easttown officials bring the uglies to berwyn

Berwyn is a gem, or was a gem. It’s getting redevelopment within an inch of it’s life, and the development is neither gracious or blending in. Just one cram plan after the other.

The development is garish, jarring, and thus far rather cheap looking. Apparently Easttown Township wants them all crammed in like lemmings.

Easttown officials as in the elected persuasion are not user friendly. They are most succinctly put self-serving, snide, and sanctimonious. They all no better than the peasants. They are quite feudal in attitude.

The erectile dysfunction going up on Route 30/Lancaster Avenue is even more disturbing than it appeared on all the plans. And you know how those plans are presented -always like the proverbial Elysian Fields.

The houses behind the erectile dysfunction look like Lego McMansions and are so crammed together you will hear the neighbors flush their toilets. It’s a cute and cozy relationship between the builder and listing agent too, right? And if there were fewer houses in this nouveau “Berwyn Village”, it wouldn’t be so bad, but once again it’s just too many damn houses.

The erectile dysfunction seems like it’s trying to maroon the Berwyn Tavern. It was the old Fritz Lumber site. Now everyone knew once Fritz closed it was going to be developed, but once again it’s going to be too much and too big. Between all of the apartments here and the monstrosity yet to break ground across Lancaster Ave at “Berwyn Square”, Berwyn is getting supersized in the worst possible way.

When that project is finished it’s going to be as ugly as what has happened and is still happening in Ardmore, PA and elsewhere.

Urban Canyons designed solely to line the pockets of developers. Maybe they will fund a traffic signal here and there, but they will just plop this crap on a community and move onto the next project.

These development projects stresses infrastructure, first responders, and school districts…just to point out SOME of the obvious. Communities are never in my opinion adequately or justly compensated for having to suffer through this crap.

R.I.P. charming Berwyn. Hope the ratables will be worth it, Easttown Township.

otoro sushi: amazing

Salmon “Rose”

I love sushi. Especially really good, top of the line sushi and sashimi. Fish so tender, it practically melts in your mouth.

Sushi “Tacos”

My friends in Berwyn have been telling me about Otoro at 668 Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn (down from 30 Main.) They are BYOB if you are going for dinner.

Amazing doesn’t even begin to cover it. Sublime might come close. Everything is super fresh and beautifully presented. The staff is super nice and just the right amount of attentive and helpful. The prices are fair.

I went there for lunch today with a friend after going to the Life’s Patina preview.

I can’t wait to go there again!

after the storm: destruction in berwyn (easttown township)

Batholomew Rd.

Last night was a hell of a storm. And no one can say “Oh they are just 100 year storms” or whatever. We are getting these destructive storms out of Mother Nature more and more often. You can thank climate change, you know that thing that no one wants to acknowledge exists?

Personally, I did not get much sleep last night. The storm howled over, through, and around us. The sky was incredibly lit up by lightening and the roaring of thunder.

An Easttown Resident Video: Where is the Stormwater Management??

From my friend Michael:

Storm Water Management


I understand that not everything in life can be prevented. However, 3 Supervisor meetings ago myself and a neighbor specifically complained about storm water management on Bartholomew Rd. Yes, that is where I live. Please allow me to be provincial.


The irony is that the water surge was so strong last night that my neighbor who was with me at that meeting almost had an unspeakable tragedy. A huge tree fell through this house. His son was 3 feet away! The dust was so thick they could not see their way out!! By the grace of God, no one was hurt. The house looks a bomb hit it. I won’t post any photos out of respect for my friend. It looks like a war zone. It will be months before they will be able to live in a home on that land.


Water played a part in this. No more looks of anguish from certain Supervisors. No more “well the water has to go somewhere” comments. No more, “well, it is a 100 year storm”. It isn’t when it happens almost every year. I have no interest in debating why. It is time for action. There is simply too much water flowing down my street. I believe the construction on Waterloo has made it worse. It was a river last night. Yes, we still would have had flooding even with better management.


Let’s focus on preventing people from dying. This one was a close call. We need action on this issue.

Transparency!

I know personally what it is like to have a tree come down on your home. We experienced it during the ice storm of 2014. A tree literally came within inches of my husband’s head. We got through it, and that is what I am so diligent with tree work (a conversation for another day, but also important.)

Because I know what it is like for a tree to come down like that, every time there is one of these storms, right or wrong, I kind of hold my breath until they pass. Last year the Derecho wind storms wreaked havoc in Chester County including all around where we live.

Stormwater management is something I feel most municipalities pay lip service to. They are more interested in salivating over ratables. Easttown is just one of the local Chester County Municipalities playing fast and loose with the well being of residents by just approving development after development willy nilly.

Water during these storms has fewer and fewer places to go. That is just reality. Which means our municipalities NEED to pay attention to density and for what they are approving, the stormwater management needs to be substantial.

