easttown residents turn out in droves, zoning meeting at hilltop house postponed

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Dayyyyummmmm. Easttown residents must quite certainly have had enough because they turned it up and turned out tonight over the whole Berwyn Square/Handels development.

Sources said the following:

“The Easttown Residents are out in full force to say oh hell no. Postponed due to overcrowding….”

Someone also commented about the fact that development was bound to come up sooner or later, but why couldn’t something that was tasteful and respectful to the area happen instead of 120 or whatever units and commercial shoved on a small lot?

Can’t disagree….hence my Flat Iron building comment from my post earlier today.

Someone else posted:

“Easttown zone meeting Tuesday = 160+ people inside + 50 or more outside. Board “we did not know this would happen” so we need to reschedule. I say we at least double that number for the next meeting. Interesting to see people who care about their town who show up. I say yes to responsible zoning. Next meeting location will be held at a place to handle a large group. Stay tuned.”

What did Easttown officials think would happen? People have been fighting them supersizing Berwyn and the surrounding area since the late 1990s that I am aware of, so why are they surprised?  People don’t want to feel like they are living in the city.  They want the history and architecture of the area as well as themselves and their own properties respected. D’oh Easttown, it is not so difficult to grasp.

And let’s chat about the Berwyn Devon Business Association for a minute shall we?

After I posted a meeting reminder this morning, someone commented:

“The local business community seems to have a very condescending attitude toward the local residents.”

Yup, can’t disagree.  And apparently (of all the ironies) this business association is kicking off their fall season for their membership tomorrow?  Here’s the text of the email:

From: Nick Vandekar <nick@vandekarteam.com>
Date: Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 4:38 PM
Subject: BDBPA Kick off Event THIS Wednesday
Don’t forget kick off the BDBPA year with an historic walk through Berwyn ending at Le Cabra to network and learn about their buildings history. Start at 6.00 pm at Berwyn Memorial Arch by the station. Easy walk about 45 minutes.

See you there!

Nick Vandekar
Associate Broker
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc
92 Lancaster Ave, Devon, PA 19333
Cell 610-203-4543
Office 610-225-7400
Fax 858-309-3367
Mailto:Nick@VandekarTeam.com

 

A historic walk through Berwyn? Is that to view the history or it’s historic because a lot of it might not be there in a few years? I am confused because if they are all about development, development, development why take a history stroll?

So La Cabra is a great place right? Address is 642 Lancaster Ave Berwyn.

Anyway, anyway, anyway: Someone else left a comment:

“LARGE NUMBERS of engaged residents who are willing to express their thoughts is the only thing that will stop those business and development interests with dollar signs in their eyes. Ask long-time residents of Malvern or any of a number of other “communities” along Route 30–from Ardmore to Caln and beyond–just how much they like what SOMEBODY ELSE’S plans and over development have brought them…It’s time to tell it like it is: Greed-driven interests are pitting themselves against you, the residents, just salivating at the thought of making money by selling YOUR quality of life. The only question–will you let them?”

And that gets to the meat of it: where is responsible, inclusive, community-centric planning and zoning? That is also a question for the Chester County Planning Commission as they also seem too driven by development, but then again isn’t part of their problem is that they are led by an executive director who lives in Lower Merion Township an overpriced land of infill development, and is NOT a Chester County resident?

But back to Easttown.  A resident I spoke to this evening who was among the crowd turned away essentially said they felt that Easttown knew this would be a crowd bigger than could fit safely at Hilltop House so why didn’t they hold the meeting at Beaumont Elementary?

Oh Easttown, don’t play reindeer games with your residents about this. It won’t work in your favor and definitely not in the favor of the two Supervisors whose terms are up, right? But is that another problem with Easttown? One party rule? No balance?

And who exactly is running for supervisor in Easttown this November from BOTH parties? Not my country, not my people so I do not know.

