history at risk: 5030 horseshoe pike. caln public hearing december 13th, 2018.

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It starts with someone sending me a public notice.  And once again, I am down the rabbit hole of Chester County history at risk.

This is a public hearing to be held in Caln Township on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at the Caln Township Municipal Building located at 253 Municipal Drive, Thorndale, Pennsylvania 19372.  Now I aslo found this notice of this meeting on PA Public Notices , but I’ll be damned if I can find it on Caln Township’s actual website so either it’s just another bad municipal website that looks kind of sort of pretty but doesn’t function easily, or it’s not there. (But I digress)

This notice which looks like it is for some kind of extra special zoning overlay (you know those things municipalities do to appease developers and special interests? And hey you do not have to like my opinion, but it’s not my first rodeo with zoning overlays and I am entitled to how I feel) for 5030 Horseshoe Pike.

That is when I really went like Alice down the rabbit hole.

Super historic. Known as the “Lloyd Farm”, “Valley Brook Farm” has a fire I would call mysterious a few years ago.  Seriously.  Here is the screen capture from the Downingtown Area Historical Society May 2014:

dhs

Then I hit Google and oh the things I found including this amazing history compiled by someone named Edward G. Lendrat on the West Chester University Old Caln Historical Society Collection. Caln Township has this buried on their website.

Pretty crazy historic, and I understand there was a fire, but a zoning overlay like this is all Caln Township can think is right for this property??? I am told the developer who has bought the “Lloyd Farm” is proposing 5 story apartment buildings, and commercial where there is NO zoning for it? Hence the need for an extra special zoning overlay at Christmas?  And this Public Hearing which takes place Dec. 13th. is it for discussion? Then the Commissioners will vote at their next meeting and NO CHANCE to change it will exist after that?

WTF Caln Township Commissioners? Have you no sense of place? No sense of history and what is appropriate?  How many freaking apartment buildings and mish mosh retail and more does Chester County need popping up like crappy weeds? Is this how you celebrate 150 years of history in your municipality? WOW.

(I will note TWO Commissioners are up in 2019 – Jennifer Breton and George Chambers. Residents should replace them if as President and Vice President of the Board this is what they think is fab. Just my opinion of course, but sometimes to change goverment you have to change the faces of who governs you.)

And oh the history….

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So if I read the history of the property correctly, it dates back to the late 1600s and a Penn Land Grant? And by 1996 it was owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia? (Now I make no secret of my disdain of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and their pedophile priest problems of recent past. Sorry, I digress again…)

Ironically something I wasn’t looking for with regard to this property but seemed to have stumbled upon is a 2015 pipeline easement between the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Columbia Gas. So umm, high density development being proposed and a pipeline? NICE.

pipeline easement

Yowza and here is the deed of transfer I guess?  Dated April, 2018?  The Archdiocese of Philadelphia made over $4.5 cool million on this? NICE.  That will settle a bunch of pedophile priest lawsuits, right?

So who is Wild Meadows LLC out of Delaware?  (You can search for Delaware entities HERE.)

But back to this very cool history.  It is intriguing enough I found it on Twitter:

lloyd

Here is what it looked like on LoopNet:

horseshoe pike on loopnet

Also discovered this place on imgur with these two images from 2015:

It also appears archivally on reddit. Some comments were fascinating.

 

“Have you been here? I went to Lloyd dog park and found this when I walked up through the field. I really wonder what the story is on this place. Someone at the dog park thought the property is currently owned by a church.”

and…

“This was known as the Lloyd House. It has since been torn down.”

 

Now I have never been on this property. I have no idea what is stll standing on the property or not. If you have photos, please feel free to send them in a message via this blog’s Facebook page.

Do I have the answers as to what to do with this property? Sadly, no.  Don’t know that area well enough.  But if there is a pipeline easement, maybe the developer should go light on the development?

Again, how many cram plan developments does one county need? Who is driving this?

Historians and residents might wish to go to this meeting.  Remember residents, zoning can affect more than one spot, correct?

Chester County, we can’t just keep sitting idly by as chuck after chunk of land gets carved up.  Once open space is gone, it’s gone.  Once history is gone, it’s gone.

Here’s hoping the residents of Caln and their municipal neighbors have some Christmas Chutzpah (I know is that like a mixed metaphor or what?) and slow this freight train down.

So much to learn here and I will close with I am marveling at how Caln Township knows the history of this property and they think this is a good idea.

It’s stupid.  But I can only express my views as a resident of Chester County.  It’s up to the residents of Caln to turn it up and turn out on December 13th.

Tick tock, there is not much time.

I would say if you have historical questions to seek out the Downingtown Area Historical Society and  the Old Caln Historical Society.

Thanks for meandering with me.

santa will be bringing pipeline liens in pa this holiday season? sounds pretty grinch-y.

Letter threatens mechanic’s lien against pipeline property owners

WGAL News 8

Lebanon County PA: The Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline is now operating through the Susquehanna Valley.

But some landowners along the route in Lebanon County received an alarming legal notice in the mail this week.

The pipeline runs through northern Lebanon county, where crews only left a few weeks ago.

