James J. Terry Funeral Home and On the Go Kids New Bus Facility

James J. Terry Funeral Home and On the Go Kids New Bus Facility

DLHowell Projects Under Construction

As we head into the dog days of summer, construction crews continue to work tirelessly on several recent DL Howell land development projects throughout Chester County. Two projects are pushing for completion by the end of the summer, one being a new James J. Terry Funeral home in Valley Township and the other being a bus facility for On the Go Kids in East Caln.

Click Play to watch the transformation from plan to final parking lot.

The new funeral home will be located at 1060 W. Lincoln Highway, just down the street from the Chester County Airport. After working with Valley Township, Chester County Conservation District, and PennDOT for almost a year to obtain approvals, construction started late last year and will continue for the next couple months. The building is up, and the crews are installing curb so they can start paving the parking lots. The project team consists of site contractor: Joseph W. Davis Excavating; Architect: Bernardon, and Landscape Architect: Orsatti and Stuart.

James J. Terry Funeral Home


While James J. Terry still has a few months to go, On the Go Kids new bus facility is all but finished. The lot is paved, striped, and ready for buses just in time for the start of school next month. While currently operating from two separate sites, the owners of On the Go Kids wanted to expand and provide a dedicated facility for their fleet of buses and vans. Their new facility off S. Chestnut Street in East Caln will have 156 parking spaces and will give them room to grow for the next few years as they continue to support several school districts in the area.

On The Go Kids Parking Lot

 

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

Smoothie King West Chester Opening Weekend is Just Around the Corner.

Smoothie King West Chester Opening Weekend is Just Around the Corner.

Smoothie King is close to completion! Construction is well under way and opening weekend is just around the corner. The weekend of July 22nd and 23rd customers will be able to purchase their delicious and healthy smoothies. Located at 1011 West Chester Pike in West Chester, the site replaced an existing building and parking lot with an 850-square foot smoothie shop to satisfy all your smoothie cravings, especially during these hot summer days.

Access to the Smoothie King will be from Rose Lane, and the store will feature a drive-thru for smoothie drinking convenience. D.L. Howell proudly provided land development plans for the project including but not limited to grading, erosion, and sedimentation control design, and stormwater management design. Be sure to stop by and check them out!

Smoothie King West Chester PA

Smoothie King West Chester PA

House Lifting along the New Jersey Coastline

House Lifting along the New Jersey Coastline

If you are still interested in lifting your beach house along the New Jersey coastline, thorough due diligence may save you both money and time. One important step is hiring a reputable house lifting contractor. Ideally, it would be one that has been recommended by someone that has successfully lifted their house. In New Jersey, you will be required to have a survey of your property prepared within the last year, as well as a National Flood Insurance Program Elevation Certificate prepared by a licensed surveyor. If you do not already have these documents, you will need to hire a surveyor to prepare these documents. You will also be required to hire a licensed structural engineer to evaluate the existing foundation and on-site soils to determine if the foundation is adequate to reuse or if a new foundation design is necessary. Once the house is lifted the structural engineer may also have to visually inspect the existing foundation prior to lowering the house. The structural engineer will also have to prepare a house lifting plan and may have to monitor the installation of any piles or helical piles. If the structural engineer does not prepare site plans, you may also be required to hire a licensed civil engineer to prepare any site plans necessary for local municipality review before construction. Finally, you will be required to hire a licensed architect to prepare floor plans and elevations. Ideally, a lifting contractor should already be working in coordination with a team of local professionals, but since Super Storm Sandy this has not been the case in some instances and this has affected both the cost and time it takes to lift a house.

Second, you should make sure your lifting contractor and a team of professionals, have a good understanding of the local zoning regulations and requirements for lifting structures. Although the governor of New Jersey signed the “Automatic Variance” law after Super Storm Sandy, there have been house lifting projects required to go before the local Zoning Board of Adjustment to obtain relief from variances created because of the house lift. If you own a home with an existing deck with the house instead of rebuilding the deck, you may be surprised by some zoning ordinances. Some local zoning ordinances allow decks to be within the required yard setbacks if they are a maximum height of 18-24 inches. If this is the case and you lift your house with the existing deck, you will most likely be required to go to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for relief from a variance. This would cost a homeowner both money and time, which could have been avoided with proper due diligence and planning.

In addition to knowing the zoning regulations, the lifting contractor and design professionals should have a good understanding of the FEMA regulations. Each local ordinance requires house lifting and new construction to follow the latest Flood Damage Prevention requirements, which depends on the FEMA Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for your house, the FEMA Flood Zone that your house is located within, as well as if your house is located within the Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA). If your house is in the FEMA VE Zone or a LiMWA, it will require deep pile foundations, either standard pile foundations or helical pile foundations. In addition, if you are planning on enclosing the ground floor of your house it will have to be designed with break-away walls. Flood vents are also required for any ground floor below the BFE that considered enclosed.

Hopefully, you are now aware how complicated the house lifting process is and how a lot of money and time can be wasted if the homeowner, lifting contractor and design professionals are not knowledgeable about the federal and local regulations.

Please contact D.L. Howell with any question pertaining to your local municipalities regulations.

Chester County Envirothon 2017

Chester County Envirothon 2017

On May 6th, the Chester County Conservation District held their annual Envirothon event at Hibernia Park.  For those not familiar with, the event consists of several Chester County high school and middle school Envirothon teams testing their knowledge in several environmental topics; including forestry, aquatics, soils, and wildlife.  The teams spend many hours before and after school preparing for the competition in hopes of earning a spot in the state competition to compete for a state championship.  Each state champion will then compete in the North American Environthon which this year is being held in July at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland.
Throughout the day, the competition was intense but eventually Oxford High School was crowned High School champions and West Fallowfield Christian A came out on top of the middle school competition.
D.L. Howell and HowellKline have sponsored and volunteered at the event for numerous years and this year was no different.  This year’s all-star volunteer team consisted of Amanda Albano, Justin Brewer, Joe Russella, and Matt Wayman.

Bush Collision Center Expansion

Bush Collision Center Expansion

Construction begins on the new Bush Collision Center on Matlack Street in West Chester. DLH assisted the applicant through the land development process in West Goshen Township, Chester County. The development plan proposed a retrofit of the former Bell Atlantic facility including the rehabilitation of several existing garage bays, modification to the existing front building façade and expansion of the rear building to make room for an expanded collision center.

The project stormwater design was complicated by an existing undersized stormwater facility, shallow rock and limited area for expansion. DLH worked with the Township Engineer to implement a modification to the existing stormwater system that provided adequate rate control and water quality benefits.
Approval of the project and proposed upgrades will allow for a more aesthetically pleasing site via improvements to an outdated lighting design and added landscaping materials.
To date, the framework for the new front entry has begun, footers have been poured and existing asphalt has been removed. Proposed improvements to the existing stormwater basin have also begun.