Richards Road Last Night. Berwyn Fire Company Photo.

Last night’s storm also produced at least one sinkhole. Berwyn and Midland Avenues. Adjacent to a utility pole no less:

Mother Nature will be Mother Nature, but as communities we can do our part to do better. Which is why municipalities also need to pay more than lip service to responsible development as well as stormwater managerment. Below are snippets of video also from Berwyn and a couple of photos. I guess I am kind of wondering why the construction site was seemingly unprepared to deal with runoff? I know this was a big storm but still…

Get well soon, Berwyn.

what are you doing for lunch?

Tasty Table Market & Catering is one of my favorite food gems. Located at 10 Leopard Rd, Berwyn, PA 19312 they are a delight to deal with and their food is amazing! They are breakfast, lunch, take home dinner, corporate events, private events, weddings, any kind of catering you can think of.

I stopped in to pick up lunch and discovered all sorts of new things on the menu, as well as a slightly new look inside. You can go and eat your breakfast and lunch. The seating is limited but it’s very socially distanced. Oh and they serve La Colombe coffee!

Today I am having one of their Vietnamese hoagies which is a really good sandwich. I also checked out something new on the menu which is a vegetarian broccoli rabe quesadilla. Some of that is coming home for heating up at another time along with their famous crab cakes which are absolutely delicious.

Anyway check out Tasty Table. You’ll be glad you did!

And I will note that I am not being compensated in any way, shape, or form for writing this post. I am a happy customer and paying it forward and supporting gladly a local business.

#shoplocal #shopsmall

target bryn mawr: today’s example of another bad proposed development plan…

Today social media groups on the Main Line are all abuzz about a particular development plan. It is proposed for Bryn Mawr. I think it’s awful.

It is the same developer apparently as the “Berwyn Square” that Eastown just said no to. Which was truly remarkable because Eastown never says no to anything.

I didn’t just connect the dots to all these development plans, Savvy Main Line did it for us (CLICK HERE FOR SAVVY)

Too. Damn. Much. Development.

The Bryn Mawr plan is shocking. Having grown up on the Main Line, and especially because where I went to high school was Shipley which is in Bryn Mawr, I spent a lot of years in Bryn Mawr. And I can tell you a great deal of the wonderful “village” feel disappeared when Bryn Mawr Hospital supersized. But a plan like this? I think it would kill what is left of the small town Main Street kind of vibe.

Obviously I no longer live in Lower Merion so even though I sent the commissioner for the ward that contains Bryn Mawr an email, I know my opinion doesn’t matter, I just gave it anyway. I figure he owes it to me to listen since way back when he wanted to become a commissioner in the first place a group I was part of helped him get elected.

The other reality of this plan and if you look at the last screenshot in this post it shows a rendering of sorts, and it also totally doesn’t show you what that Lancaster Ave (Route 30) intersection in Bryn Mawr is really like. It is an extraordinarily busy and accident prone intersection. It’s where Morris Avenue ends and Bryn Mawr Ave. begins. It’s where Ludington library is, the main and original branch of Bryn Mawr Trust Company is there. It’s where the train station is and a block or so from where the hospital begins.

2007 Accident Bryn Mawr.

The above photo was taken in 2007. One of the many accidents at this intersection. This particular accident I believe resulted in the fatality of the driver in the car in front of the bus. I also had another friend who was hit pushing her babies across the street in a stroller on a pedestrian walk signal at this corner. At that time, there was an NBC10 report on that accident.

No one is going to say that the building currently on the corner where they are proposing to put this apartment development is attractive. It’s never been attractive. But every development that is proposed is overly dense no matter where you live and whichever township or county you call home.

Downingtown PA development on Route 30.

The above photo is a development in progress in Downingtown. Another massive development. And none of these developments are particularly distinguishable from each other. Which is why I find great humor in the “brynmawr square“ and “Berwyn Square” development proposals

Above you see the development often discussed in East Whiteland. I don’t understand how the people who are paid to do the planning for these townships as well as elected officials have no vision.

At the end of the day this is why we desperately need to update the Municipalities Planning Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This amount of development is not sustainable. And I will never believe the emperor’s new clothes fairytale that it is.

It’s very sad that it has come to this, but pick the township, town, and county and there’s always a bad development plan or several bad development plans. We are the ones that live in these communities and it’s time for elected officials to start listening to us.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe in the snow.

Proposed “Bryn Mawr Square”
Lancaster Ave (Route 30)

a micro example of issues in our region

Eastside Flats in Malvern Borough. Still don’t like them how many years later, although I do support the businesses. So who owns Eastside Flats now because I am uncertain at this point who owns the development and who manages it? It’s not the original developer.

