Birmingham supervisors hear Whelihan’s conditional use application

The clock has started for Birmingham Township supervisors to decide whether or not to approve outdoor seating for P.J. Whelihan’s in the Shoppes at Dilworthtown Crossing.

The board held a conditional use hearing for the seating application on June 18 prior to the start of their regular meeting, and has 45 days in which to render a decision.

Testimony included that from Jim Fris, the chief executive officer of the PJW Restaurant group. Fris said the popularity of outdoor dining is driving the request for expansion. Many of their competitors on the Route 202 corridor offer the outdoor option, he said.

Brian Nagle, attorney, described the project as an outdoor dining space that will not change the amount of impervious surface but will have a fixed roof, heating and roll down siding.

Following dialogue with Supervisors’ Vice Chairman Bill Kirkpatrick, the applicant agreed that the outdoor space would be for seasonal use only and not a year round permanent increase for restaurant seating capacity.

P.J. Whelihans will apply to serve liquor in the new space prior to opening.

The Zoning Hearing Board already heard the application and approved it with two conditions. First, Thornbury Township — where most of the shopping center is situated — must acknowledge the allocation of 15 parking spaces that are not committed for existing establishments. The second condition is that the lighting for the crosswalk to the auxiliary parking lot be adequate.

Neal Liebman from Bernardon, Haber, Holloway showed a drawing of the proposed addition and testified that it was in keeping with other similar structures in the township.

Other business

• Roberta O’Dell brought a plan to install solar panels on a barn at her Meetinghouse Road property.  Supervisors passed the request on to the zoning board with no recommendation, but with the condition that the installation not be visible from any of the three roads bordering the property.

Neighbors must be notified in writing.  Solicitor Kristin Camp said she would provide O’Dell with list for mailing and unofficially help see that the task is completed in time for the scheduled July 7 zoning board hearing.

 • Applications for two residents to install drip irrigation systems generated a discussion on the role of government. The options are to mandate a generator for emergency backup to protect the fields from harm during power outages or to advise applicants not to use water during power outage.  The board opted for advising applicants who have municipal water supply not to use their systems during power outages.  The applications were approved with the stipulation that all bills are paid prior to final signature.

• Birmingham township supervisors plan push back on proposed head tax from Chester County.  Under the proposal, the township would be billed $5.20 per resident.  The funds would be used for emergency services most of which is to buy a new radio system.  Kirkpatrick estimates the tax would cost the township $25,000 per year.  Chairman John Conklin said that the county should budget for emergency services just like they do fire protection.  Put the expense in their budget not bury it in a township fee.  The supervisors will be at the Sunshine meeting with county officials Tuesday 6/19 to express their views.


About Emily Myers

Emily Myers has lived and worked in Chadds Ford for over thirty years.  She founded the parent company of Chadds Ford Live, Decision Design Research, Inc., in 1982. represents the confluence of Myers' long time, deep involvement in technology and community. Myers was a founding member of the Chadds Ford Business Association and currently serves on its board of directors.  Her hobbies include bridge, golf, photography and Tai Chi. She lives with her husband, Jim Lebedda, in Chadds Ford Township.



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