not sure what to do with this?

Being a blogger is sometimes a strange business.  The document I am sharing pertaining to development in East Whiteland and purported number of students that some developments old and new add to the Great Valley School District. It was left in my mailbox a couple of days ago. No note, no envelope.

The letter is written by David C. Babbitt & Associates (CLICK HERE FOR SCAN of what I have called frazer lanes)

frazer lanes 1

Frazer Lanes 2

Frazer Lanes 3

Now when it comes to experts and consultants, the voice of one of my favorite former Lower Merion Commissioners named Lew Gould comes to mind. He said one time when it came to a particular traffic study at the time that those who commission the studies gets what they pay for.

I will also note that this letter ONLY ADDRESSES APARTMENTS. Not other kinds of developments. Not townhouses, not “carriage homes”, not single family homes. I think the numbers might creep up significantly?

So I do not know what to think of this thing that was left for me. But I do not feel I am sharing anything privileged or illegal.  As a matter of fact this is the type of information which would be shared with a municipality during a planning process. I belive this was left for me because I have been critical of the affect of new development on the school districts in Chester County, in this case this study pertains to Great Valley.

Where I find this puzzling is it kind of runs contrary to some of what I have heard pertaining to the elementary schools in Great Valley School District and how crowded they are becoming.  I have also heard the high school is incredibly crowded.  My days with kids in any school district is done, and our son went to a charter school.

I figure this letter is another good place to start a conversation.

Thoughts?

let the fall gardening games begin!

Today is one of my most favorite days of the year. It’s my sister’s birthday and it’s also fall tree work day!

Treemendous Tree Care arrived right on time and our trees are getting their fall haircuts! I am also taking down a couple small saplings that didn’t make it, and trees that are interfering with the growth of more valuable trees. From our tree work I will get more mulch in the form of wood chips, and we will also get more firewood.

One of the things I can’t stress enough to homeowners and gardeners alike is the importance of routine tree work. When we moved in here there have been virtually no tree work in at least 50 years.

People do not realize how much better it is if you do routine tree work versus waiting for a crisis or an emergency. Yes, a good arborist does not come cheaply, but if your home is your castle and your most valuable asset, it’s a necessary thing. And Treemendous Tree Care considering their skill set and knowledge are very reasonably priced.

We tend to do tree work twice a year. We live partially in the woods. And taking good care of your trees is also responsible environmentally speaking.

Once my tree work is complete I will be starting on the final push of fall gardening and fall cleanup.

When the leaves start to fall I will shred them for mulch on my beds. In the meantime I am starting to do my fall trimming and my final fall planting. That will include some reforestation this year. I am planting some hardwood saplings deep in my woods for future generations to enjoy. Those trees are coming from Go Native Tree Farm in Lancaster, PA.

Yesterday I planted white currant bushes from Honeyberry USA. White currant bushes are hard to come by and I had planted them before and a few years ago someone who was helping me a little bit in the garden who didn’t know what they were cut them down as if they were weeds. Who you have on your property and and your gardens is a learning curve.

Sometimes even though someone is very nice they don’t have the knowledge base or depth of plant knowledge that you need. I now have a much better team assembled to help me with the things I can’t do myself.

And this morning my bulbs arrived from Brent and Becky’s in Virginia. I also bought some bulbs this year from P. Allen Smith. I get very excited when my bulbs arrive! I’m not so happy with my back after I plant all of them, but it’s so worth it in the spring when they pop up!

OK I am going back to supervise my tree work and lay my bulbs out for planting. Enjoy this beautiful fall day! It’s a little crisp but it’s lovely outside.

Also…try to be kind to one and other and pay something positive forward.

unacceptable behavior in malvern borough

This was sent to me by one of my readers to me this morning at 8:05 AM. This is the Flying Pig in Malvern Borough. On the corner of King and Bridge. A nice local business, a staple of the borough community, and beloved by so many in the extended community.

Graffiti.

Tagging.

The irony is Malvern Borough does a lot of murals, so if somebody wanted to paint on walls they could volunteer and paint on walls proactively.

This graffiti is wrong. It’s not hip, it’s not cool, it’s wrong. This is hard-earned money out of the pocket of any small business that has to deal with this.

If anyone knows who did this, or if anyone has external outdoor security cameras that may have captured who these people were going to and from the site, I hope they pay it forward and go to the police. In turn, I hope the police don’t come down like a hammer on anyone apprehended for this, but instead give them something proactive like community service so they can learn and move forward.

I get the people wish to express themselves, but this is not the way to do it. Don’t punish small businesses like this. Don’t punish residents like this. Slow your roll and find another way.