Does everyone remember a couple of different things that put Eastside flats in the news early on? The amazingly and shockingly low amount of ratables Malvern Borough would receive for approving a development still out of scale and character for the Borough of Malvern? And the other kerfuffle when The Whip Tavern said no to Eastside Flats in Malvern Borough?

But then everyone heard Christopher’s was coming to town. It was like that one thing changed a lot of perception about this behemoth of a development. I have always felt like Christopher’s was a kind of anchor that drew people to Eastside Flats and other people and other businesses quite possibly. I know they are what initially made me personally give Eastside Flats a chance.

Christopher’s made Malvern more of a destination, which in turn benefited other businesses and the borough itself. And if there was a community event, Christopher’s in Malvern was right there for the community the way Christopher’s in Wayne always has been.

And for years Christopher’s did things like featured local artists on their walls. And they had wonderful staff. If you told one of the Christopher’s waitstaff you had a particular food allergy or a series of food allergies, they all knew the menu so well that they could bring you a flawless order that wouldn’t make you sick. They did this for a friend of mine one time when we went in for lunch. She had a lot of food allergies and they took care of her so perfectly. (it’s because of all these things that I will continue to go to Wayne once life returns to a more normal pattern.)

Recently, Christopher’s closed their Malvern location thanks to the COVID19 of it all, to return solely to a Wayne which leaves a giant, gaping, empty hole in the streetscape,and also, well they will be missed. In addition to being a wonderful business, Christopher’s offered food that wasn’t formula pub food and you didn’t just go there because it was a bar. You went there because it was a restaurant and it was a nice experience for all ages. It wasn’t huge or cavernous and cold as a space it was kind of just right. But can you imagine what the rent nut was to cover in Eastside Flats?

COVID-19 has caused America’s hospitality industry from coast to coast to take a direct and brutal hit. The largest in history for that industry. Restaurants and other hospitality industry businesses are closing left and right from coast to coast. And I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that not only are they getting no assistance, it’s the rents they are being charged.

But I have to ask, what kind of rent do these commercial landlords think they will get? After all, we are in a struggling in the present economy at a minimum, and nobody wants to look at what the other potential downside is, correct? I also think overall the economy has not been as strong as we have been led to believe. And people will argue with me about that but that’s just how I feel.

Malvern’s charm is in it’s history and size, much like the village portion of Berwyn and similarly scaled small towns and villages. Berwyn is in Easttown Township and a present is suffering from potential development implications of its own, but I think they need to look at what’s going on in Malvern Borough right now.

These new developments come in and even with old developments they will offer a lower rent to get somebody in the door. Then those rents get jumped over time to the point that the businesses have to look at their own financial viability and decide if they want to put food on the table of their families and staff or food on the table of whoever the commercial landlords are.

I know plenty of people who have over the years owned other restaurants or brick and mortar stores in various communities who had to make the painful decision to close because after their initial honeymoon when they first came to town and did business with their respective commercial landlords, they couldn’t justify the rents any longer.

And commercial property owners don’t really necessarily care about the empty storefronts in our communities, it’s about what they can make. So they won’t look at continual lease turnover the same way a community might. If one of their property sits empty, I am told they apply those losses to the bottom line of profits from other properties, so for them, it’s business as usual if a place is empty, right? Greedy is as greedy does right? And a lot of these commercial landlords aren’t local. So they don’t get what happens locally nor do they really care do they?

So now we are here in 2020. In October 2020 which has to be one of the most stressful and heartbreaking years a lot of us have experienced in our lifetimes. And a global pandemic known as COVID-19 is bringing the economy down like a house of cards, card by freaking card isn’t it? Drive Route 30 alone from further west to east to the city line. You really see the empty store fronts. This is no joke.

When it comes to local restaurants, not all of them have the space to put things outside and not all of the communities have the wherewithal to let the businesses put tables outside. And because this virus is not under control, and there’s no shot for it, everything is two steps forward and seven steps back is what it feels like. We are in the midst of additional outbreaks now. Which of course then makes businesses fear they will have to shut down again.

Someone said to me that essentially politics is driving all of this. And you can’t just blame it on one party or the other. Especially out here in these smaller municipalities. They don’t really have political savvy or Wiley Coyoteness. And yes, in Philadelphia they do (cue Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and the giant mess there), but out here? The politicians don’t necessarily run much, they are kind of run, aren’t they?

So when I heard about Christopher’s closing, I mentioned it to a chef in search of a space. And they didn’t want just any space they wanted the right space. And this is a chef who will blow a lot of culinary minds. They have the international and national credentials, they have the knowledge base and experience. So I told them about Eastside Flats. Selfishly, I want them to open a restaurant in our area. A lot of people do. They are also the kind of person who would bring people to the community just the way Christopher’s did and say Alba and General Warren do. It would be win-win to our communities and existing fine dining.

