Possible HARB expansion in Chadds Ford

Chadds Ford Township supervisors are considering expanding the role of the Historic and Architecture Review Board. A resolution on the matter is expected to be on the agenda for the board’s Oct. 3 meeting.

During the Sept. 26 workshop meeting, Supervisors’ Chairman Frank Murphy said the idea is to have the HARB take stock of historically significant buildings so the board knows where they are to help preserve them, if possible.

“This [Chadds Ford] is possibly the most historic seven miles around,” he said. “It would help us in understanding the historical significance,”

Murphy used Painters Folly as an example, saying he didn’t know the historic significance of the Route 1 property until the township learned it was up for sale. The township bought the four-acre property for $640,000 earlier this year.

Murphy said the board didn’t want to create an historic commission as another part of township government and that HARB members currently only have sessions when there is an applicant from the Historic District looking for HARB approval for changes to their buildings or homes.

Vice Chairman Samantha Reiner called the HARB members an “astute group of volunteers” who don’t have enough to do. She said the HARB could be used as a resource in reviewing other plans that come in.

HARB Chairman Gary Sharp said he was concerned that the proposal could be misinterpreted by people thinking HARB could start intruding on properties.

Murphy responded saying the HARB would not be a punitive body.

“There will be no enforcement power. There won’t be any takings, no fines,” he said.

Also during the Oct. 3 meeting, supervisors are expected to grant a special events permit for Calvary Chapel’s 25th-anniversary celebration and to enter into an inter-municipal agreement with  Bethel Township to have Bethel police provide traffic control at Route 1 and Creek Road during the Chadds Ford Historical Society’s Great Pumpkin Carve Oct. 18-20.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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