.

Caudill asked about expanding pavement width on East Locust Lane on the northern end, from the intersection at Route 82 to the second entrance of the club to 18 feet.

"Well, we are already at 17, 17-and-a-half [feet wide]," Jaros said, "does an extra foot really matter?"

"Yes. Every little bit matters," Caudill answered.

Final approval was given with the provision that the township would accommodate any unforeseen costs that the widening East Locust Lane to the second entrance of the club from Route 82 would incur for the country club.

In the end, the supervisors voted 4-1 to approve the plan, with Caudill casting the lone dissenting vote. His vote, in his words, was, "A very strong no."

The country club expects to begin construction in the near future.

@hedc:Other news

@bod:. A tree collapsed onto a house situated on property next to Willowdale Crossings, sometime in early July. Laslo said that two letters have been sent to the owner about this hazard, but he has not responded. According to Willowdale Board members, they have been "chasing away children," from the unoccupied and damaged house, and now fear for people's safety.

Township solicitor Fronefield Crawford suggested sending another letter, one with a specific date where the township will take action against the homeowners and the property.

The uninhabited house and tree will be demolished if the owners do not reply to the next letter in 30 days.

n Longwood Land Development wanted to amend conditional use order so that a restaurant and "mini-bank' would be allowed in the newly constructed School House Crossing building on Route 1, behind the Hilton Garden Inn. Walker said that the idea of a drive-through being installed on a building that shares occupancy with other stores was "novel for East Marlborough," and that when the township previous approved the plans they did not envision the back lane of traffic, usually used for loading and unloading, being shared with customers. The conditional use hearing was then re-oened and scheduled for Oct. 9.

n The township approved Genereux Funeral Home's final plans. The new funeral home will occupy the old Dairy Queen on Route 1. The home will renovate the existing building, but be demolishing some of the parking lot and building a fence in the back of the lot.

n Grace Fellowship Church asked for the township's support before they went to their zoning plan hearing for their request to adapt the former garage of the Po-Mar-Lin engine room for church use in the interim period. George Asimos, representing the church, said that they are currently in the works of building a new church and that the interim period would be less than five years. No outside structural changes would be made to the garage, but drywall, lights etc., were needed to make the place more "comfortable" for worship purposes. The township agreed to support the church in their request.

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