Birmingham Township Historical Commission
Minutes of the Meeting of April 27, 2010
At 7:03 in the Birmingham Township building, Chairman Will Snook called the regular
April meeting to order and declared a quorum. Present were Ed Zaloga, Betty Organt,
Matt Bedwell, and Lloyd Roach. Mark Gross was absent.
The minutes of the meeting of March 23 were approved (Roach, Organt, all in favor).
Representing Barbara Boor of 1128 Dorset Drive (Lot 56) in Spring Meadows, attorney
Art Sagnor described the Final Minor Subdivision Plan for the Boor property into two
lots and explained that the Birmingham Township Planning Commission had asked that
the plan be sent to the Historical Commission. Mr. Sagnor said the applicant was
requesting three waivers – from § 122-36.6.B, § 122-36.6.A, and § 122-36.8.A(1). Mr.
Sagnor stated that the Boor house is known as the Samuel Painter House and that it is on
the township’s Historic Inventory list; he said Mrs. Boor has owned the house for 24
years, restored it and added a garage. Mr. Sagnor said that Mrs. Boor has collected a lot
of historical information about the house (e.g., built in 1727, added to in 1820) and would
be happy to share it, and seeks a waiver from the requirement for a Historic Resource
Impact Study (HRIS) [ § 122-36.8.A(1) ] because it would be expensive and time-
consuming and a “tedious burden” to have it done professionally.
In support of the request for a waiver from the professionally-sealed landscape plan [ §
122-36.6.A ], Mr. Sagnor introduced Tom Kummer, a Registered Landscape Architect
from the Thomas H. Kummer Fine Arts Landscape Architecture firm. Mr. Kummer
displayed a plan of the existing landscape on the Boor property and the photos taken by
Regester Associates from the proposed location of the house on the proposed Lot 2, as
well as a photo of the historic house taken from Dorset Drive south of the pond. Mr.
Kummer showed a plan for new 8- to 15-foot screening of shrubs and trees beside the
Boor parking area – screening between the proposed new house and the old house. Mr.
Kummer said this new screening would be an added amendment to the proposed final
plan and that no official landscape plan should be required because nothing was being
done to change the landscape around the old house. Mr. Sagnor said that this new
screening was also in support of the request for a waiver from the 200-foot setback [§
122-36.6.B ]; the plan shows the proposed new house at 195 feet from the old house,
though there is room for it to be moved.
Reading from a realty flier, Mr. Zaloga said the house is being advertised on 8 acres, but
the plan shows 6- and 2-acre lots. Mr. Sagnor said that, if the Boor property is
subdivided, both lots will be restricted from further subdivision by a note on the plan.
Mr. Snook noted that a new structure would have to go before the Historical Commission
because it would be within 500 feet of a historic resource. Mr. Bedwell asked if, since
the elevation of both house sites is about the same, would they consider a berm under the
new screening. Mr. Kummer agreed to an 18- to 24-inch berm. Mr. Snook asked the
Commission members if the HRIS was really warranted. Mr. Sagnor said that nothing is
changing and that, if the integrity of the site was violated, it happened when Spring
Page 1 of 1
Meadows was developed thirty years ago, and that a new HRIS would be “superfluous.”
Twinette Hawkins, 1106 Sherbrook Drive, said that the applicant is clearly required to do
a Historic Resource Impact Study and she thinks they should adhere to the requirements.
On a motion by Lloyd Roach, seconded by Scott Garrison, passed with all in favor, the
Historical Commission voted to recommend that applicant Barbara Boor be granted
1. § 122-36.6.B - the required 200-foot setback from the historic structure
- in favor of the currently proposed 195-foot setback; and
2. § 122-36.6.A -the required professionally-sealed landscape plan –
because the revised plan shows the existing landscape elements and new
8- to 15-foot screening between the Lot 1 parking area and Lot 2; and
3. § 122-36.8.A(1) -the required Historic Resource Impact Study,
with the following conditions:
1. Because Barbara Boor’s attorney stated that Mrs. Boor has a great deal of
historical information about the “Samuel Painter House,” in lieu of her having
to pay for a formal Historic Impact Study Mrs. Boor must submit all of that
information to the Historical Commission, and
2. If and/or when the owner of the proposed Lot 2 applies for a building permit,
he/she/they must submit the plan to a review by the Birmingham Township
Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) and provide a Historic
Resource Impact Study called for in § 122-36.8.A(1) detailing the impact the
proposed structure to be erected on Lot 2 would have on Lot 1.
As directed by the Planning Commission, the plan will now be returned to the Planning
Commission on May 11.
Local author Mrs. Carla Westerman, present by invitation, discussed some of what is
involved in publishing a book such as the one proposed by Mark Gross (Birmingham
history). Included are issues of timeliness and privacy. Some publishers require
purchase of a number of copies; self-publishing is another possibility. Mrs. Westerman
said that one problem with the Arthur James township history is the factual errors in it,
and that some publishers require a template that is too restrictive. Because Mrs.
Westerman is planning a new Birmingham history book – coffee table type -, she and the
Commission members agreed to help and cooperate with each other. Mr. Bedwell
suggested A Quaker Boy’s Life as a source of information about early life in the
township. Mrs. Westerman will get the standard release form for the Commission; Mr.
Snook will send her the link for the survey map.
Mr. Roach said he would like to see old-and-new pictures of some of the surveyed houses
framed and displayed on the walls of the Township Building.
Mr. Snook announced a Chester County Parks and Recreation battle-themed walking tour
of the Mather complex at Radley Run at 5:00 on August 19, followed by a $15 per person
barbecue. To cover the expense of the participation of Brandywine Battlefield Park re-
Page 2 of 2
enactor participation, the Historical Commission agreed to co-sponsor it at $200 with the
hope of recovering most of that expense via a grant being applied for by Preservation
Officer Karen Marshall. Mr. Snook asked for volunteer support from the HC members.
Mr. Snook said Mrs. Marshall is also planning a historic half-marathon on the morning of
the Pumpkin Carve.
Matt Bedwell agreed to ask Tom McGuire to select a May or June 2011 date for speaking
to a Birmingham Township audience.
Mr. Snook thanked the group for sending the survey information via email and on the
forms. Mr. Bedwell suggested Bing as an alternative to Google for latitudes and
longitudes; Mr. Snook suggested http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html as another
alternative. After the surveys have been completed, Mr. Snook will discuss committee
Mr. Bedwell announced that, at 6:00 on the evening of the next Historical Commission
meeting – May 25th, Karen Marshall has arranged with RPOS for Sean Moir to give a
presentation showing the troop movements during the Battle of the Brandywine.
The meeting adjourned at 8:55 (Roach, Garrison, all in favor).
Page 3 of 3
This document was created with Win2PDF available at http://www.win2pdf.com.
The unregistered version of Win2PDF is for evaluation or non-commercial use only.
This page will not be added after purchasing Win2PDF.