What I do know is Easttown residents you need to make things like this an election issue.  Make those candidates look at it your way, get statements. Politicians are supposed to work for the plurality, as in the entirety of the plurality…not select groups or special interests.

And do NOT be afraid to vote in new faces no matter what their political persuasion.  You all need to shake up this election and change the faces of who governs you.  That is how you take the steps to change OTHER things and OTHER faces in your township.

Easttown residents, a proverbial hat tip to all of you this evening. Y’all did good. Fight for what you believe in and fight for what you want.  Continue to PACK the meetings at EVERY opportunity.

Have a good evening all. Don’t forget the website SaveEasttown. I am sure they will be updating soon.

 

how MANY freaking bad development plans are going on in easttown?

Who doesn’t love Handel’s in Berwyn? It’s an old fashioned ice cream place like you only normally see at the beach. This time of year people can always be seen all lined up for a scoop of ice cream. It’s a great tradition.

But apparently Easttown Township is pondering the supersizing of this location? As in Handel’s will still be there BUT also 120 apartments potentially? Four stories tall, if the zoning board in Easttown approves?

SERIOUSLY?? What in the Sam Hell is wrong with Easttown Township? First of all the township is like the supersecret people with no meeting recordings that I can find and every time you turn around there’s another development plan between Devon and the end of Berwyn, isn’t there?

Sure Easttown “discloses” development plans via public notices but do they really want a spotlight on the crazy development plans there ?

I am down near this particular stretch of Berwyn a fair amount and I can tell you Lancaster Avenue is already infreakingsane with what’s there, so what happens when you add more insanity?

A source tells me one zoning hearing was held already. The next one appears to be August 5 — except I haven’t found a public notice yet. If I understood correctly what was said at the recent zoning meeting, the Easttown Township Planning Commission has already approved this crap?

WTF Easttown? It’s bad enough you are allowing historic Berwyn to get destroyed, but now you want to West Goshen/East Whiteland/West Whiteland Lancaster Avenue through Berwyn and Easttown in general???

(I will also note the Easttown like many other municipalities who don’t like to video record meetings are also kind of behind in their minutes they post aren’t they? And when the minutes are posted don’t they seem so sanitized?)

Traffic is already a nightmare around here. And the thing about Easttown is they like to approve these development plans but it’s like they’re approving plans that are off on their own planet with no relationship to basic things like existing residents, small businesses, and existing infrastructure.

Where Anthropologie and Terrain were built is a favorite nightmare traffic example. Trying to reach these businesses off of Lancaster Avenue if you’re headed west on Route 30 is craziness. And it’s also difficult if you want to go to Handel’s coming from either direction. And they are proposing apartments?

It’s like we keep getting driven further and further west but all these developers up and down Route 30 act like all these municipalities aren’t interconnected! No matter where we go the traffic is heavy and insane and full of impatient drivers and roads that can’t handle the current capacity in all of these municipalities all the way up Route 30 into Coatesville and beyond and they all want are more developments!

I don’t know why they call any of this good planning or smart growth because it just seems well greedy to me. And those of us who live here in Chester County, we don’t matter. Existing small businesses, they don’t matter. Nothing matters except getting these plans built and pick a stretch of Route 30 and how many apartments and townhouses and fake “carriage homes” do we need???

And Easttown sports a lot of ugly density already.

Enough already, Easttown.

And again, another reason why we need a less development happy county planning commission in Chester County. And an executive director of said planning commission who actually resides in Chester County. I mean is it just me or has anyone else noticed how even as you proceed further and further west in Chester County along Route 30 it’s so totally looking like the eastern end of Lower Merion Township, King of Prussia, or DeKalb Pike?

Stop the madness. Attend your local municipality’s meetings wherever you live. Pack the meetings. Elect officials who represent YOUR voices.

#PreserveChesterCounty

not glad tidings in easttown township

demolish

Poor Easttown Township residents. More history at risk?

