Pattye Benson

Community Matters

stormwater runoff

Final Land Development Approval Sought at Planning Commission Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17 for High School Expansion Plan + Proposed Parking Lot on Irish Road — Will Stormwater Runoff be Adequately Managed for the Neighborhood?

On the Tredyffrin Township Planning Commission agenda for Thursday, Oct. 17, 7 PM is the preliminary/final land development application for the Conestoga High School expansion. The proposal expands the existing high school (216,000 sq. ft.) with a two story addition (approx. 40,500 sq. ft.)

For those that live in the area of the high school, this is an important meeting to attend — as another component of the T/E School District’s expansion plan includes a new parking lot (with 128 spaces) on Irish Road plus a bus pull-off.

We know that rainwater does not percolate into impervious surfaces but runs off instead. The proposed parking lot requires the removal of many trees from its wooded lot. Imperious surface is the primary contributor to stormwater runoff and is a major contributor to flooding … what stormwater impact can neighbors expect as a result of the proposed parking lot? Will the stormwater runoff from the parking lot be adequately managed? And going forward, who has oversight of the stormwater situation once the parking lot is completed – the school district or the township?

Residents in the high school area (particularly Irish Road, Lizbeth Lane and Oak Lane) have suffered with major stormwater and flooding issues for years – if you know the area, many homes in the neighborhood sit downhill from the proposed high school expansion project and parking lot. Such a large land development project, which includes the removal of many trees, is certain to impact a community already impacted by stormwater runoff problems and stormwater issues.

Residents are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission and make their concerns known. Mitigating and preventing flooding and erosion of their properties must include stormwater runoff as a critical part of the approval of the high school expansion project, particularly the parking lot component. Neighbors cannot afford further damage and possible devaluation of property as a result of severe stormwater runoff issues.

In addition to increased stormwater runoff issues related to the proposed parking lot on Irish Road – residents need to bring their safety, traffic, lighting, etc. concerns to the Planning Commission meeting. The proposed expansion plan and parking lot needs to be fully vetted by the planning commissioners before granting final land development approval.

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