UPDATE: I was just cruising through Malvern Patch to see if there was any resident feedback from Malvern’s TOD meeting (since the media can’t seem to cover life altering development) and my eyes about popped when I read this:
Sidne Baglini July 24, 2013 at 09:34 pm
The meeting was last night at Borough Hall. The subject was the Transportation Oriented Development…Read More Plan presentation which is encouraging the Borough to change the zoning on the north side of the railroad tracks on Warren Ave. so that 600 residential units can be constructed so that SEPTA can increase it’s ridership and surrounding communities can avoid suburban sprawl. The plans presented showed several 12 story buildings; a plan with multiple 7 story buildings and a plan with even more multiple 4 or 5 story buildings. Another meeting will be announced for late summer or early autumn as they are required to hold 3 public meetings and last night’s was the 2nd. I don’t know if the 3 plans were left at the Borough Hall or if they are being held by the Delaware Valley Planning Commission. In a nutshell, if you think East King Street Flats is your vision of what Malvern should be like, then this proposal is EKSF on steroids.
I used to say that TOD stood for Total Of Dumbasses. It really means Transit Oriented Development, and whoa Nellie I had no idea it was being planned for Malvern Borough.
It is like Groundhog Day for me because I lived through a lot of these Emperor’s New Clothes scenarios when I lived on the Main Line. It tore apart Lower Merion Township where I used to live and to this day divisiveness truly still exists. And Transit Oriented Development is still a myth of more fiction than fact.
And oh my gosh golly here comes a meeting that may have been held TODAY in Malvern Borough that I only saw on Malvern Patch just now and it wasn’t posted until July 22 at almost 11 pm. This is a meeting important enough that it should have had widely publicized notices for weeks and not been held in the dead of a hot, hot summer when a lot of people are away. But the jaded person in me says that naturally that is when local governments sneak things through: around major holidays or in the dead of summer.
This is your second chance to see what could be coming for the Malvern train station.
A meeting this Tuesday could shape how a major section of Malvern could look in the future.
The Malvern Transit-Oriented Development Plan (TOD) is holding a public meeting to discuss the future of the half-mile section of borough near the SEPTA train station on Tuesday, from 4 to 7 p.m….For more information on the meeting, contact borough manager Sandra Kelley at 610-644-2602 or check out the group’s flyer onthe borough website.
A meeting this important and they seem incapable of properly publicizing? it is a shame that Malvern Borough wants to turn themselves into Upper Darby or something isn’t it? I have to ask is this “plan” actually a done deal and are these motions are just for show?
Malvern’s charm is in it’s history and size, much like the village portion of Berwyn and similarly scaled small towns and villages. I could see making Malvern say sprucing up a little bit more like Narberth which has undeniable charm and popularity, but Narberth does things based on sound planning and well Malvern Borough seems to chase dollars like a hooker looking for money on top of the dresser.
Some will find my words hard and hyper critical and for that I am sorry, but lordy have they learned nothing? Look at Eli Kahn’s hulking monstrosity would you? The photo below was taken in March and while the Tyvec and black paper may be covered up now by plaster and whatnot but it still does not disguise the fact that this project looms over the street, looms over houses across the train tracks and lacks human scale and the ridiculously low amount once quoted in the paper as what would be gained in ratables leaves me scratching my head.
And again, I am sorry to sound this way it is just so simply Groundhog Day and if I could spare anyone what others have gone through with these Emperor’s New Clothes fools’ errands of unattainable zoning overlays and infill development hair-brained plans that don’t EVER seem to take into account the scale of current buildings, architecture, history, human scale, design elements, the actual will of the people or parking and traffic I would.
I don’t live in Malvern Borough so I have no standing, just opinion. But I have to say I am not anti-progress but I am against poor planning. An article from September 2012 in Main Line Media News by Henry Briggs on this topic says that as per tax records Malvern Borough residents pay nearly FOUR TIMES the taxes paid by businesses and industrial property owners.
Here is that column of Henry Briggs’ from September 2012:
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
On Tuesday, Sept 25, from 4pm to 7pm, Malvern Borough will offer its citizens a voice in a decision that will permanently effect the future of the town.
Woody Van Sciver, Borough Council President and Jeff Riegner a planning consultant, will ask for comments on “transit oriented development” in Malvern; specifically, putting additional people and buildings into a half-mile perimeter of the Malvern SEPTA station.
As Malvern is only 1.3 square miles, this will have enormous and permanent impact on the people who live and work there.
With the development of East King Street, the town is currently in the first stage of a 10% expansion….What triggered the study? A breakfast in 2008 hosted by the Philadelphia Area Chamber of Commerce and attended by assorted civic leaders, including Woody Van Sciver, Malvern Borough Council President.
The main speaker, Barry Seymour, from the DVRPC, spoke about the need to beef up density around transit centers – the SEPTA and AMTRAK stations – along the Main Line. His pitch echoed that of the “Landscapes Plan” which Chester County put together years ago.
I am with Henry Briggs and ex-Borough President Pat McGuigan: keep Malvern a traditional village. Maybe spruce it up a little and get some of those derelict property owners near the Flying Pig to clean up and get tenants, but don’t supersize Malvern around a train station that isn’t even handicap accessible. Fix up the existing downtown, get grants to repair sidewalks. Look to ways of improving parking for visitors and residents. Come up with a viable village plan that looks at Malvern Borough as a whole so progress flows and doesn’t cause pain. Go to Media and Narberth and check them out – although downtown Media is much larger than either Narberth or Malvern like Malvern and Narberth it is off the beaten path (i.e. not right on a major road like Route 30)
Like many municipalities, Malvern Borough might benefit in term limits for elected officials because wow hearing this stuff makes one question why people serve doesn’t it? Maybe this Woody Van Sciver needs to retire, right?
Also see Should Malvern Grow by Joseph DiStefano at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Malvern Borough is 1.2 or 1.3 square miles and that will never change. It is time for Malvrn Borough Towns Fathers to put away their huge insecurity issues and obvious inferiority complexes and accept Malvern for what it is: a VILLAGE. Capitalize on THAT, don’t try to make Malvern what it is not. And anyone who tells you that your community in exurbia (because out here we are past the traditional suburbs of the Main Line) will only thrive and prosper with tons of density and infill development should be run out of town on a rail and sent to live in the urban jungle they so greatly crave. As a matter of fact, I hear there is a lot of room in Detroit these days.
Lecture over You all do what you want this is merely my opinion.