BEACH LAKE, PA — The Delaware Highlands Conservancy Inc. (DHC) unveiled plans for the 144-acre property in Beach Lake that will become its new headquarters. At the October 19 Berlin Township Board …
BEACH LAKE, PA — The Delaware Highlands Conservancy Inc. (DHC) unveiled plans for the 144-acre property in Beach Lake that will become its new headquarters. At the October 19 Berlin Township Board of Supervisors meeting, engineering firm Kiley Associates, LLC presented a land development plan designed to convert the former Van Scott family dairy farm into a headquarters for the nonprofit organization dedicated to conservation of the forests, farmland, clean waters and wildlife habitat of the Upper Delaware River region.
Included in those plans are three new handicapped parking spaces located close to the former farmhouse that will become the DHC headquarters office building and reception area. Additionally, 16 parking spaces will be placed near a new pavilion that will host outdoor educational events. And a new driveway will connect the property to Perkins Pond Road.
Part of the process of converting a residential building into a public reception area and business office involves changing the existing bathroom facilities. In this case, two of the four full baths contained in the farmhouse will be removed, and the remaining two will be renovated into one full bath (sink, toilet and shower) and one half bath (sink and toilet).
That modification, by itself, changes existing septic system requirements. Kiley representative Lou Cozzo anticipates less septic system usage for an eight-hour workday office operation than was experienced at the former residence, which would have been in use 24/7. Still, the local code enforcement officer suggested an examination of the current septic system, including the 1,000-gallon, in-ground concrete septic tank.
Although Kiley Associates found no evidence of aging or deterioration of the existing septic system, DHC representative Grant Genzlinger emphasized a willingness to do whatever is required for full compliance with local code. “We are, after all, an organization dedicated to a clean environment and sustainability best practices.”
“Wait a minute,” said someone in the gallery. “I pumped that tank myself not so long ago.”
“There’s nothing like the word of a neighbor to make your case,” said Genzlinger.
The board voted unanimously for conditional approval of the land development plan as submitted, contingent on full compliance with all local construction and septic system codes.
DHC hopes to be in its new headquarters soon after the first of the year. For more information on DHC and its new headquarters, see www.delawarehighlands.org.