Triple Fresh Market receives approval to sell wine in East Fallowfield Township

Triple Fresh Market receives approval to sell wine in East Fallowfield Township

Triple Fresh Market recently received approval to amend a prior special exception approved by the Zoning Hearing Board in June of 1999. This amendment allows them to slightly expand the building by constructing coolers and freezers over an existing paved surface and to convert an existing gift shop into a place to sell wine. The wine sales will operate under 47 P.S. §5-505.2 of the Liquor Code which allows markets, such as Triple Fresh, to work with local wineries through their licenses to offer their products for sale. The wine sales are expected to occur between 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m., seven days a week.

D.L. Howell was hired by Triple Fresh Market to prepare the plan depicting the improvements and to provide expert testimony for the amendment to the special exception. Riley Riper Hollin & Colagreco Attorneys at Law was also involved and played a significant role in obtaining the approval.

Triple Fresh Market is located at 801 Doe Run Road which is at the corner of Doe Run Road (Route 82) and Buck Run Road. The store brings a lot of history to the area by being one of the oldest continually operated food establishments in the country. The original building was built in 1818. The store was purchased by the current owner, Jim Petro in 1987. I have a lot of history with this store since I grew up right down the road. Just about every day, I would walk to the store just to pick up some groceries. I had the privilege of being hired by Mr. Petro when I was still in High School for my very first job. Things have come full circle with me having the opportunity to help return the favor by assisting my first employer in making a change that could drastically improve their business in the long run.

Triple Fresh is currently in the process of acquiring a building permit from the Township and anticipates selling wine this fall. The major hurdle has been cleared and it is only a matter of time until wine will be available at the popular market in East Fallowfield.

Triple Fresh Market

Non-Reportable Conditions for Stream Obstructions

Non-Reportable Conditions for Stream Obstructions

 

Did you recently buy a property with a significant erosion issue in your yard? If you did and you’re thinking about having it repaired, then it would be wise to contact DL Howell. The erosion issue could consist of a long eroded channel that may have been caused by a pipe upstream that is conveying a high velocity of water through your yard. This becomes a complicated situation because the eroded channel could be classified as a stream per The Pennsylvania Code. A stream is defined as a channel or conveyance of surface water having a defined bed and banks, whether natural or artificial, with a perennial or intermittent flow. If the eroded channel in your yard only conveys water during a storm event, it may still be classified as a stream per this definition.

An eroded channel in your yard can be a nuisance. It may be displeasing to look at and could pose major safety risks for children and even animals. If the channel has a defined bed and bank, then it will most likely be deemed as a stream. Typically, whenever earth disturbance is proposed within a stream as defined above, general permits are required. However, there is a stipulation that allows a water obstruction in a stream or floodway without having to be reported to the state as long as it satisfies the proper criteria. A water obstruction is defined as a dike, bridge, culvert, wall, wing wall, fill, pier, wharf, embankment, abutment or other structure located in, along or across or projecting into a watercourse, floodway or body of water. A permit for a water obstruction can be waived as long as the drainage area is 100 acres or less and no wetlands are located within the floodway. This waived activity is classified as a Waiver 2.

In addition to the waiver of permit requirements stipulated in the PA Code, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also requires that there be no more than 250 linear feet of stream disturbance and a Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) search receipt dated May 4, 2015, or later, that states “No Known Impact, No Further Review Required” for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for it to be a non-reporting activity. However, there are some exceptions to the PNDI requirement which would still allow the work to be a non-reporting activity. In addition, even if the project satisfies all of the above criteria, the local municipality will most likely require a plan review to ensure that the work complies with their code.

Please keep in mind that a water obstruction can still be constructed if any of the aforementioned requirements aren’t met. However, a general permit would then have to be applied for with the state and/or with the USACE. Please contact us if you need assistance or guidance in addressing your erosion issue.

Maintenance of Stormwater Features

Maintenance of Stormwater Features

It is that time of year again where the temperatures are dropping and the leaves are falling, indicating winter is fast approaching. If you have stormwater inlets in your yard, now may be a very good time for you to inspect them. These inlets are likely to have an outlet pipe with a diameter as small as four to six inches. If the inlets aren’t maintained properly, the pipes could easily clog, resulting in an inundation of your property. Remove the inlet grate and look inside. The inlet should have a sump that is 12 inches deep to allow leaves, sediment, and other debris to accumulate. If the sump is six inches full of debris, then the debris should be removed. If there appears to be any blockages in the pipe, then utilize a high powered pressure washer to flush it. The PADEP (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) recommends that a vacuum truck be utilized to remove the debris and to dispose of it per their regulations.

In addition to checking your inlets, make sure to also inspect the roof gutters especially if you have a significant number of trees surrounding your house. The fallen leaves may clog your gutters, resulting in ponding around your house’s foundation which could lead to a wet basement. The leaves could also create blockages in underground stormwater piping if the downspouts go underground. Once all the aforementioned items are cleaned out and your yard is still inundated after a rain event, then please give us a call here at D.L. Howell and we’ll be glad to assist you.   (610) 918-9002

Hydrologic Soil Groups

Hydrologic Soil Groups

​We here at D.L. Howell & Associates have to take into consideration the types of soil on every property that is being developed for design purposes. This is required for the design of stormwater management facilities whether it be for infiltration or rate control. The Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Ag…

​We here at D.L. Howell & Associates have to take into consideration the types of soil on every property that is being developed for design purposes. This is required for the design of stormwater management facilities whether it be for infiltration or rate control. The Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture breaks down every soil type into hydrologic soil groups.

