These are the apartments in Frazer known as “The Yards.” And like everything else being built today they look pretty much like everything else being built today.
I don’t find them attractive. I don’t find them architecturally significant. It looks like Legos put together for grown-ups to live in.
And these are the buildings that are being erected in communities all around the area. And it doesn’t matter who the developer is THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME.
Probably one of the only ones that I don’t find as offensive in Chester County are some in Paoli behind the train station. The Airdrie. But it’s still a similar design, only that has some actual setbacks, so it doesn’t smack you in the face along Lancaster Avenue and elsewhere.
But if you drive around, and you look at all of the apartment complexes being erected, they all are the same variations on a similar theme.
It’s NOT architecture.
I really started noticing these buildings when Eastside Flats in Malvern Borough were built. Most of these buildings have lousy setbacks, ignore human scale, ignore the architecture that exists around them, pretty much ignores everything that makes Chester County special.
The design in a word in my opinion, sucks. This is all about these developers, making money and moving onto the next project. It’s not about enhancing a community or enhancing a sense of community. These developers don’t care about our communities, we are just an area where they can make a profit.
From municipality to municipality it’s all the same. Literally Lego boxes for people to live in or plastic mushroom houses squished too close together.
Somebody gave me a hard time for saying I think these apartments are also ugly etc. and then they told me I was insulting people’s homes. Apartment dwellers don’t move into communities and stay forever. They are more transient it’s the nature of apartments.
If it’s a senior living community, it might be a little different, but the architecture is all the same and it’s all bad.
These developers are changing the nature of community quite literally. More and more. All of the rentals mean people stay for a while. They don’t stay like buying a home in a neighborhood. And even the nature of those neighborhoods with single-family homes are changing. Front end loaded cheek to jowl. No gardens. Just boxes with bad siding.
The developers are driving the real estate prices which is driving how long people stay if they stay. Sometimes just flip property and leave and so on.
There is quite simply put too much development. And there especially seems to be too many apartment complexes being built Chester County is looking more and more like King of Prussia. Does Chester County want to look like King of Prussia? Or Bensalem? Does Chester county want all these apartment buildings creating urban landscapes?
And when you post the pictures of these developments, people think someone’s palms are being greased. I don’t know anything about that what I do know is what allows these buildings, and these developments to march forward. The Municipalities Planning Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or MPC.
The MPC has not been comprehensively updated since circa 1969. The MPC guides all local zoning. No one holds state representatives and state senators accountable for this. It is their job to an act an act of the state constitution and get off their asses and update the MPC .
However, there is also the fact that people really don’t bother to learn what is going on within their communities until there’s a crisis. People do not keep up with what local government is doing and what plans are being presented for development and there’s no excuse now really because meetings are hybrid and in person and recorded so if you can’t make a meeting, you can watch a recording of a meeting or you can watch a meeting via zoom platform or even YouTube.
If people went to meetings, local government would have a better idea of what they didn’t want before it actually happened. It wouldn’t necessarily be within municipal power to deny a plan, but they might be able to mitigate certain circumstances or conditions of approval.
Or when municipalities are updating comprehensive plans for municipality to municipality it’s not necessarily super exciting but it’s also something that residents ignore the opportunities they have to comment on these plans so again it’s another avenue of being able to get your message out there as a community as to what you want to see vis-à-vis development or not see.
And basically the hands of local officials are truly tied from protecting communities from bad development without the proper support from not only county planning but primarily because the MPC is so out of date.
It’s all a drag. I’ve spent years going to meetings and listening to meetings and going to meetings now via Zoom for a few years, but if you don’t pay attention to what goes on in your own community, you never learn.
I’m really sick of people that either want to complain to me about development or criticize me for not liking development. if they use half the amount of energy participating in their community as they do coming after me for my opinion, think of everything that could be accomplished from municipality to municipality?
I’m sure I will receive criticism for this post. I’m being mean I’m being unfair. Whatever. I don’t like all of this development. It all looks the same. It’s ruining the landscape that once was Chester county. And that people is the bottom line.