Lost Internet interrupts supervisors’ meeting

In a meeting interrupted by a wind-blown loss of Internet connection at the municipal building, Birmingham Township supervisors approved one request and tabled several other items.

During the March 1 session conducted via Zoom, the board did hear and approve a request for a new sign at Birmingham Friends Meeting. The HARB had recommended granting the certificate during its February meeting, according to township secretary Quina Nelling. The new sign will be larger — four by three feet — double-sided and will hang from a black metal support attached to a stone pillar that will match the building.

Chris Lang, representing the meeting, said the old sign is at least 40 years old and is “decrepit and small. It looks like it might be for a museum. Our goal is to make a sign that’s larger so we can be identified by people driving by. We want people to know we’re alive and well and that we’re not a museum.”

That passed 3-0. But then nature interfered with technology when the Internet connection was lost at the township building where Supervisors’ Chairman Scott Boorse was presiding over the session. That connection was down for several minutes before Boorse got back online using his cell phone. However, his video would freeze, and the audio would squeak and reverberate intermittently.

At the time, the board was hearing a request to support lifting a restriction in the Legacy Lane Homeowners Association preventing the installation of inground swimming pools in the backyards of homes on the north side of the street. That restriction was also noted in the subdivision plans, according to Vince Pompo, who was representing Kevin and Julie Gates

Pompo said the pools would not be visible from Wylie Road because of the hilly terrain and because of the plantings that act as a buffer. After a long discussion centering on why the restriction existed at all, Boorse — who was finally able to rejoin the session — suggested that any decision should wait until the board could determine the original reason for the restriction and to determine whether a decision would have any other unintended effect.

A decision was also deferred to a later date for a request from Linda Kaat for signage about the Marquis de Lafayette who was wounded during the Battle of Brandywine in 1777. Kaat was representing the Pennsylvania Sons of the Revolution, and the American Friends of Lafayette,

Kaat said those two organizations are dedicated to providing historical information to Birmingham Township residents about the battle and, specifically, about Lafayette who came to the Americas to fight for independence from Great Britain and became Gen. George Washington’s youngest general officer.

The two groups met with the Brandywine Conservancy and the township Recreation, Parks, and Open Space Committee, Kaat said to discuss plans for signage at observation points “describing Lafayette’s heroism and dedication to winning the revolution.”

Kaat said the groups want to work with the conservancy and township on the style of signage and would fund the project fully.

The exact location of where Lafayette was wounded is unclear. Some say he was shot at Birmingham Hill, while others say it was at Sandy Hollow. Kaat acknowledged that, when asked later in life where he was shot, Lafayette couldn’t say for certain. And that’s what led Boorse to want to know exactly where the sign or signs would be placed.

RPOS is also working on some signage for Birmingham Hill, and the Brandywine Battlefield Taskforce is also working on erecting signs in the area.

Because of the potential proliferation of signage and without knowing exactly how the signs would look, the board tabled further discussion until more specific information was available.

Boorse said the discussion might be “premature.”

“There might be a fair bit of collaboration that should probably take place between RPOS, the Historic Commission about the sign and to determine what it is and how to represent Gen. Lafayette and his contributions to the American Revolution,” Boorse said.

Kaat agreed, as did members of the RPOS and Historic Commission.

The board also continued a hearing on the Verizon Cable Franchise ordinance hearing and a discussion on East Bradford Township’s official map.

 

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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