this is why municipalities need ordinances that correct wrongs

219 Namar Avenue, Exton, PA

Namar Avenue in Exton/West Whiteland is one of those little neighborhoods of post-war (as in World War II) housing and earlier. There was a housing boom in Chester County before and following World War II which is how places like General Warren Village in East Whiteland came to be for example, and parts of Northeast Philadelphia too. This house is in Whiteland Crest I believe the name of this little area in Exton. And that area started coming into existence I think in the 1930s and most building was done up to the 1950s at some point.

Sadly this cute area is home to a rather derelict house.

Can you imagine living with this derelict house next door to you? It was sold most recently in 2021. It is the first photo in this post and the two just above.

But if you just Google the address, that house has had a lot going on for years:

I think there is probably a rather sad story here PRIOR to 2021 but the new owners have continued to let it rot since 2021, so what gives?

My point of this post is not all negative. My point actually is there is hope for dealing with properties like this at least in West Whiteland since is West Whiteland is a municipality that approved a property maintenance ordinance in March. Now if that ordinance had been in effect before the property changed hands in 2021, the township would have perhaps been able to help the homeowner find a non-profit group to help them clean up. But since this property changed hands in the fall of 2021 it has continued to dangerously deteriorate, so now this code will also be of help to the neighbors who deserve better than this.

I remember when I first moved to Chester County, in East Whiteland there was a derelict house on Morstein Road. The police had to babysit it because kids kept going in etc. Eventually the family sold it for a two lot subdivision. But if there had been more of a maintenance ordinance then in that township, maybe it would have been different? I also think this West Whiteland ordinance will also address people building structures without permits that require permits. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Along with ordinance like this there should be rental ordinances. Not just life and safety and inspections required when a property changes hands. The developers have introduced so many apartment complexes and developments that are loaded with rentals that it is desperately needed.

And student rental ordinances. East Whiteland is home to Immaculata, as an example. And there is no rental ordinance or student rental ordinance is there?

What made me think about those kinds of ordinances again in particular were comments on NextDoor about Frazer Crossing Apartments which used to be known as William Henry. But I thought about rental ordinances when the whole human trafficking thing happened in East Whiteland. It just made me wonder if there were rental inspection ordinances, would there have been rentals with human trafficking going on? Or would that bad row of houses just past the Wawa at 30 and Planebrook Road exist if there were actual rental ordinances in place?

It’s a shame that we no longer live in a world where people will do the right things, but if people don’t know what the rules are will they do the right thing today? My thoughts on ordinances like this are nothing new. I wrote about the need for rental property ordinances in April.

I see West Whiteland as taking proactive steps in ordinances surrounding property maintenance and rental properties. It’s a good thing, it will create a level and safe playing field. Here’s hoping some of her neighbors follow suit.

Thanks for stopping by.