yes this is a rant.

Development should be a four letter word. Nothing has architectural style and human scale is non-existent.

Nothing being proposed on the Main Line or into Chester County and further out even complements the surrounding areas developers want to build in.

Everything is about maximizing density for developer profit.

The problem with that is there are a lot of moving parts and why is it residents can see the holes in the planning process and the zoning process and the development process and the political part of the process yet no one else seems to be willing to?

Everyone always thinks I am 100% against development. I’m actually not, but I cannot stand what is being shoved into our communities today.

The municipalities get all hot and bothered over the short term high of ratables but are incredibly short sighted as to the future. They don’t even look to protect the basics like stress on infrastructure, stress on first responders, stress on school districts which are all getting SO big.

It’s always QUANTITY instead of QUALITY.

And don’t forget the conditions of approval that they could ask for and sometimes they don’t even try. If these developers want to be in our communities then they can build the roads that will support their development. They can help pay for the schools that their future residents will put children into. They can finish the parks the townships don’t ever seem to have the money to either start or complete yet they have the land. And occasionally, these municipalities could learn to say “no give us a better plan.”

And in some municipalities you have to wonder for whom the township staff actually works? For whose benefit do the politicians work?

Years ago several members of the Pennsylvania legislature put forth an idea for a law. That law was simple it would’ve provided a short term moratorium on development. Just enough for Pennsylvania municipalities to hit the pause button to try to get better plans – like 90 or 120 days or something. The lobbyists for parties who objected to this being put forward killed this thing at least twice.

Also the Municipalities Planning Code of Pennsylvania? When was the last time that was comprehensively updated? Wasn’t it either the late 1960s or 1970s?

And here in Chester County why is it everyone thinks the Chester County Planning Commission’s Landscapes is so fabulous? All I see is a blueprint for over-development. We live in Chester County and we don’t live here so we can feel like we live in Bensalem or King of Prussia correct?

And while on the topic of our Chester County Planning Commission why is it our county level planning is being driven by an executive director who does not live in our county? To me that is just nuts and the worst kind of politics. That in my humble opinion is a person not truly invested in our communities and how can he be, he doesn’t live here does he?

We need change or we are going to continue to lose what makes where we live special. I don’t know about you but every time I look at a plan it is homogenous, boring, uninteresting and not community minded in the least for where ever it is proposed. It’s mall architecture. Bleck.

Once open space is gone it doesn’t come back. From Lower Merion in Montgomery County through to Caln in Chester County and everywhere in between, something has got to give.

And the history and historic preservation also doesn’t seem to matter. And it should.

I have never believed in “build it and they will come” as a reason to develop. And I’m not saying there aren’t areas that are in need of sprucing up. There are. Only the planning and vision that is realistic doesn’t seem to exist does it?

And the zoning? Why is everything high density? And all these special zoning overlay districts? Who benefits besides developers?

But everything is the same: ugly apartment buildings, cheap townhouse communities, fake carriage house communities. Density, density, and more density.

And in a lot of areas people are asking about low income and affordable housing. And we’re not talking section 8 here we’re talking about where do the single mothers go if they want to live in a safe community and raise their children? Where do our seniors go who can’t afford ritzy retirement communities? Where do regular people go who can’t afford McMansions?

And is there the economy to support this development? I was talking to somebody last week who remarked about not being able to work close to home. So are the jobs really here locally that will support the development? In my opinion, no.

Yes this is a RANT. And developers aren’t going to like this post, but none of you were being singled out. I am disgusted with all of it.

We deserve better. We need to demand better.

Development is an epidemic and we need a solution.

4 thoughts on “yes this is a rant.

  1. What bugs me too, is the real estate signs on every other corner that stack up and stay there months on end. We try to put up FOR ONE WEEK ONLY an Art Sale Sign by a local art league but they get taken away. We have even asked local townships if we can post them and they say NO….they cost $ and we like to retrieve to use again another year…but no, the real estate magnets/maggots, control everything.

  2. Well my parents bought in 1961…I consider all development after that over development…left the Exton area in 1980 before it got totally ridiculous…you can thank all those that got pockets lined by builders and their backers…follow the money to see owns Chester county…very sad…but most reading this are squarely part of the problem

    • Rats – had a whole comment and it disappeared. My home was built in 1961. Small subdivision. Youngest house I have ever lived in. But this was the last of the era of consistency in quality of construction and large lots, spacious even with mature trees left intact instead of being cut down. Once you hit the mid to late 1970s that all started to change. Nothing anymore is built keeping the surrounding area in mind. And if single family homes do get built they are McMansions crammed in like lemmings and you can’t even garden in most of them! Like what was built when they sold off some Daylesford Abbey land in Paoli. It was woods loaded with heritage trees and farm fields. Now it is this preposterous looking McMansion development called Chapel Hill. It’s hideous and is crammed full of Barbie’s dream McMansions which look like they were built of LEGOs. And you can’t garden. There are rules. Stepford Living https://www.chapelhillatpaoli.com/

  3. Carla, rant all you want. I will shake your hand and pin a medal 🏅 on you. You have said everything I feel. These pieces of crap houses that are littering the landscape are no prettier than a pile of plastic bottles. The night we were advised of the tornado coming from Honeybrook toward CALN, I took myself and 5 dogs into the stone (almost 300 year old) part of the house, because that is where I felt the safest. If we had been in the ticky tack townhomes around the corner, I would have feared for my life.

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