EAST MARLBOROUGH—In an unusual split decision, the East Marlborough supervisors have voted to allow the Tri-M Group to pursue an expansion of their Gale Lane facility without requiring a conditional use hearing.
Exton-based lawyer John Jaros argued for Tri-M at the board of supervisors’ meeting that the proposed expansion did not in any essential way differ from what the township had approved as a conditional use back in the 1990s.
Jaros said review of the proposal and addressing concerns about it could take place during the land-approval process.
The multi-location company, which offers a variety of electronics-related contracting services, currently has a 35,675-square foot building at its Gale Lane site. It proposes to build a new two-story building with 14,470 square feet next to the original, mostly for training activities.
Zoning ordinances allow property owners to do certain things “by right,” with no special steps other than following the usual procedures. A “conditional use” typically requires a special hearing during which the municipal officials can formally review the proposal and apply conditions they feel the particular proposal needs.
Three of the supervisors, Chairman John Sarro, Richard Hannum, and Bruce Jameson, eventually agreed with Jaros that the land developement approval process would offer the township enough oversight of the expansion.
Supervisor Julia Lacy, however, continued to argue that in her view reopening the original conditional use hearing would give the township even more ability to review the proposal. Supervisor Robert McKinstry said he was leaning towards Lacy’s view, in part because the original conditional use order had been granted long before any of the current supervisors were on the board.
Lacy herself pointed out there was no need for the vote to be unanimous, and in the end the vote was 3–2, with Lacy and McKinstry voting “nay,” to allow the proposal to proceed to the land-development phase without a hearing.
In other business, the supervisors voted unanimously to revise their subdivision and land development ordinance to increase impact feels to help fund emergency services. The fees, which had not increased since 1999, will now go up by five percent a year or by the consumer price index, whichever is higher for that year.
The supervisors also voted to approve a memorandum of understanding with Kennett Township needed for the planned intersection improvements at Cedarcroft Road, Route 1, and Route 82. The also considered a number of matters related to various development projects.