Lochiel Farm receives Conditional Use Approval

Lochiel Farm receives Conditional Use Approval

Over the past several months, DL Howell worked closely with Bentley Homes’ team of consultants to obtain Conditional Use approval for a multi-family community near the intersection of Ship Road and Lincoln Highway in West Whiteland Township. The community, which is currently being called Lochiel Farm, will include 140 townhomes and the renovation of two existing historic single family homes all centrally located within 1 mile of Route 202, the Route 30 Bypass, and Exton shopping centers and local restaurants. Lochiel Farm will include amenities such as naturalized walking trails, picnic areas, and most importantly direct access to the very popular Chester Valley Trail. Through 2018, DL Howell will be working with traffic experts, McMahon and Associates and Landscape Architects and Land Planners, Orsatti and Stuart, to design this project and obtain approvals from PennDOT, West Whiteland, FEMA, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Chester County Conservation District. Please visit BentleyHomes.com and DLHowell.com for updates as the project progresses into the Land Development approval phase.

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Oh poo, do I need a Manure Management Plan?

Oh poo, do I need a Manure Management Plan?

Yes, you do if you own a farm in Pennsylvania that applies manure or agricultural process wastewater to the land. If you don’t mechanically apply the manure yourself, it is still required if your farm contains pastures or Animal Concentration Areas (ACAs).

A pasture is defined as an area of land used for grazing animals while maintaining dense vegetation during the growing season. An ACA, aka Animal Heavy Use Area, is defined as an area of land used for grazing animals that do not maintain dense vegetation. These areas would include barnyards, feedlots, loafing areas and exercise lots. It is very important that you properly differentiate the two because the ACA requires that you fill out additional forms as part of the Manure Management Plan (MMP) and requires that you propose a method to divert clean water around the ACA. In addition, you may have to implement a Best Management Practice (BMP) downstream of the ACA to prevent pollution of nearby streams.

A Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) is required in lieu of the MMP if the animal density on your farm is substantial. The density calculation takes into account the maximum number, type, and weight of all animals that are on the property for any given year. Due to its complexity, an NMP will have to be prepared by a Certified Nutrient Management Specialist.

The MMP will have to be submitted to your local County Conservation District for approval and will have to be kept at the farm at all times in case a representative from the county or state visits. Unlike the NMP, a certified specialist is not required to prepare an MMP, which means that you can do it yourself. If you don’t have time or prefer not to prepare it yourself, feel free to contact DL Howell. We will gladly prepare a Manure Management Plan so that your farm complies with the state’s regulations.

Cost of College

Cost of College

The increase in college tuition has been on a consistent rise over the last several years. In fall of 2016, it was determined that tuition costs have reached a record high. For an in-state student to attend a public university, the total costs have gone up more than 2% compared to 2015. One of the reasons for this is because the financial aid and education tax breaks stayed flat. If we compare public tuition costs from 10 years ago and now, the average cost has more than quintupled! Private colleges have seen an average increase in tuition of more than 3%, with some of this increasing by more than 5%.

Of course, we can expect tuition to increase with inflation, but out of the last 35 years, tuition rates have risen faster than inflation. If the tuition rates continue to rise at this steady percentage, in 20 years, a private school could cost close to $120,000 a year and public $54,000.

Most Pennsylvania private colleges that offer four-year bachelor’s degree in civil engineering cost almost $60,000 per year and pu\blic schools cost anywhere from $28,000 to $31,000. Upcoming high school graduates will have to seriously consider if college is actually worth the debt that will be accrued. As cost continues to climb, we may begin to see a rise in university alternatives, such as community college or trade school.