Easttown is another area with a LOT of history and lovely neighborhoods…seemingly under siege.  And it’s not more to do with the Devon Horse Show or the whole new retail development on the old Waterloo site.

Locals are saying that in Easttown Township there are issues between zoning ordinance and I think their comprehensive plan? I don’t quite get all of it, but apparently it is something the township needs to iron this all out but it won’t happen until 2019? Locals are also saying the lovely and quaint village of Berwyn is once again under siege. (Now this news is nothing new, I remember another time around the time of eminent domain in Ardmore.)  What is happening currently I am told is the beautiful old Victorian and other frame houses (i.e. wooden) that Berwyn is locally famous for are being snatched up and taken down in favor of new construction.

In 2007 I mentioned a group called “Protect Berwyn” in an editorial I wrote for Main Line Media News then editor, my friend, the late (and great and missed) Tom Murray.  There was another editorial talking about Main Line development in March, 2007 but I am not sure who wrote it.  It’s title is The developer-neighbor feud: A healthy dynamic and it still resonates and is current today. In May, 2007 Tom Murray wrote an editorial titled Moratorium on development needed on the Main Line. It still resonates and even more so, especially if you live in Chester County.

The Berwyn area has been ground zero for Upper Main Line development going back years and years.  (Check this article out from 2001.) In 2013, it was a crazy hot button topic and check out this article in Main Line Media News by Caroline O’Halloran before she went out on her own:

Amid dissent, Easttown approves sweeping zoning changes for Berwyn Village
By Caroline O’Halloran
Aug 20, 2013

Downtown Berwyn won’t look especially different under the new zoning ordinance amendments approved in a 3-2 vote by Easttown’s Board of Supervisors Monday night. At least not right away.

But assurances by its creators that the new rules won’t mean major change didn’t seem to mollify the 45 property owners who attended the meeting, most to question the plan.

Instead of five zones, the new plan puts all Berwyn properties into one of three districts: Village Business, Village Residential and Village Transition.

Poor Berwyn. Maybe Protect Berwyn had the right idea circa 2007?

Here is some suggested reading from Main Line Media News over the coolness of Berwyn before I get to the rest of the post:

Berwyn Banter
By Ray Hoffman Jun 19, 2008

Just where is Berwyn, anyway?
By Ray Hoffman Jun 28, 2007

Painting a picture of Berwyn’s past
By Ryan Richards Jun 23, 2005

Berwyn walking tour highlights storied past
By Ryan Richards Aug 19, 2009

So by now you are wondering why I posted a screen shot from a real estate listing?

Because well, underneath the stucco awfulness of it all on this listing is a historic log cabin dating back to the 1750s. (Realtor site says 1758, my sources say 1750 – located ar 46 Arlington Road in Devon.)

Just LAST year, the news spread nationally when Main Line stylist Jude Plum restored a 300 year old log cabin in Bryn Mawr.  He had bought the home once owned by dog groomer and English Springer Spaniel breeder, Ann Elder.  Now I knew Ann for years, was in and out of her little house from the time I was a kid, knew her house was old, but never knew it was 300 years old until Jude bought the place some time after she had passed away.

This historic log home, log cabin in Bryn Mawr dates to 1704! Read about it in Country Living Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Main Line Media News. So don’t tell me restoring them is out of the question.  After all there are entire T.V. shows devoted to restoring and rebuilding log cabins and log homes.

So anyway, I was told today that folks can do a right to know on Easttown and get the demolition permit application? And that the demolition permit has been issued?

I figure it’s a good bet since the realtor seems very excited and it’s on her listing:

BSdemo 2

Yes, that’s right! RUN don’t walk! Don’t miss your opportunity to tear down a mid-18th century log home that was built before America declared her freedom!

I understand the property owner wants to sell this property, but if ever there was a need for a preservation-minded buyer this is it.  Heck if I lived in Easttown I would contact the DIY and HGTV shows that feature log homes and log cabins. Maybe they know someone to buy and save this.

