Cannery Row project gets final OK
Ambitious plans for the proposed Cannery Row project can become a reality now that the second and final municipal approval is in place.
The Kennett Township Board of Supervisors last week approved the preliminary/final plan for the township-side segment of Cannery Row, a proposed multi-use development on the southwest corner of Cypress Street and Mill Road. The 5.2-acre property lies across the boundary between the Kennett Square Borough and Kennett Township, with 1.3 acres on the borough side and 3.9 acres in the township.
Kennett Square Borough Council approved its portion of the project in early September. The remainder, with the bulk of the property but only one building of the proposed four, was approved by the township supervisors unanimously along with a number of requested waivers from various requirements. Those waivers were recommended for approval by the township engineer. The 36,000-square-foot development will include a mix of stores, offices, a restaurant, and two-story apartments.
It will also have a dog park, walking trails, and open space available to the public. Scudder Stevens, chair of the board of supervisors, pointed out that the borough and township had collaborated on the project to speed up the process and minimize any duplication of effort. Mike Pia Jr., the project’s developer, said the
municipal cooperation also helped create a uniform, cohesive design.
Township Manager Lisa Moore announced that the state had awarded the township a $225,000 grant for its Kennett Greenway program.
The grant money will fund upgrades to existing trails that extend from Pennock Park to south of Hillendale Road. The trails will be resurfaced and widened to meet current standards as soon as bids are received and a contractor approved, Moore said. Moore told the supervisors she had received an estimate on updating the township’s database on groundwater levels. The township’s Environmental Advisory Committee chair Matt Sabo had mentioned in September that the county database on groundwater had not been updated in some 20 years.
In order to monitor water use amid ongoing development, the township officials decided to look into getting that information themselves. But Moore said Wednesday the price for doing so would range from $30,000 to $60,000.
Moore said the county planned to update its groundwater database in five years, and she recommended the township wait for the county’s review rather than do its own investigation.
“I just think it’s a huge cost for the township to incur,” Moore said. Stevens said he agreed, in part because an update just for the township would tell them little about water usage patterns in neighboring municipalities that could affect supplies in Kennett Township. But at least the Environmental Advisory Committee’s questions had made the officials more “sensitized to the subject,” Stevens said. The supervisors discussed a proposed revision to the subdivision and land development ordinance that would require all new developments to have power lines placed underground, not on poles.
In addition to being more attractive, the approach reduces power outages caused by storms, they said. A 23-acre parcel on Kaolin Road was approved for subdivision into 12 building lots. The supervisors also approved a lot line change to facilitate lawn care and maintenance around a gully bordering some properties on Burnt Mill Road. Moore noted that the project to rehab the Chandler Mill Bridge had gone out to bid. The historic bridge, once controversially slated for demolition, will be reinforced and used mostly for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, with the roadway continuing to be closed to all but emergency vehicles.
An architect’s sketch of what the Cannery Row project in Kennett will look like when completed.