I asked this person the other day whatever had happened with them investigating Eastside Flats. And I think suffice it to say, unrealistic rents on the part of the commercial landlord happened. Did I mention this is a person with business experience? They essentially told me that what was being quoted for rent wouldn’t be sustainable during a normal period, let alone a global pandemic. Essentially, a business needs to sustain itself and with what whomever over there at Eastside is currently thinking, it just wouldn’t happen, that they wouldn’t even be able to break even. It’s a typical commercial property dilemma, and the dilemma is the only party who would be making a profit would be the commercial property owner and what small business in their right mind wants to assume that risk?

I am not an economist, but I remember hearing somewhere once that most restaurants only start to turn a profit in the 3 to 5 year mark if they are lucky and survive that long. Profit is revenue minus costs, both fixed and variable, right? Starting a restaurant is fantastically expensive correct? Also what fits into the equation is also not confusing profitability with revenue generating, yes? Even if a restaurant is generating high revenue, they’re not necessarily reflecting a similar profit, correct?

So I think Malvern Borough and other municipalities need to wake up. Stop just bending over for absentee commercial landlords and developers. Recognize that compromise is something that they have to negotiate so we get quality non-formula and not just chain or franchise businesses in our communities. We need a retail mix that has better planning, essentially. In a lot of other areas municipalities have retail coordinators who help recruit businesses to the communities in which they work and help the negotiation process between potential businesses and commercial landlords. Even business district authorities and business associations will do this. And the simple reason for that is nobody is as invested in the community as the community itself.

Eastside Flats is kind of looking like a ghost town. And they just let a huge opportunity for our community and for them walk away because of unrealistic rent expectations. They might not like my opinion but the first amendment allows me to have it.

So that is your food for thought so to speak for the day. How are your communities being impacted by commercial landlords during COVID-19? And how will the hospitality industry survive and what will it look like after this? And when you are formulating your response try to leave the politics out of it because politicians and political parties come and go but these are our local businesses.

Also if you are interested Bon Appétit Magazine has a terrific article from the end of September on how you can help those in the restaurant industry.

Thanks for stopping by.

a tasty experience

When I was little one of the things I loved doing with my great aunts who lived in South Philadelphia at 11th and Ritner was go to not only the Italian market, but to the little grocery store on the corner a few blocks away called Alberts.

Albert’s wasn’t a large store, it was literally a little corner grocery store. But because it was in Italian neighborhoods they had many things you couldn’t find a normal grocery stores. And it was so fun to go in and look up down and sideways as a little kid to see everything they had. I kind of had that experience again today as an adult.

My friends have been telling me to go check out George McLoughlin’s Tasty Table Market and Catering at 10 Leopard Road in Berwyn. Now George never knew it until today but back in the day I had been a patron of another business he owned. And back then that business had catered events I went to including Shipley reunions. The food was phenomenal then and truthfully it’s only gotten better!

I went in to pick up some things for dinner and ended up getting myself lunch. I had this chicken sandwich that was transformative. It is the Chicken Pickle Brioche Sandwich. It was a lightly fried yet super moist chicken breast and Swiss on a brioche roll with this fabulous purple slaw with just a little bit of bacon and pickles. I think everybody should try this sandwich!

For dinner I got a steak salad, a salmon, and a chicken entree. I also picked up fresh guacamole and this lovely artichoke dip. But of course because this is also a little market I got some other goodies like a fig balsamic vinegar and fabulous olive oil. And a honey comb and Le Bus bread—-I haven’t purchased bread since March I’ve been making it. Oh and a lovely espresso! I couldn’t pass that up!!

The store is clean and neat and pretty. My friend Lisa who owns Brandywine View Antiques in Chaddsford helped with the interior. And outside there are cheerful red awnings which I love!

And one of the things I liked best about my visit today was speaking with George the owner. It’s been so long since I have spoken with anyone who was excited about anything. George McLoughlin is happy and positive and psyched about the challenge of re-thinking his business. It was so awesome to spend time with him. His positivity is infectious.

And his food is so good. And fresh. And the staff is as nice as George is! And they know the food they are serving. Because what I find very frustrating especially when I visit a new place is you ask a question and they make a face and say “well I don’t know“ and you’re thinking to yourself how can you not know you work here? But there is NONE of that at Tasty Table. You can tell everyone likes being there and that speaks volumes.

Now that I’ve been to the delightful market being created, I will be back. They even carry my favorite sugar cubes for coffee and tea, La Perruche. I haven’t been able to find them locally in a very long time so I am psyched they carry them!

Oh and don’t forget to try the peanut butter cookies and brownies. 😊 And there are gluten free options as well!

Tasty Table Catering and Market 10 Leopard Road, Berwyn, PA 19312

Tel: 610.251.0265 info@tastytablecatering.com

I hope my readers will #ShopLocal and give Tasty Table a try. I had a very tasty 😋 experience. Thanks George!

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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