Easttown Township is yet another Chester County municipality that sadly can’t see its history (or open space) for the ratables of development aren’t they? It’s like ratables from development are the drug  and the municipalities are like addicts, aren’t they?

Easttown residents it is up to you.  I am only pointing this out….if they could save a cabin OLDER than this in far worse condition in Bryn Mawr, they can save one in Devon. And if they don’t wake up soon, the village of Berwyn will really disappear too, won’t it?

Tick tock, Easttown. Tick tock.

 

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missing dog in paoli named posh!

Have you seen me? My name is Posh. Please call 484.961.0859 or 610.933.0606 if you see me or have found me.

UPDATE 8.14.2012:POSH HAS BEEN LOCATED AND IS REPORTEDLY DOING WELL!

 

 

I received this from my friend Stevie at Main Line Animal Rescue this morning about a missing dog.  If you have seen her, please don’t be shy and use the contact numbers I am about to post:

Missing Dog!

Posh is a St. Croix dog.   She is a friendly, sweet dog who loves to run!  There have been no sightings since Sunday, 8/5  – please, if you live in the Paoli/Berwyn area, keep an eye out. Contact numbers for this search are: 484.961.0859 or 610.933.0606  – call them if you can assist with search too.

 If you have ever heard a volunteer at MLAR talk about the “Posh” Squad” you should know it is named for the famous “POSH”, the escaping dog! Well, she is missing again in Malvern/Paoli/Berwyn area (since 8/5/12) If you spot her or have any idea where she is PLEASE call us, we are worried sick!!!

 Posh, German Shepherd/Lab mix has been missing since Sunday evening, has on her invisible fence collar and tags. She is spayed and microchipped as well. There have been no sightings yet. She ran away from her home on Devon Road in Paoli. She is friendly but is a RUNNER!
 
Thanks!

I am also going to comment on a comment I received about aren’t Main Line Animal Rescue owners vetted so things like this do not happen.   Yes of course owners are vetted in advance, but accidents do happen.  And dogs, like it or not, can occasionally get out.  Please people! This is a missing dog and the family is distraught!

I realize people still have *issues* on how strict some rescues are, including MLAR, but it is with good reason – top of the list is you want a rescued animal to go home and become part of a forever family and not end up back in the system.  My sister volunteers with the ASPCA in NYC and I can tell you they are strict too.  I know other rescues, including breed specific ones which are also strict.  Chester County SPCA has rules too.

People love to gripe about rescue paperwork and yes it is a pain in the ass, but it is the right thing to do.  A real life example is a little female dachshund I met recently when over at Main Line Animal Rescue.  She was there a few years ago and went home with a lovely woman.  The woman died and her widower put the dog back in rescue because he has a new life or something that did not include his deceased wife’s pet.  I find his behavior personally morally reprehensible, but because of the paperwork they did this dog ended up back at Main Line Animal Rescue where she was from and they already knew about her, etc.  Now she waits for a new forever home. And she is safe and happy.

Most of my dogs have been rescues.  One of my most beloved came from Chester County SPCA , and I am currently a proud Main Line Animal Rescue family member.

Adopt don’t shop and if you see Posh, PLEASE call the numbers above.  I can’t imagine how her humans are feeling and chances are she is out there scared and just wanting her humans at this point.  This dog is a runner, pure and simple.  It doesn’t mean anything other than she is an accomplished escape artist.  It happens. I have owned dogs like this.

Thanks

in devon, “h” is for horse show AND hookers

In July, 2008 there was a brothel bust in Berwyn.  People were shocked that one of the world’s oldest professions was going on under their noses on the Main Line.

6 ABC at the time said:

A brothel in Berwyn?

Residents say “no way” but that’s what the Feds say was going on at the Swan Day Spa at 529 Lancaster Avenue.

Federal authorities say it was being portrayed as a health spa, but there was a lot more going on here than just massages.

