EAST MARLBOROUGH—By the time the recently emerged leaves have fallen, East Marlborough officials will probably have an ordinance in place specifying how you can get rid of them.
The township supervisors discussed a draft version of a new burning ordinance at their monthly meeting Monday night. Currently the township says on its website that it “discourages” any kind of burning. The website says burning leaves always produces objectionable smoke but burning brush may be acceptable under windless conditions.
Township Manager Laurie Prysock said the state Department of Environmental Protection requires townships to collect leaves and have a composting area, but that townships of a certain size can be exempted if they have a burning ordinance.
Not all the supervisors had seen the proposed ordinance, so they agreed to read it and submit comments before advertising it for public comment.
Prompted by an attendee’s remark, the supervisors agreed that in many of the township’s more rural areas it wasn’t feasible to dispose of brush by taking it to a landfill, and that they would be likely to clearly permit burning it in the new ordinance.
The supervisors joked that even they sometimes aren’t sure what is and is not currently allowable.
In other business, the supervisors considered the situation of a proposed Pilates-based fitness business in the Longwood Village shopping center. They rejected the owner’s suggestion to approve it as a conditional use without a hearing, which Planning Commission Chair Cuyler Walker would set a dangerous precedent.
But the supervisors agreed the proposed fitness salon could be considered a “use by right,” with no need for a special hearing to be approved, since it was no larger than 2,000 square feet and could be considered a personal service.
The supervisors considered a reconfiguration of a crosswalk for a development Toll Brothers is building on both sides of Route 82 just south of Route 926. A PennDOT representative reviewing the plans suggested the reconfiguration because the crosswalk was near enough to the entrance of RP Nurseries that a driver exiting might look left for oncoming traffic and then turn right without checking for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Richard Pratt, who owns the nursery and lives across the road from the development site, said he doubts the crosswalk will be used much, and questioned whether enough traffic came out of the nursery to justify modifying the crosswalk. He added that he was concerned the lighting would be an intrusion.
The supervisors told Alyson Zarro, the attorney representing Toll Brothers on the project, that when she took the proposed change back to the developers she should also discuss with them the desirability of using modern lighting fixtures that control the light much better than old-fashioned streetlights.
The topic of the Longwood Gateway project received some attention after Prysock, Supervisor Robert McKinstry, and Walker all said they had been discussing the project with various people recently.
Prysock said the project, which aims to create linkages between Kennett Square and Longwood Gardens that would promote the region’s economic development, is in the planning stages and the township could take part as a regional stakeholder and might also contribute funds to pay a planning consultant.
Walker suggested that in light of the lack of general knowledge so far, East Marlborough officials should get involved to learn more but hold off on contributing financially at this point. The supervisors agreed to proceed that way.
The supervisors approved placing a new historical marker near the intersection of Route 926 and Conservatory Road, to commemorate the use of the area as a high point where observers from Washington’s forces could see British troop movements during the Battle of the Brandywine.