Following the letter of the law is important, but sometimes it is just as important to follow the spirit of the law as well. Chester County Council is presently fast-tracking some rezoning matters at 510 Junior’s Place, Bryant Corner Road and Lancaster Highway in Richburg. The requests deal with changing properties from a limited industrial district classification to a general industrial district classification. The intent, per discussions before the planning commission and Chester County Council, is to pave the way for a chemical company of some kind to locate a facility here. First reading on the changes was held at a special called meeting March 1, second reading was Monday night and third-and-final reading is slated for next week.
Rightly and understandably, citizens living near the proposed site have concerns. When you hear “inorganic chemicals” mentioned as something that will be produced near your home and near Fishing Creek, you SHOULD ask questions, especially when it seems like the process is being rushed or ramrodded through and when the planning commission only recommended approval of the zoning changes on a 3-2 vote. In this case, we understand why there is a compressed timeline and we do not believe it has anything to do with getting something pushed through without the public noticing. With some economic development projects, time truly is of the essence. There is heavy competition for any industrial project and if you don’t have the skids greased to facilitate what is needed, you won’t be in the running for the jobs and investments that could be in the offing. We think some fears may have been assuaged when Councilwoman Erin Mosley, who voted against approval on first reading citing a lack of information on the company, voted yes on Monday. She said she’d gotten a lot of answers to questions and felt much better about the company and the chemicals that will be produced. Councilman Corey Guy, who has worked in management of chemical companies, aired a lot of questions and concerns on first reading but said Monday he thinks citizens will ultimately be OK with the company and that the chemical in question (a lot of specifics still can’t be discussed publicly) is already used at local plants and in some personal hygiene products.