Marijuana dispensary hearing held

There was no opposition to a marijuana dispensary ordinance during a hearing on the matter in Chadds Ford Township held Oct. 27. However, a couple of residents expressed concerns about one application for a dispensary previously filed. Supervisors didn’t vote on the matter. That is supposed to happen at the regular board meeting next Wednesday, Nov. 3.

An issue of concern for Eric Gardner is that an applicant has already filed for a dispensary at the site of a former bank on Oakland Road at Route 202. That building has a drive-through window for the bank’s operation. Gardner said he’s concerned that people would use the drive-through and start using the cannabis in the car, especially should the state legalize recreational cannabis, not just medical.

Gardner wanted to know whether the application could be restricted to deny the use of that window, or if a new owner could be restricted from using the window. But solicitor Mike Maddren the window can be used because the application was made before the ordinance was written, and that the approval goes with the land, not the tenant.

That location is currently zoned B Business which allows for pharmaceutical use. However, if the state legalizes recreational use and the zoning changed to B-1, the window could not be used., according to Maddren.

Cathy Taylor, who lives on Oakland Road, was concerned about possible loitering and other safety issues. She said she’d like to see dispensary operations limited to six days per week and only during 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. business hours, security personnel in the shops, and reasonable lighting.

The ordinance has been the topic of discussion for a year. The Planning Commission started talking about this informally last October and started developing the ordinance in January. In April, the commission voted to send its proposed medical marijuana ordinance to the supervisors, but that got remanded for wording changes and to include recreational use if and when the state legalizes that. A hearing was scheduled for September but that was postponed.

Other business

The board granted an extension to The Henderson Group for a traffic signal permit for the intersection of Hillman Drive and Route 202. That intersection is part of the already approved but long-delayed Hillman Drive extension.

A long, roundabout conversation about the project preceded the vote with several residents of the Estates of Chadds Ford wondering if the project will ever get done. Their concern is traffic volume and safety since their development leads down to Hillman Drive, where traffic backs up because vehicles have difficulty making a right turn onto southbound Route 202 from Hillman.

John Coyle, Henderson’s general counsel, said the delay in completing the loop road project was because of finances. He said Henderson had to move money from the project to upgrade the Knight’s Bridge Wastewater Sewer Plant. Once that was done, however, COVID hit.

Now, he said, it’s a matter of finding the necessary $6 million to complete the last segment of the loop road. That segment would run between Hillman and 202 to Route 1 at Brandywine Drive.

Part of that project would also make the current intersection of Route 1 and Dickinson Drive to be right-in/right-out only.

The traffic signal extension is for one year.

In another matter, the board voted to appoint Thomas Bradley to the Planning Commission. He will serve out the remaining term of Jay Patel who resigned from the commission.

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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