The Henderson Group is taking steps to move forward with at least the first part of the Hillman Drive extension to complete the loop road. Henderson has gotten the OK to submit a grading application and plan to build the roundabout at Hillman and Evergreen Place.
Attorney Ross Weiss told the Chadds Ford Board of Supervisors during the March 1 meeting that going ahead with the roundabout now, before final approval of the road extension, would be better than waiting until after final approval.
Supervisors granted preliminary approval for the plan in the fall, with the roundabout as a condition.
Henderson is also in the process of constructing an office building for Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union. That building is on the north side of that intersection of Hillman and Evergreen. Building the roundabout now, before the office building is ready to be occupied would mean 200 to 300 fewer vehicles would have to use a detour.
Weiss said Franklin Mint wants to start bringing in furniture in May, and that it would take about 60 days to build the roundabout.
The detour would force traffic through parking lots, around already existing office buildings in the Chadds Ford Business Campus and across Evergreen.
Township engineer Mike Schneider, in response to a resident’s concern that the roundabout should be done last, said Henderson is correct to do it first, whether it happens now or after final approval is granted. Final approval might not happen until the end of this year or the beginning of 2018.
Schneider agreed with Weiss that doing the roundabout now, before the new office building is occupied would cut down on outsiders needing to use the detour. And waiting until the rest of the roadwork was done would make matters worse because building the roundabout would cause all of Hillman Drive to be closed during construction.
Supervisors’ Chairman Frank Murphy said building the roundabout now would get residents of The Estates at Chadds Ford used to using it. Vice Chairman Samantha Reiner said she didn’t want to interfere because the roundabout would be an improvement on a road that the applicant owns. Supervisor Noelle Barbone said she would defer to the township engineer.
Weiss said the paperwork would be submitted this week.
Supervisors approved three special events applications submitted by Calvary Chapel. The events are nine outdoor summer worship services.
Murphy explained that the approval had nothing to do with the fact that the events are worship services, since that would be a First Amendment issue. Rather, the approval is for special events under the township’s recently passed special events ordinance.
The approval comes with certain conditions including adherence to township noise and lighting restrictions.