Authorities say the operators were running a thriving business since April 2005 with sexual favors being offered along with the massage for $60 cash, $65 for credit.   But things began to unravel when the operators hired two illegal immigrants from China eager to make a new life here in the U.S.   The women thought they were going to provide massages.   But the Feds say the operators wanted them to also have sex with clients. When the women refused, authorities say the manager threatened to turn them over to immigration. The women somehow managed to escape.   Meanwhile, residents and business owners seemed stunned all this was going on in Berwyn.

 

I always wondered why the Swan looked so low brow, yet so many men went there for “massages”. Ick. And duhh, quite frankly.   It wasn’t exactly a place that made you think Client List and Jennifer Love-Hewitt.

Well it is ground hog day on the upper Main Line, as today, four years later also in July, in Devon (also a Chester County community) there apparently was a prostitution bust on Friday the 13th (bad day to be a hooker, apparently).

Devon, known for HORSE shows and expensive foreign car dealerships now has the dubious honor of being known for HOOKERS.

Mind you, should we be surprised? When you put devon prostitutes into Google, God help me there is the online list that pops upA yellow pages to the round heeled. Ick a doodle do. And there have been rumors for years of similar situations in places like Ardmore and Wynnewood, but no busts have ever occured to my knowledge. They have however busted Mummers clubs in Philadelphia.

The Daily Local reports that these hookers were from Oregon? Did they throw a dart at a map?  Is Devon the new Sin City and no one got the memo?

 BY MICHAEL N. PRICE mprice@dailylocal.com Posted: 07/17/12 04:11 pm
DEVON — Two people were arrested last week for allegedly providing prostitution services at an area hotel, police said.
According to the Tredyffrin Police Department, Jacquelyn Stahley, 24, and Jamaal M. Lambert, 29, both of Portland, Ore., were arrested Friday, July 13, after employees of the Devon Marriot alerted police shortly before 4 p.m. about suspicious activity inside the hotel.
Police said an assistant manager of the hotel told investigators Stahley arrived at the hotel with Lambert and checked into the hotel with a cash payment. The manager also told police he suspected she was a prostitute, according to a criminal complaint filed by police.

 

Tredyffrin-Easttown Patch has the press release from Tredyffrin Police that you can read. 

They were picked up on the 700 block of Lancaster Avenue as per 6 ABC.

Just ewww.

 

yang’s market in berwyn to go frou-frou “fauxmer”

Sorry, I am just one of those people who like farmers markets to be for real.  Not frou-frou sanitized Stepford-esque Disney versions of a concept of a farmers market…ya know a “Fauxmers Market”?

So I hope as Yang’s is “born Aneu” as Fresh Ideas – Main Line Market that doesn’t happen, but given they are trucking in overpriced George Perrier bread from his Art of Bread in Narberth, I see another Fauxmers’ Market in the making.

All this market will be in the end is some marketing schtick so a restaurant can sell pre-packaged meals and a cranky and aging chef can peddle his bread.

When I see a list of real, and actual farmers and pricing that is fair like Yang’s was, perhaps you will see a less jaded response out of me.

Until then sign me skeptical of Fresh Ideas-Main Line Market.  Having spent the majority of my life growing up on the Main Line, I can tell you not so many moons ago a real Main Liner wouldn’t have been caught dead in a place like this.  If they were real home cooks they wanted real farmers’ markets.

Good lord!  These people are in Chester County, they should embrace their inner Chester County, not try to create an Ardmore Farmers’ Market in Berwyn.  Or a mini Whole Foods.  And I do go to the Ardmore market – but only for one reason – Di Bruno Brothers.  Otherwise, I would completely bypass it.   And given the fabulous bakers in Chester County, including the ones I have seen like St. Peter’s Bakery at the East Goshen Farmers Market, there is really no need to see cranky Georges Perrier kept fat and happy in retirement.

