caving to development? important meeting october 25th in east goshen! could affect neighboring municipalities too!

East Goshen used to have my utmost respect. Then came pipelines and I was a little unsure. Now comes higher density development (the meeting is this Thursday, October 25th and any decision perhaps may potentially affect residents in East Whiteland and Willistown too unless I am mistaken?) and I am shaking my head. Not them too?

Now I have to wonder who got to whom in East Goshen? Says who precisely that yet another Chester County municipality has to get carved up even more like a prize turkey ?

Why does Chester County need more semi-detached “carriage homes” or TWINS in a single family area? Why does Chester County need more triple townhomes “triplexes”?

The answer is NO ONE NEEDS THIS! Is it or is it not true that this is just a way for developers to make more money? This is not about us as residents, this is about more money, isn’t it?

To quote their email and attachment today:

It is proposed that the zoning in the Township’s R-2 district (the predominant residential zoning district in the Township) be amended to allow for semi-detached carriage homes (twins) and townhomes (triplexes) on undeveloped or under-developed parcels of 20 acres or more.

• Currently, only single family detached homes are permitted in the R-2 at a maximum density of one unit per acre.

Oh and here are the potentially affected parcels and acreage:

There are four undeveloped or underdeveloped parcels with over 20 acres in the Township:

980 Hershey Mill Road (34.7acres)

1469 Morstein Road(20.6acres)

401 Ellis Lane (87.3acres)

204 Line Road (31.9acres)—However,this property (Thorncroft) has a conservation easement that restricts future development to no more than—we believe—two additional residential units, once the tenant house currently under construction is complete. This conservation easement is enforced by the Pickering and French Creek Conservation Trust.

• In addition, theoretically, undeveloped parcels of under 20 acres that are contiguous to any of the 20+ acre parcels listed above could be combined so that more acreage would be affected, provided the respective owners can agree on any terms of sale amongst themselves. See the map for more detail about the abutting properties.

Who is driving this bus ? Don’t you love how open space is suddenly “under-developed parcels” ?

Hershey Mill Road is twisty-turny and floods in a few places. It also is pretty busy on one end because of Villa Maria’s lower school. It also happens to be a beautiful road just the way it is because it actually maintains its character pretty much from beginning to end. I don’t think it can handle more development even if someone wants to change the zoning to make it happen. Just my opinion of course, but my opinion nonetheless.

And then let’s talk about Morstein. Up at the end of Morstein where it meets Boot Road it already is townhouse city on one side. I am not sure which municipality it is, but it is West Chester at that end.

However, Morstein off West King is very different. Until recently it was one of the last bastion of horse farms and beautiful rolling fields at the edge of East Goshen and East Whiteland. It is already under siege for development from the East Whiteland side, as the small farmette that was 1530 Morstein is about to become a cul de sac of new McMansions “Red Barn Farms“.

Right across the street at 1535 Morstein and 1537 Morstein are two McMansions on postage stamp sized lots. They were created by a two lot subdivision a few years ago. The lot originally had a small stone house, and was long down into the woods. But heaven forbid a small house on a deeply wooded lot remain unmolested right? (I will note for the record I would not have found it to be a bad plan if they had only built one house)

So two McMansions are shoehorned in at 1535 and 1537 and they stripped so many trees to create this Nirvana of Naked Acres that the street behind and alongside now see and hear all of the traffic from Morstein and also get to look at two new houses that only have stone veneer on the very front, with the three remaining sides looking like kind of naked beige boxes. From the side and rear the houses are stunningly unattractive for what they have cost. Again, just my opinion, except I know many people share it.

If this East Goshen zoning change goes through, 1469 Morstein is the same side as the two lot subdivision so I have to ask if the East Whiteland roads of Collegeview and especially Anthony will be affected? How could they not?

Anyway, I think the change zoning is potentially problematic. Here are screen shots of what East Goshen emailed out about below. They do not broadcast their meetings, so especially if you are adjoining municipalities and are concerned about this you need to go to the meeting in person. If you are going to be affected by this potential zoning change this might be your only opportunity to speak up.

6 thoughts on “caving to development? important meeting october 25th in east goshen! could affect neighboring municipalities too!

  1. I think most of us would hate to see these beautiful parcels developed. I drive past the Shiffer horse farm almost every day and would hate to see it littered with McMansions or “clustered” into townhomes. It seems like every nook and cranny of “open space” is being gobbled up by developers and therefore, “lost” forever. That being said, private property owners have a right to use their land any way that is allowed by law (Zoning). So the question is not “CAN these parcels be built on?”, but “WHAT can be built there?” Current zoning allows single-family homes on not less than 1-acre lots. The proposed zoning change would allow the same number of total residences, but in the form of townhomes and/or carriage homes (and presumably leaving some true “open space” on the remaining acreage). I guess the Townships have to “pick their poison” and the public is being given an opportunity to opine. If you’re going to blame East Goshen Township, you should blame whoever drew and approved the Zoning map years ago, not the current administration.

    Thanks for “listening”!

    • Except my belief is they are requesting the zoning change because these parcels have space that the developer couldn’t build on, therefore they are allowed to maximize their profits on the property while you have the whole “look here we saved some open space“

      And while I support that Pennsylvania is a private property rights state, I think people who own parcels like this have a greater responsibility.

      I think too many of the municipalities in Chester county are just selling out to developers. Larger lots and fewer houses. That should be the formula.

    • PS I think the majority of this administration is too green in East Goshen. They do not inspire confidence. And I am entitled to that opinion.

  2. Of course. If you are right, then I would hope they just stick with the current Zoning and not let more townhouses be built than they could single-family homes. Thanks for publicizing this…Most people are probably not even aware of the meeting. I believe East Goshen only sent notification letters to homeowners who live within 1,000 feet of one of the large parcels. Are they trying to keep the publicity down?

  3. Many of us East Whiteland’ers will be there! I back onto the “Lewis property”, where one of the hot issues is. Thanks for the addl. Info.

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