call to action: west whiteland weston OVERdevelopment plan being heard at virtual planning commission TONIGHT 6/16/2020

Picture 104 house here on West King Road in West Whiteland just a short hop from East Whiteland

West Whiteland is perhaps the worst offender overall in the development cram plans game. And it only keeps getting worse IMHO. Their township manager used to be the township manager of Tredyffrin. When she was “retiring” from Tredyffrin she was quoted as saying “a job is not a life”.

Oh OK, and we believed this? (To be honest I did not.)

So she has been the manager of West Whiteland since what? 2014? Has anyone ever tracked the development from when she became manager? Seems like every year the pace of development becomes more frantic in West Whiteland doesn’t it? (I ask this as a question because I do not know for certain.)

So tonight there is a VERY important planning commission meeting at 7 PM (and you can register to zoom it):

There is virtual meeting etiquette so I guess I can’t use the word fakakta sadly.

I wrote the Planning Commission in West Whiteland a letter (questions@westwhiteland.org):

I will start with saying I am appalled by the staggering amount of development overall in West Whiteland.   


I find your virtual planning commission agenda for June 16, 2020 alarming and deeply troubling.


You will be affecting not only your residents but those of us in other municipalities like East Whiteland.  I live in East Whiteland.  


I live fairly close to the Weston Tract proposed development off of West King.  It is hard enough now to safely get out of our street onto King by car.  Many also walk at Immaculata, so they walk across King.  The proposal for 104 crammed in houses will add 208 cars or other vehicles at a MINIMUM. I say at a minimum because very few families have ONE car.  That doesn’t count for additional service providers, etc. Also to be considered is the giant pipeline right of way smack dab in the center of this proposed development.  I realize that probably doesn’t faze you but it should because if you approve all of this density you are creating another ticking time bomb.  Can you say another Lisa Drive sinkhole situation would NOT occur? No you can’t because of where we are situated and the geology of the area. Also such density when those pipelines will be carrying such volatile products?  And the land there is densely wooded and we will be losing nature and point of fact you will drive all of the deer from there to our properties. Thanks, but no. The environmental impact will be devastating, do you care? 


We in East Whiteland are also facing way too much development and with development close to where I live going up on Morstein and down off 352, plus the OTHER development your township seems hip to get on Route 30?   Lincoln Highway at Ship, across on Ship behind Philip and James and the thing also on tonight between Locheil Farm and Church Farms School absurdly called Exton Knoll? 319 densely packed in living units?  And lest you forget, lots of residential planned in East Whiteland on Route 30 too (old Frazer Lanes).  Plus all of the development currently built off Planebrook, at Linden Hall (352 and 30 which was supposed to get a left turn arrow and did not so the residents can barely get out of the development) and more (cruise on down to 29 and beyond.)  Further east of us you have the development planned for Easttown and I am sure Tredyffrin.  West of you is already density overload.  Go to other neighboring municipalities like West Goshen and that is bad too and even East Goshen is getting in on development overload.  When is enough actually enough? When there is not any real open space left?  And don’t say developers care about open space because the open space they give back is mostly stuff they can’t build on.


NO ONE needs all of this development and once you get past the municipal short term high of ratables, all of these developments are not sustainable long term.  The economy is questionable as it is, and we are trying to emerge from the first global pandemic since when? 1918? So why for THAT reason do we want so much density?  Social distancing is hard enough as it is.  I also think you seriously overestimate the appeal of so many apartment buildings.  We are not King of Prussia or Center City Philadelphia.  We don’t live out here in Chester County to experience uber urbanism. We live in Chester County because it used to be quite literally one of the most beautiful places on earth. But I use the past tense because every development destroys more of the beauty.

  
I will close by saying that although I appear to be 100% anti-development I actually am not.  If development is responsible and thoughtful I actually shut my mouth.  Only no one has seen plans like those in years and years. They don’t even have a decent design aesthetic, human scale or good setbacks, or even roads that are wide enough in these new developments,  it’s just build, build, build.  Neither of the plans before you this evening ( Weston Tract, Exton Knoll) are responsible or thoughtful or give a rat’s fanny for those of us who live in adjacent townships, let alone West Whiteland Township. NONE of your current plans meet that criteria, truthfully. And let us not forget the impact all of the development in all of these municipalities has on the various school districts. And basics like first responders, the infrastructure. 


I hope you do not find me rude, that is not my intent.  But your Weston Tract proposal especially affects me and my neighbors and that is not ok.  We would like to be able to safely get out of our driveways and streets. We don’t want more stormwater issues. You have zero idea what flows down King Road now in an average thunderstorm.  We don’t want to lose all of those trees and you also need to consider the little league fields. The Weston Tract will affect them too.


Please say no. Or find a way to say no. Enough new urbanism fairy tales.  


Now in all fairness someone told me they did not think West Whiteland likes the Weston development proposal. But I trust no townships much anymore when it comes to development. That is my opinion and my right. I think if you have an interest in either of these plans to take the time to zoom this evening. You don’t have to drive anywhere and you might make a difference.

2 thoughts on “call to action: west whiteland weston OVERdevelopment plan being heard at virtual planning commission TONIGHT 6/16/2020

  1. The irony of Weston Solutions being an **environmental impact consulting firm** ought not be lost on anyone. Any idea how THEY feel about this plan?

    Personally, I’m a railroad history guy – the old WC&P (later PRR) runs right through the property. The right-of-way curves around Immaculata, goes over Ravine Rd on a 1915 bridge, runs under King Rd (there are guard rails, but the bridge is filled in) and turns sharply around the present GVLL fields before continuing dead straight parallel to King Rd, running right past the thankfully well-kept-up Morstein Station on the present-day Weston property. It was abandoned in 1960 but it was a hugely important passenger and freight link in its day. West Chester Borough could not have thrived without it.

    This development would almost certainly eradicate any remaining traces of the old railroad ROW and that’s not a nice thought. Maybe I obsess over old railroads more than most, but we just can’t erase our history. The thought of clear-cutting the woods where the tracks once ran makes me sick. I moved from Newtown Square to East Whiteland to get AWAY from the Toll Brothers and Lennar bulldozers.

    The new traffic light at Lochiel Ln/Belden Blvd on 30 (right after Livingston Ln and before Ship) will show how already-messy traffic patterns will be upset by massive development. The question is – will the civil engineers learn their lesson, or are they being paid to ignore it?

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