But this week, resident Deb Wolfe got a letter in the mail, claiming she was going to have a mechanic’s lien placed against her property because of a contractor that was not paid for their pipeline work.

The letter explains Dykon Blasting is requesting money from Williams Transco and Welding Construction for work done on the Atlantic Sunrise through Lebanon County.

The Wolfes aren’t the only property owners facing this potential headache.

I only just learned about this but this is certainly food for thought with regard to Adelphia, Sunoco/Mariner East/Sunoco Logistics/Energy Transfer Partners, right?

To follow are screen shots from Just The Facts Please on Facebook and please connect with them directly on this:

congratulations congresswoman-elect chrissie!

Chrissie Houlahan Campaign Photo

Yesterday was an election of historic proportions.

This morning we woke to a country that can be summed up and the media is summing up as “Divided We Stand”. The pendulum of power swung back and the Democrats took back Congress. Republicans retained control of the Senate.

I think to me, this historic day of voting is a referendum on how people feel about the current administration, like it or not. Some will term this instant gridlock, but I am going to choose a more positive sense of checks and balances.

In our area, we are sending four women to Congress: Chrissie Houlahan for us in the 6th, Mary Gay Scanlon in the new 5th, Madeline Dean in the 4th, and Susan Wild in the 7th. Read more about this in here on WHYY‘s website. Truthfully in the 5th district had Republican candidate Pearl Kim prevailed, it still would have been a win in my mind because she was a terrific and qualified candidate and I hope we haven’t heard the last of her in Pennsylvania.

Screen Capture from NBC10 Philadelphia

Overall, Americans are sending a historic number of women to Congress including two Native Americans.

According to an AP article on PAHomepage.com :

WASHINGTON (AP) – A record number of women were elected to the House on Tuesday, nearly two years after women spilled out into the streets of Washington and in cities across the country in defiance of the inauguration of President Donald Trump.As of early Wednesday, voters were on track to send at least 99 women to the House, surpassing the previous record of 84. According to data compiled by The Associated Press, 237 women ran for the House as major-party candidates this year.

….Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the Democrats who is considering the 2020 race, said that the two years since Trump ascended to the White House had ushered a new generation of women into public life.

“Women who had never run for anything stepped up to put their names on the ballot,” she said. “They ignored the party bosses who said they should wait their turn”

The fact that those of us in Chester County saw the 6th Congressional District flipped speaks volumes. That one seat, in and of itself shows how people are feeling post-2016. From a personal level, as a former life-long Republican until Trump became the nominee, this was the first time I ever voted for a Democrat for this Congressional District. And it has been my district for many years. Including when I lived in Lower Merion Township – you know a couple cycles of redistricting ago.

Chrissie Houlahan was my pick for Congress. As I said earlier this fall I thought we as voters had to be the change we wanted. I want change. Not more tired rhetoric. It’s time for more women in Congress and I wanted to start with my very own district in which I live. If that makes me a potential “enemy of the state” by some of my Republican friends, I am sorry you feel that way. But we can’t keep on the same trajectory as in my opinion it’s not sustainable. That is why I voted for Chrissie.

I also met Chrissie and spoke with her at length a few weeks ago. It was a non-political event where ironically her opponent was also a guest. Meeting her in person solidified my belief she was the best choice and would in fact, win.

I was right, and congratulations Congresswoman Elect Chrissie Houlahan.

Women as both voters and candidates have changed the political landscape overnight. I think that is fabulous. Here’s hoping for the best.

And all voters themselves regardless of party are to be congratulated. In the face of many things, including overwhelming negativity you all collectively shrugged off the cloak of apathy and voted. Good government requires our participation. We deserve better than political parties that tell us how we should be voting. In fact, it is the humble voter who should be dictating a little more what it is we want for our country and communities

This morning feels more peaceful. For the time being, the political attack ads from both parties are finally over. I am so glad they are at an end. This year they were uglier than ever.

Every new day, there comes a chance for a better world. Here’s hoping that the voters have spoken clearly enough that some in Washington actually start to listen.

I also hope now we can all start to calm down. I hope we can go back to being neighbors and friends and not adversaries of dueling political ideologies.

I will close with an article about the results within Pennsylvania as far as State House and State Senate. I will admit with some of the race results, that I am honestly surprised. Politics is always an unexpected game.

Enjoy this beautiful fall day devoid of political attack ads.

NOVEMBER 07, 2018

In Pa. legislature, at least nine Philly-area incumbents lose

Three other races are too close to call

BY JOHN KOPP

PhillyVoice Staff

Republican incumbents Kate Harper, Tom Quigley, Rebecca Corbin, Eric Roe, James Santora, Duane Milne, Warren Kampf and Bud Cook – the only one from outside the Philly region – all fell to Democratic challengers. Democratic incumbents Mike Hanna and Bryan Barbin – neither from the Philly area – also lost.…In the Senate, local Republican incumbents Tom McGarrigle and John Rafferty also lost. 

All state Senate and House races are listed below. All vote tallies are unofficial

hate votes at sugartown elementary in willistown

A friend of mine went to vote short while ago. They vote at Sugartown Elementary which is located at 611 Sugartown Road in Malvern- Willistown to be precise.

