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.

Berwyn Village Receives Final Township Approval

Berwyn Village Receives Final Township Approval

D.L. Howell has enjoyed working closely with Stonehaven Homes for several months on some exciting residential developments in both Easttown/Tredyffrin Township Chester County and Middletown Township, Bucks County.

Last week, the Easttown Township Board of Supervisors granted preliminary/final approval for the seven-lot Berwyn Village Subdivision. The cul-de-sac community being developed by Stonehaven Homes will consist of six new single-family homes and seventh home being a restored farmhouse. Berwyn Village is conveniently located within walking distance to the Berwyn Station and the pedestrian bridge to cross into the heart of Berwyn.

In addition to the seven single-family homes as part of this approval, there are plans in the works for a community right next door for an additional 18 single-family homes. With all the conveniences located so close, it is expected that these beautiful homes will sell quick.

If this isn’t the location you were looking for, you can also check another recently approved Stonehaven Homes community, Oakview Estates located in Langhorne, Bucks County. This ten-lot community is located directly across the street from the community full of multi-use trails and playgrounds. These homes are already selling quick and won’t last long.

Check them out here: http://www.stonehavenhomes.com/ 

Manfredi Cold Storage Facility Nears Completion

Manfredi Cold Storage Facility Nears Completion

Approximately two years after Land Development approval through New Garden Township, the Manfredi Cold Storage Expansion is nearing completion. Manfredi Cold Storage is a full service environmentally controlled storage facility providing cold storage for products making their way from eastern sector port facilities to destinations across the country. The expansion is the second of two in the last five years involving food grade refrigerated and frozen warehouses currently storing products from over 22 countries around the world. Also operating out of the expanded facility and supporting the warehousing capability are International Repack, Manfredi Logistics Service, Inland Transportation and National Refrigerated Freight.

The project entailed securing Local, State and Federal government approvals for the following five buildings onsite: 110,292 SF Cold Storage Warehouse, 10,800 SF Multipurpose use including office, breakroom, bath and locker room facilities to support 24 hour trucking operations, 2,400 Drivers Lounge and a second 18,000 SF Multipurpose use including office, repacking facilities and temporary warehousing.

Part of the 110,000 square foot building expansion project involved the incorporation of a full-service rail spur enabling product delivery and transport via East Penn Railroad Company who maintains switch capabilities with two Class 1 carriers, CSX and Norfolk Southern.

The magnitude of proposed impervious coverage associated with proposed roof area and concrete trucking circulation area made providing adequate stormwater management a challenge. Stormwater systems needed to be shallow and expansive to meet NPDES infiltration loading ratio requirements. The sheer size of the underground stormwater facilities made staging of construction activities a major engineering accomplishment. Multiple sequences of construction and staging were worked through in great detail to ensure that existing operations could continue and that proposed building construction and associated heavy equipment would not compromise the location of proposed stormwater management facilities.

DL Howell routinely secures approvals in southern Chester County, many of which involve mega-mushroom producing facilities, commercial office park developments, and residential developments.

Contact us to discuss your development approval needs!

What’s D.L. Howell & Associates Working on Now?

What’s D.L. Howell & Associates Working on Now?

DL Howell has been contracted by the Westover Companies for site design for leasing offices and fitness centers at their apartment complexes in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The Westover Companies is headquartered in King of Prussia and was founded in 1965. Since then they have grown to own approximately 12,000 apartments in counties throughout the Philadelphia region including; South Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. They provide their residents with comfortable and affordable choices in apartment living including convenience to public transportation. While most of their apartment complexes are existing, they continue to follow the industry to provide their residents with the most current amenities. The latest trend is providing residents with a standalone rental office with an attached fitness center. They plan these buildings close to a pool or central location within the complex. This provides residents the convenience of a fitness center included with the rent which eliminates the need to drive elsewhere. The leasing office also provides a convenient location to conduct apartment business while offering new residents a private place to meet and evaluate the complex. The latest trend is to provide a secure area within the office for delivered packages. A locker with a code is provided to the resident when a package arrives. They can pick it up 24 hours a day without relying on the office manager to be there or having the package left in the open.

DL Howell has designed five of these buildings within the past year and has just been awarded five more. The challenge with designing these buildings is fitting them within existing site constraints so we work closely with Westover Companies and their Architect, C E Hough. We layout the building to maximize visibility, design parking, handicapped accessibility, utility connections and storm water management. We also work with the Township, Government agencies and Utility companies to secure all the necessary permits for approval. Depending on each Municipality and area of disturbance, approvals range from Land Development to just a simple Grading Permit meaning the difference between several months and several weeks. The Westover Companies rely on DL Howell’s expertise for engineering and approving these buildings in a timely manner and we appreciate their trust and look forward to five more successful projects.