Tree preservation is further cemented in South Coatesville as Borough Council passed a timber harvest ordinance during its Nov. 24 meeting held on Zoom.
The law is designed to protect excessive tree harvesting. Council member Renee Carey said Chester County has harvest laws to protect the environment, and the ordinance will additionally protect land in the borough.
It also gives the borough leverage to issue applicants a timber harvesting fee of $1,000. Applicants will have to pay the fee to the borough before proceeding with tree removal.
Interim Borough Manager Allen Smith said the fee will go toward paying borough engineer Cedarville Engineering Group for its site inspections.
“We have to recoup our costs,” council member Barbara Newsuan said.
The borough was first introduced to the idea of a timber ordinance during the June 23 meeting. Officials became aware of a timber harvest occurring on a 12-acre lot on 1300 Youngsburg Road.
Developer John Williams misidentified the land to be in nearby East Fallowfield Township on an application to the Chester County Conservation District for potential housing developments. The project was stopped once the property was determined to be in South Coatesville Borough instead of East Fallowfield Township.
According to the engineer’s report, South Coatesville officials have shared concerns for a potential increase in stormwater discharge from the Youngsburg Road site. The topography of the area consists of steep slopes.
The Bernardtown Baptist Church, which sits at 1208 Youngsburg Road, has been impacted from runoff during heavy downpours.
The borough has not been in contact with Williams.