The soil types are assigned these groups based on the following conditions:

  • Transmission of water under maximum yearly wetness
  • Soil that is not frozen
  • Soil with a bare surface
  • Maximum swelling of expansive clays

The four hydrologic soil groups are provided below:

Group A – This type of soil has a low runoff potential and high infiltration rate when thoroughly saturated. Typically, these soils contain 90 percent sand or gravel and less than 10 percent clay. Types mainly include deep, well to excessively drained sand or gravel. Soil textures include sand, loamy sand, and sandy loam.

Group B – This type of soil has a moderately low runoff potential when thoroughly saturated. Typically, these soils contain between 10-20 percent clay and 50-90 percent sand. Types mainly include moderately deep to deep, moderately well to well drained soils with moderately fine to moderately coarse textures. Soil textures include silt loam and loam.

Group C – This type of soil has a moderately high runoff potential when thoroughly saturated. Typically, these soils contain 20-40 percent clay and less than 50 percent sand. Types mainly include soils with a layer that impedes downward movement of water and soils with moderately fine to fine textures. Soil textures include sandy clay loam.

Group D – This type of soil has a high runoff potential when thoroughly saturated. Typically, these soils contain greater than 40 percent clay and less than 50 percent sand. Types mainly include clay soils with a high swelling potential, permanent high water table, or shallow soils over nearly impervious material. Soil textures include clay loam, silty clay loam, sandy clay, silty clay, or clay.

Some types of soil may be assigned two groups (i.e. A/D or B/D). In these cases, the soil is located in an area with a high water table (within 24 inches of the surface) resulting in a Group D designation. The other group is assigned if the soil can be adequately drained meaning that the seasonal high water table is at least 24 inches below the surface.

These hydrologic soil groups are very important for land development because they are needed to determine the runoff coefficients or curve numbers required for the stormwater design utilizing either the Rational or SCS methods. If your site has mostly Group B soils, then you will potentially have an adequate dewatering time for your stormwater facility, however, satisfying the infiltration requirements will be a little more cumbersome. The reason for this is because the change in the runoff between the pre-developed and post-developed conditions will be greater than the change in the runoff for soil with a higher runoff rate. Reference USDA NRCS National Engineering Handbook.

Meetings during the Subdivision/Land Development Process

Meetings during the Subdivision/Land Development Process

​The state of Pennsylvania has a very tedious and arduous review process for major Subdivision and Land Development plan submissions. Due to the amount of time spent during this process, applicants are expected to pay a significant amount of money for engineering in order to obtain approval from any given municipality. We, as civil engineers at D.L…

​The state of Pennsylvania has a very tedious and arduous review process for major Subdivision and Land Development plan submissions. Due to the amount of time spent during this process, applicants are expected to pay a significant amount of money for engineering in order to obtain approval from any given municipality. We, as civil engineers at D.L. Howell, are hired to facilitate our clients through this process.

The first step is for the applicant to prepare a sketch plan illustrating the improvements proposed per the requirements stipulated in the municipality’s ordinance. The sketch plan is not typically required by the municipality; however, it is strongly encouraged. Next, the sketch plan is submitted to the municipality who will then forward to their engineer for review. As soon as the plan is submitted, the municipality will add the project to the agenda for a meeting in front of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission meetings are held once a month on a specific day each month and are open to the public. The applicant is then required to present the plan in front of the Planning Commission and discuss the review letter provided by the municipality’s engineer. They will provide any suggestions or concerns they have and if acceptable, will provide a recommendation to proceed into the preliminary plan process.

Unlike the sketch plan, the preliminary plan preparation is typically mandatory per the municipality’s ordinance. In addition to what is shown on the sketch plan, the preliminary plan will include grading, utilities, stormwater systems, landscape, etc. and all further municipality requirements provided in the ordinance. Once again, as soon as the preliminary plan is submitted to the municipality for review, the project will be added to the agenda for the next Planning Commission meeting. The applicant will again present the plan to the Planning Commission and discuss the review letter issued by the municipality’s engineer. If the Planning Commission approves the plan, they will provide a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors and the applicant will have to attend a meeting in front of the Board. Just like the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors’ meetings are held once a month and are open to the public. If requested, the applicant may have to present the plans to the Board. During the meeting, the Board will vote on whether to approve the preliminary plan submission. If the plans are approved, the applicant can proceed with final plan preparation.

Unfortunately, the final plan meeting process is the same as the preliminary plan process. The municipality’s ordinance will require that the final plans include additional information that the preliminary plans do not show. As soon as they’re submitted, the applicant must attend the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors’ meetings in the same sequence as the preliminary process in order to receive final approval.

Additional meetings are required for zoning variances, conditional uses, and special exceptions depending on the proposed use. Zoning variance and special exception requests must be presented in front of the Zoning Hearing Board and conditional use requests must be presented in front of the Board of Supervisors. The applicant is required to attend all of the aforementioned meetings. It is under the applicant’s discretion whether an engineer accompanies them; however, it is recommended since the technical components of the plan may be discussed during the meetings. If you plan on applying for a Subdivision or Land Development permit, please contact D.L. Howell for assistance through this rigorous process.