Construction is underway at Longwood Preserve

Construction is underway at Longwood Preserve

A little more than a year after submitting preliminary Land Development plans for Longwood Preserve, construction is underway on the 32-acre site on School House Road. DL Howell worked closely with Joe Ruggiero and Kevin Holohan of Longwood Preserve, LLC and East Marlborough Township to receive approval for 150 townhomes in Southern Chester County. The site is conveniently located about 1.5 miles from downtown Kennett Square and only one mile from Longwood Gardens. The community features almost of a mile of pathways and trails through Longwood Preserves 16 acres of open space in addition to a dog park, children’s playground, and picnic area. Brubacher Excavating has been working hard throughout the wet summer months to clear the site and install utilities in order for it to be ready for roadways to be paved and homes to be built this fall. Keep checking DLHowell.com for future updates.

 

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Considering a new deck? Check with your municipality first!

Considering a new deck? Check with your municipality first!

My wife and I are currently in the market for a new deck. We live in a development that has a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) and we are required to submit an application to them for approval. Once approved, we are then directed to submit an application to the Township for approval. All of the deck builders that we have met with are willing to take care of the application process to obtain the necessary approvals from the Township. Seems like a pretty straightforward process, doesn’t it?

Well depending on the municipality you live in, it could get complicated. There are some municipalities that consider a deck as being an impervious surface. You read that right, some municipalities consider a deck as being a surface that does not allow fluid to pass through it. This is because the stormwater management ordinance defines an impervious surface as a surface that has been compacted or covered with a layer of material so that it prevents or is resistant to infiltration of water; including but not limited to… outdoor decks. At least one municipality will consider wood decks less than 200 S.F. in area as being pervious and then one-half of the area exceeding 200 S.F. as being impervious. The threshold for requiring stormwater management usually varies between 500 S.F. and 1,000 S.F. in impervious surfaces. Therefore, you may have to provide stormwater management for your new deck depending on the size. Please keep in mind that if you recently acquired a permit for a building addition or any other improvement that was under the stormwater threshold, then the Township would add your proposed deck area to those improvements when deciding whether stormwater management is required.

Luckily for myself, my Township does not define a deck as being an impervious surface, so I don’t have to worry about it. If you aren’t so lucky or if you are unsure of the process, please contact D.L Howell & Associates and we would be happy to guide you through it.

The Engineer’s Fall Guide

The Engineer’s Fall Guide

It’s almost that time of year again. The time when all the leaves on the trees change colors and make for beautiful scenery. At the same time, this could cause problems for a homeowner. The once beautiful view will change to mostly all brown, and eventually, the trees will become bare. This is where the havoc can set in. Leaves have clogged drains, gutters, inlets, and yard drains causing flooding issues if not taken care of. It is essential to inspect and maintain all of these to ensure that no flooding can occur around or near a building. During inspections, gutters, inlets and yard drains should be cleared of all sticks and leaf debris.

It is always good to inspect before the leaves start falling to make sure that there are no blockages in the conveyance system to cause any flooding. If there are blockages before the fall and they are not taken care of, the leaves falling can cause even more problems for your system. The flooding can cause potential problems for the basement which could lead to a mold issue. If any flooding or ponding issues occur and there are no known blockages in the system, please contact D.L. Howell & Associates, Inc., and we can assist you with your drainage issues.

Uwchlan Hills Elementary School is Upgrading

Uwchlan Hills Elementary School is Upgrading

While the children have been enjoying their time out of school this summer, the team at D.L. Howell has been hard at work to prepare plans for a new Uwchlan Hills Elementary School.  We have been working very closely with the Downingtown Area School District and KCBA Architects to prepare a design for this exciting project.  The plans have gone through a sketch plan review, conditional use hearing, and are now in for review for preliminary/final land development approval.

The design comes with some challenges as the new school is going to be built on site while the existing school is still in operation.  We have to be very conscious of the safety and well being of the students while construction is on-going.  This requires a very detailed construction sequence that includes the installation of perimeter fencing around the construction zone and a separate construction driveway.

There are additional challenges with the site as there are several natural resources on site, we have prepared a design that will protect them to the greatest extent possible.  A large portion of the site consists of wooded areas that we are minimizing the disturbance of.  This wooded area provides a well-established buffer from neighboring residential properties and commercial properties.  The site is also adjacent to a tributary to the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek, which is a high-quality watercourse as it passes through Uwchlan Township.  A stream under this designation requires a 150-foot riparian buffer, which the design also protects.

The project is currently on schedule for a spring 2019 start with a fall 2020 opening of the new school.