Can’t see the sign? Here is a better photo:

A clear violation of election law.

If you see this crap going on, and yes it is crap, use your phone to Google voter services where you live. This is the crap that needs to be reported.

I am absolutely disgusted by this. This is not being an American, it’s hate mongering.

Residents of Chester County, WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS.

If you haven’t gotten out and voted yet, let this hate mongering be your motivation.

It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you vote for, behavior like this and things like this going on at your local neighborhood polling place is abhorrent, and any voter should be outraged.

#VOTE today to vote out the hate. Don’t let hate win.

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?

caving to development? important meeting october 25th in east goshen! could affect neighboring municipalities too!

East Goshen used to have my utmost respect. Then came pipelines and I was a little unsure. Now comes higher density development (the meeting is this Thursday, October 25th and any decision perhaps may potentially affect residents in East Whiteland and Willistown too unless I am mistaken?) and I am shaking my head. Not them too?

Now I have to wonder who got to whom in East Goshen? Says who precisely that yet another Chester County municipality has to get carved up even more like a prize turkey ?

Why does Chester County need more semi-detached “carriage homes” or TWINS in a single family area? Why does Chester County need more triple townhomes “triplexes”?

The answer is NO ONE NEEDS THIS! Is it or is it not true that this is just a way for developers to make more money? This is not about us as residents, this is about more money, isn’t it?

To quote their email and attachment today:

It is proposed that the zoning in the Township’s R-2 district (the predominant residential zoning district in the Township) be amended to allow for semi-detached carriage homes (twins) and townhomes (triplexes) on undeveloped or under-developed parcels of 20 acres or more.

• Currently, only single family detached homes are permitted in the R-2 at a maximum density of one unit per acre.

Oh and here are the potentially affected parcels and acreage:

There are four undeveloped or underdeveloped parcels with over 20 acres in the Township:

980 Hershey Mill Road (34.7acres)

1469 Morstein Road(20.6acres)

401 Ellis Lane (87.3acres)

204 Line Road (31.9acres)—However,this property (Thorncroft) has a conservation easement that restricts future development to no more than—we believe—two additional residential units, once the tenant house currently under construction is complete. This conservation easement is enforced by the Pickering and French Creek Conservation Trust.

• In addition, theoretically, undeveloped parcels of under 20 acres that are contiguous to any of the 20+ acre parcels listed above could be combined so that more acreage would be affected, provided the respective owners can agree on any terms of sale amongst themselves. See the map for more detail about the abutting properties.

Who is driving this bus ? Don’t you love how open space is suddenly “under-developed parcels” ?

Hershey Mill Road is twisty-turny and floods in a few places. It also is pretty busy on one end because of Villa Maria’s lower school. It also happens to be a beautiful road just the way it is because it actually maintains its character pretty much from beginning to end. I don’t think it can handle more development even if someone wants to change the zoning to make it happen. Just my opinion of course, but my opinion nonetheless.

And then let’s talk about Morstein. Up at the end of Morstein where it meets Boot Road it already is townhouse city on one side. I am not sure which municipality it is, but it is West Chester at that end.

However, Morstein off West King is very different. Until recently it was one of the last bastion of horse farms and beautiful rolling fields at the edge of East Goshen and East Whiteland. It is already under siege for development from the East Whiteland side, as the small farmette that was 1530 Morstein is about to become a cul de sac of new McMansions “Red Barn Farms“.

Right across the street at 1535 Morstein and 1537 Morstein are two McMansions on postage stamp sized lots. They were created by a two lot subdivision a few years ago. The lot originally had a small stone house, and was long down into the woods. But heaven forbid a small house on a deeply wooded lot remain unmolested right? (I will note for the record I would not have found it to be a bad plan if they had only built one house)

So two McMansions are shoehorned in at 1535 and 1537 and they stripped so many trees to create this Nirvana of Naked Acres that the street behind and alongside now see and hear all of the traffic from Morstein and also get to look at two new houses that only have stone veneer on the very front, with the three remaining sides looking like kind of naked beige boxes. From the side and rear the houses are stunningly unattractive for what they have cost. Again, just my opinion, except I know many people share it.

If this East Goshen zoning change goes through, 1469 Morstein is the same side as the two lot subdivision so I have to ask if the East Whiteland roads of Collegeview and especially Anthony will be affected? How could they not?

Anyway, I think the change zoning is potentially problematic. Here are screen shots of what East Goshen emailed out about below. They do not broadcast their meetings, so especially if you are adjoining municipalities and are concerned about this you need to go to the meeting in person. If you are going to be affected by this potential zoning change this might be your only opportunity to speak up.

it’s all about the money, honey

Drove by Greystone Hall today. What a sh*t show. They have already updated their website to reflect the 34 acres they kept after selling to the developer.

“The Woodlands at Greystone”. Another preposterous development name. West Goshen Township should be ashamed, but like most municipalities, in the end all they do is roll over and show the developers their municipal bellies.

This development which has already begun as you can see, will litter the area with what? 598 MORE homes for the area?

Ugh.

But hey, when it comes to development it’s always all about the money, honey.