Sometimes, I see Berwyn, like Malvern, as having an identity crisis.  When will these towns realize that it is quite o.k. to NOT be so Main Line and instead a little bit country, a little bit more simple.  It’s why people come from OFF the Main Line to check them out.

Sigh.  This will be a Fauxmers Market with an Identity Crisis.

Main Line Suburban Life > Opinion

Yang’s Farmers Market in Berwyn to be born Aneu as Fresh Ideas

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

By Ray Hoffman

Yang’s Farmers Market in Berwyn will reopen a week from Monday, and if you’ll pardon the metaphor, it will feature an all “Aneu look.” Thanks to the collaboration of three local businesswomen, the popular produce market adjacent to Aneu Bistro and Wine Bar in the heart of Berwyn will be rebranded as Fresh Ideas – Main Line Market. It will be owned and operated by Meridith Coyle, the proprietor of Aneu and a Berwyn resident.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of keeping Mr. Yang’s wonderful market concept in the community,” Meridith said. “We’ll even have more to offer our customers in our completely remodeled store than Mr. Yang did, but we’ll still have Mr. Yang as part of the new venture.”
Readers may recall that Mr. Yang, age 73, was the victim of an assault and robbery by two teenagers, one a former employee, in January as he was leaving in his van after closing for the night. The thugs attacked Mr. Yang, severely injuring his left eye, in the commission of the crime. He has had two surgeries in an attempt to restore sight in his left eye, and a third is scheduled for July, according to his daughter, Chae. Meantime, Mr. Yang will be employed part-time in the new store as long as his medical condition will allow, according to Meridith….. “What’s more, our complete remodeling of the building will give us room to expand our offerings, including seasonal items of local farmers and a new prepared-to-go component of many of the menu items we serve at Aneu. Another new feature of the market will be breads from Georges Perrier’s ‘Art of Bread’ bakery in Narberth. ….Oh, yes, we mentioned a connection of three businesswomen at the top of this story. Obviously Meridith is one of them. The others are Stacey Ballard, an executive of Eadeh Enterprises, and Diane Wulk, a resident of Wayne and the proprietor of Chic & Simple Resale Shop.

being a good neighbor in berwyn

Berwyn is a quirky, cool place I have always liked.  Much like Malvern, it has cute stores and eateries well worth exploring.

The purpose of this post is simply a props to Sweet Jazmines Bakery in Berwyn for paying it forward and being a good neighbor.

Apparently a fellow local merchant, Mr. Yang of Yang’s Market who was recently robbed and beat up pretty badly.   Crime seems to increase as the economy flounders, and I know what happened to Mr. Yang is the nightmare come to life of every small business owner everywhere.

Sweet Jazmines is located at 15 Bridge Avenue in Berwyn.

Here is the story, which can be found in the Daily Local and Main Line Media News:

Berwyn bakery holds sale to benefit robbery victim

Published: Friday, January 27, 2012

Sweet Jazmines Bakery is holding a sale of batter and donating 100% of the proceeds to Mr. Yang of Yang’s Farmers Market in Berwyn as he recovers from a robbery and brutal attack last week….The owner of the Sweet Jazmines, Kim Cuthbert, decided to do the fundraising for Mr. Yang. She has been a patron of his store ever since she opened her bakery 13 years ago.
Sweet Jazmines started selling brownie batter earlier in the week, and will probably continue the fund-raising with some other types of batter next week.
The bakers started with 90-pounds of batter on Friday and by early afternoon had sold over 2/3 of it.

Anyway, I just think what they are doing is awesome.

End note: The photograph is not a Sweet Jazmines product, incidentally.  I have never photographed their baked goods.  In the efforts of full disclosure, the cupcakes are from Carlino’s (Ardmore and West Chester) – I felt I needed a cool baked good photo, and prefer to use my own work.  Carlino’s incidentally, will be joining DiBruno Brothers and many more at a non-profit friendraiser for First Friday Main Line I am working on later this week – Foodapalooza.