To the Flying Pig and other businesses with exposed walls especially, as we learned years ago when facing a sudden onset of graffiti in Ardmore, PA (Lower Merion Township) it isn’t a bad idea to invest in anti-graffiti paint or anti-graffiti sealer coats.

At the time we were dealing with this in Ardmore, residents used to come together and help the small businesses clean up the graffiti and repaint. I always found it heartening that something that was pure vandalism could bring a community together, even for a short time.

Malvern Borough is a treasure. I am really sorry to have to report on this sad act this morning.

all hail tecovas: boots you will live in

I rarely do a retail rave. But I have discovered this boot manufacturer out of Austin, Texas called Tecova.

I love boots but I don’t wear high boots as in just below my knee, I like shorter boots and booties. I also don’t do much of a boot heel. I will note Tecova makes all heights of boots. They are beautiful western boots, not overdone in the least. Simple, handmade, classic for men and women and they also make a couple of weekended duffel bags and beautiful leather belts.

They popped up on Instagram and I clicked through to their website. I have been looking for boots that actually fit my feet properly. And as anyone knows who tries to buy boots, it can be a problem.

I chose a classic simple black bootie called “The Penny”. I ordered a half size up from my normal shoe size, because every time I buy boots I have to go a little bigger much like with heels.

These boots fit like they were hand made for me. They fit like boots that should be easily many times over what I paid for them. (I will admit one of the enticements to me was the boot that I wanted was on sale.)

These boots fit perfectly in the heel which is a problem I always have with any shoe because I have a narrow heel. When I was younger my feet were a true narrow width, and now they are more of a regular width , but my heels are still quite narrow.

The boots are buttery soft leather and they are made in Leon, Mexico and sold through this company in Austin,Texas. They have beautiful leather soles and a chestnut brown heel. I could wear these out with jeans, or dress them up truthfully. They are that attractive a boot.

I tend to choose western boots over others because ever since my knee surgery and a couple of bad ankle sprains, heels are not my friend so I have to be careful on the shoes and boots I choose. But I’m not ready for orthopedic shoes just yet. I’m half- Italian so I remember the orthopedic lace up oxfords on little old Italian ladies when I was growing up!

As per their website, company founder Paul and his partners I assume we’re tired of the exorbitant prices for leather western/cowboy boots. And also a lot of them are so extreme in design that they don’t have broad appeal. I am sure they also ran into fit issues, which is always a problem with me with boots, until now.

Another thing about this company is they only sell direct to the consumer. These aren’t a boot you are going to find in every mall or boot store across the country.

Anyway, as always I have not been compensated for my opinion. I bought a pair of boots and they are just amazing. And again they are classic and beautiful and buttery soft fine leather.

If you are looking for boots, try Tecovas.

spam calls galore

Spam calls are maddening right now they aren’t even political Robo calls… YET.

This one I finally blocked today and they’ve been calling for a few weeks. Some robot woman named Lisa who wants to help with credit card something or other. I’m sure if you click through, she happily connects you with some one named “George” or “Chip” in Mumbai or the Philippines.

Yeah ummm no robot voice Lisa, I just blocked you.

Whatever company this is for the Robo calls is spoofing Chester county as in it appears to be county offices numbers.

I even had someone call me recently to see if I had phoned them and I hadn’t, my cell phone number had been used in a similar spoof Robo call.

I have a friend in another state whose neighbor got a phone call that was a spoof call using that person’s own home number that they were calling into!

I don’t know about all of you but this is such a bother. They come in on cell phones and on land lines. And it doesn’t matter how many times you put yourself on the do not call list it doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

So I just keep blocking the calls which slip through. And No Mo Robo takes care of a lot of them.

Annoying Robo calls are nothing new, but I thought I would post this one because it had gotten me a couple of times because it said it was Chester County someone calling.

the farmhouse rots?

Yesterday I wrote about the old historic farmhouse in East Whiteland on Church Road.

This morning I happened to drive by as a passenger in a car.

Simply put, how in the hell is this farmhouse being preserved exactly? Does this perhaps more closely resemble demolition by neglect versus historic preservation? The freaking place is collapsing, it’s clearly visible from the road so WTF?

Also note the “planting” photos. Cheap trees planted too closely together. Wonder if any are on the invasive species list like the developer special Bradford Pear? Whatever these trees will be mostly dead in a few years, wait and see. (sorry not sorry, my opinion as an experienced gardener. I find it ludicrous that these developers clear-cut forest and field, only to plant poorly.)

