Beaver Creek Preserve, Inc. owns a primarily undeveloped property located at 11 Potts Schools Road.
The Township was made aware on August 2020 that fill dirt was being transported to and dumped on the property. As a result, the Township Engineer contacted the owner’s representatives, visited the property, and issued a Stop Work Order. The Township Engineer was advised that the owner was constructing a berm to be used in connection with a gun range.
The Township Engineer notified the owner that a Township Stormwater Management, Erosion and Sediment Control and Grading Permit was required for the work being done on the Property. The owner filed the application for the Permit on August 24, 2020, and the Permit was subsequently issued. This Permit did not grant approval for any use of the property. The permit only authorized the placement of the fill dirt and the grading.
The Township has not been advised directly by the owner regarding the intended use of the Property. As indicated above, the Township Engineer was told that the owner is constructing a berm for a gun range. The Township is aware that the property was used in the past by a gun club. Based on mail received from residents of Potts School Road, the Township is also aware of unsubstantiated statements that the owner intends to permit Chester County law enforcement agencies to use the property for training.
Based on this information, the Township has advised the owner’s representatives that any nonconforming use of the property as a gun club has been abandoned; and that a gun range and governmental uses are not permitted on the property by the East Nantmeal Township Zoning Ordinance.
The Township has also advised the applicant that public recreational uses, as defined by the Zoning Ordinance, are permitted by special exception in the Class II Agricultural Preservation Zoning District where the property is located. To the extent that any proposed uses may be public recreational uses, an application to and approval by the Township Zoning Hearing Board would be required. To date, no application has been filed with the Township Zoning Hearing Board. If an application is filed, a hearing must be conducted; notice of the hearing would be published in the Daily Local News, posted on the property, and sent to nearby property owners.
The Township cannot make any determination about recreational use of the property since we have not been advised in detail of the intended uses. We have requested that the owner describe in writing in detail the intended uses of the property. The Township has been advised that the property is used for Boy Scout meetings, camping and activities. No further information has been provided by the owner.
The Board of Supervisors has directed the Township Engineer and Township Solicitor to enforce the Township ordinances applicable to the property. We are not aware of any illegal activity at the property since our communications with the owner’s representative in August. However, please understand that the owner has certain property rights which it is entitled to as long as there is compliance with applicable law.