Honey Brook Township Supervisors meeting June 11, dealt with a number of land use issues led by a contention that a resident has access to property based on an outdated map.
By: Tory Lingg
Access to a plot of land that is not currently accessible is causing a difficult situation for a property owner in Honey Brook Township. Cindy Robinette told township supervisors that on June 4, Charles Breinig showed up at her mother's property with a bulldozer. He wanted her mother, Elsie Weir, to sign permission to permit an easement through her property.
She said Breinig had a map dated 1931 showing a former public road. Robinette reported that Breinig said his father had bought about 6.5 acres at a tax sale more than a decade ago. The land he bought supposedly borders the Weir property. But according to Robinette, the footage of the parcel is unclear and the deed just contains a lot of names. She said Breinig has tried to get other property owners to give him an easement to get to the land. He also mentioned an old farm map from 1880.
There is no road or approach to the property on the present tax map. The nearest public road is Barren Hill Road in West Brandywine Township. She said Breinig wants to sell the land and bring people there to see it.
Chairwoman Michal Jany told Robinette they would have to get an attorney to figure it out. Jany said she had discussed the issue with the township attorney. She said it was her impression that if any access road to the land hadn't been used in 21 years it would be considered abandoned. But she said she understands if a former access road does touch his property, Breinig has a right to use it. But if it doesn't touch his property he has to get an attorney to prove an old road existed and touched his land. Jany said an old map should show where the farm roads went. Supervisor Pete Draper said he needs an attorney to prove it.
Police Chief Vance Gossert said if Breinig returns to Weir's property he will be cited for trespass. Jany said she would also contact the West Brandywine Police Department about the situation.
The plans for the Walnut Road bridge are finished. Township engineer Jeff Kerlin will review them.
In other business, conditional final plan approval was granted for plans for Shanahan/Simmers. Conditional preliminary plan approval was granted for an over 55 community for Doutrich Homes on Cambridge Road. Debra Dovin asked not to rush the plans because it is a large subdivision.
Jeanne Dovin said utilities directed to the over 55 development were to cross through the Weaver and Osborn properties. She said Osborns have objected to allowing an easement over their land because of the requirements outlined in the easement.
Jany said the clock has started for a 88-unit development for Lawrence Goldberg. It is mostly in West Caln Township. Zook Molasses is planning a small, approximately 70-square-foot addition. A waiver for storm water control was granted. Conditional final plan approval was granted.
Salisbury Township has granted conditional final plan approval for Hillbrook Farms. Approval is being anticipated from the Lancaster County Conservation District. The approval process was started on plans for McWilliams and Shanahan/Welch. Conditional final plan approval was granted for Rotelle.
PennDOT said a speed limit reduction on Route 322 is not warranted. PennDOT cited a review of the number of accidents and speed studies as reasons for their decision.
Jany said she has talked with tow truck operators in the township. She said they have studied tow truck policies from Caln and Valley townships and from Coatesville and the State Police. She said the supervisors prepared a rough copy of a policy which may be desirable for Honey Brook Township. She asked the tow truck operators to read it over. Any suggestions should be made in writing. The policy will probably be ready for consideration at the July meeting.
The township will appeal a decision by an arbitration board in favor of Carl Schwartz. Schwartz had converted a house into apartments contrary to zoning.
The board and the planning commission will meet to consider an application by Gideon Stoltzfus to add 160 acres of the former Cox farm on Beaver Dam Road to the agricultural security area.
A resolution was adopted in 1994 to establish a policy for fees for copies of township documents and research. The policies of neighboring townships were considered in the decision.
The areas designated for handicapped persons in the township park parking area are restricted, said Jany. Jany said the police will start citing those who abuse the policy. They will be charged a fine and towing costs.
The planning commission will meet on June 28 at 7 p.m.
Junk yard inspections will start in July. Permission was granted for Omnipoint to place a cell tower on property owned by John Kauffman, 1120 Beaver Dam Road.
In May, the Honey Brook Township Police Department received 360 calls for service. There were 73 traffic citations issued and 15 non traffic citations. There were 10 traffic accidents investigated by the police department. One adult was cited for DUI; one arrested for assault and three adults for simple assault.