If Toll Brothers can get up the sales office for their Great Valley Crossing Development don’t they have time or shouldn’t they have time to save the historic farmhouse like people were told would happen?

if this is progress, we soon will be living in stepford

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99 Church Road, Malvern, East Whiteland ,Chester County a few weeks ago

A few years ago in 2013 I asked rather tongue in cheek if a Toll Brothers development was what Stepford might look like. Now Toll Brothers might not like my opinion but since the whole Crebilly scenario erupted, I daresay my opinions are mild when Image result for stepford wives outsidecompared to some. (Had to get that whole opinion/First Amendment thing out of the way.)

Sadly I am only half kidding about the Stepford of it all.

We are becoming a place where people no longer say what town they are from.  They reference where they live by development. Not by road, town, township, borough, or city. By development.

Ok, so that is how you identify? That is your entire self-image? Your development or subdivision defines who you are?

Every time someone does that, I pause.  I can’t keep track of ALL of the developments, especially in Chester County, can you?

As I said in 2013,   Can you imagine what that next  Appledumb, Mountainfake, Potters Field, and Byers Remorse will look like? (Can’t keep track of all the municipalities and doofy names of developments or developers so pardon the comedic license.)

99 Church Road in Malvern was sold off to become “Great Valley Crossing” a Toll Brothers Community.  Here is the Toll site: Great Valley Crossing.

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Welcome to Naked Acres, err…Great Valley Crossing

Once before the plans were approved this property at 99 Church Road came up in an East Whiteland meeting.  They showed up in subsequent meeting minutes which have disappeared from public view on East Whiteland’s website, but I saved a screenshot:

5-14-14-ew-supervisors-meeting

The date title of this screenshot was 5/14/14, so I don’t know if that is 100% accurate or the date I saved the screen shot.  What I do know is this screen shot was from Supervisors’ Meeting Minutes before Mott stepped down.

I read with some amusement the description of this now christened Great Valley Crossing.  Here is a screen shot:

Heaven starts at $649K++. Choose from four models with jumped up, preposterous names.

Oh the “model” names. It’s like you are buying a car.  So not only will you be identified only by the development you buy into, but will be known by your house model.  Where is the “Tara” model???

Related image

Oh Mr. Developer Rhett, I would like to live in the “Tara” Model. “Twelve Oaks” is so 1863!  (FYI: Tara & Twelve Oaks were mythical plantations featured in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind.)

Relaxed atmosphere of “country living”? Oh.Come.On. Have these marketing geniuses sat in traffic in Chester County lately?? Sadly, it’s less like country living and often more like King of Prussia mall traffic at rush hour. You can’t even garden the way you want to in a lot of these new developments. It’s all controlled and maybe soon the husbands can rejoice that out here in New Stepford, the developments will define wifely attire too?

(Hold me back, New Stepford is a comin’ ! Individuality is BAAAAAD!)

And as THIS development goes up and others are in the pipeline, for how many years will the Great Valley School District remain “award-winning”? Hows about we try “over-crowded” on for size?

Here are the plans for this development I found on East Whiteland’s website. Follow the link.  All developments are magical through marketing until ALL OF THE PEOPLE WITH ALL OF THEIR CARS move in.  Then everyone complains. “Too much traffic” “I thought our taxes were supposed to go down?” “Where is the open space?”

And speaking of marketing, East Whiteland is marketing itself as “The Heart of The Great Valley”.  How much of the ACTUAL Great Valley is still left? Great Valley has gone from having fascinating and important history with regard to this great nation to being a series of corporate centers, strip malls, and developments.

Speaking of history, I discovered this really cool report on the PA Historical and Museum Commission website. It is called The Great Valley Historical Agricultural Region, 1750-1960.

Completely fascinating. Have also uploaded here: great_valley

Here are some shots from 99 Church Road circa 2012:

99 Church Nov 201299 church Nov 2012 b

Also found this aerial shot on Google:

99 Church Rd

This is another 41.50 acres of open space/farmland that will never, ever come back.  And as per a comment on a blog post from 2016, the  development’s “open space” is actually unusable flood plain land, apparently? So these houses are clustered on what land can actually be developed?  And what will the “roads” of this development look like? Will they be wide enough?

And let us not forget in just this part of Chester County, there is OTHER development happening the Great Valley School District…not just East Whiteland, although East Whiteland has the lion’s share. (Refer to this post from early August, 2018)

I will ask again, and keep asking: Chester County residents, do you want the entire county to look like this?  Didn’t some of you move out here to escape this in the first place?

Signing off from Happy Dell Acres (no, not a real place that I know of but I feel like I have to give the area where I live it’s official dumb development name.)