crebilly meeting reminder and a school district takes a stand against wanton development 


So a reminder that the next Crebilly meeting is Wednesday, March 29th, 6-10PM Rustin High School and it will be the second Conditional Use hearing. Here is the link to a printable flyer my pal Mindy Rhodes made with additional dates we all encourage you to share with others:

 https://crebillyfarmfriends.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/crebilly-march.pdf

But what is really and truly exciting to me is something I have wished a school district out here in Chester County would do – take a stand on wanton development,  and that is exactly what West Chester Area School District has done. Here is hoping more districts follow suit because it gets a bit much when taxpayers watch school districts behave like ostriches with their heads in the sand. Chief ostrich in my opinion is Great Valley School District, but I digress.

Anyway, Mindy Rhodes wrote to all of us this morning not only about the meeting tomorrow but also about this:

Party Status will be determined for a number of groups and then testimony continues. I had a dream last night only five people came to the hearing and the auditorium was empty with the exception of a full stage that included the BOS and Toll Brothers. There are 850 seats in Rustin Auditorium. Please do what you can to attend any part of the hearing. Every bit helps… and don’t forget to bring water:)

Last evening, Dr. Scanlon, Superintendent of the West Chester Area School District, issued a letter to the community that included a resolution from WCASD and the impact the Crebilly development by Toll will have on the schools in the district:  

Dear Community Members,
The West Chester Area School District has passed a resolution at its March 27 board meeting to allow the Superintendent to request an annual impact fee of $645,000 from Toll Brothers developers for the added expenses the district will incur from the proposed Crebilly Farms housing development.
Crebilly Resolution.docx – REVISED 3-21-17.pdf 
Currently Toll Brothers is seeking approval from Westtown Township to build more than 300 homes on the Crebilly Farms tract of land at the corner of Routes 202 and 926. Working with an experienced demographer, we have determined that this development will generate at least 172 students who would attend our school district. (This estimate already excludes the number of students we believe would attend private schools, based on our previous experience.)
It is common practice for school districts to request impact fees from developers when a large development is proposed. Simply put, a public school district cannot fairly shoulder the entire cost of a huge surge of students at one time. We will need to find additional space in our schools with modular units or additions, we will need to hire additional teachers and other staff, and we will need to provide additional transportation. (In addition, we are bound by law to also provide transportation for any students who choose private schools located within 10 miles of our borders.). We anticipate approximately 56 private and/or parochial school students from this proposed development.
Final approval of this development rests with Westtown Township. We consider it our duty to keep you informed as this matter relates to our school district. Public hearings are continuing, and we welcome your voice in this matter.
Sincerely,
Dr. Jim Scanlon, Superintendent

I am so thrilled by this letter and resolution. I have often been impressed with Dr. Scanlon’s writings in the past; in my opinion, a thoughtful and very sensible voice of reason. This creates yet another hurdle for Toll Brothers to comply with. It is my hope others in similar positions will stand up to this company and hold this developer accountable in every way possible.
If not you, then who?

Thank you,

Mindy

http://www.CrebillyFarmFriends.com

I have been critical of the WCASD school district in the past, but today I admire them. I admire their chutzpah in being real and saying to a developer “Hey this is not OK.”

Municipalities and School Districts are separate entities they are autonomous of one another, so basically neither consults the other ever about anything that in the end affects taxpayers and residents….and kids in a school district. Development looks really great on paper to politicians. They can say they brought in ratables end it helps them build the legacy to themselves that they all seem to crave. And no, I am not saying that is the case here with Westtown, it’s just what I think about a lot of municipalities.  

Municipalities tend to look at new development like a fresh and shiny toy, but sometimes they need to have more thought as to what that toy will cost taxpayers and residents and members of school districts down the road.

Finally, a school district in Chester County is standing up and saying not no to developers per se, but who is going to pay for the side effects of development after developments are built. This school district is being responsible to residents, children, the taxpayers. And might I add this is something the Chester County Planning Commission should be doing with every development proposed in Chester County? As well as State Senator Andy Dinniman? After all it is not just about land and historic preservation, it’s about the other long term impacts of development, isn’t it? Why do residents always seem to have to do the heavy lifting ?

Here is what WCASD said:



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the delaware riverkeeper sends the pa dep’s hatzell a letter…about bishop tube!

Today just got seriously more interesting….a Dear DEP letter…..and a random act of DEP legal notices too?

Letter also uploaded HERE: DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER NETWORK LETTER TO DEP

Photographer unknown – found on community page – Bishop Tube 2017

BREAKING NEWS: recount requests getting heated in montgomery county

30934900620_65d2e627e5_oAh yes folks, the 2016 election will not be over anytime soon.  Today as I write this post, committee people from all over Montgomery County are poring into Voter Services in that county with legal petitions for RECOUNTS.

Thus far the Montgomery County Board of Elections is REFUSING  to accept the recount petitions according to my sources inside the building.  These are NOT court proceedings, although I was told there was some sort of hearing at 3 pm today on the election and that is why some people feel this push back in Norristown in this particular  office is to stall for time, and is that nuts or what? Here is hoping someone gets this fairly in front of a judge today, right?

There have been problems reported here for quite a while in this office and can it be said some people say since Josh Shapiro came in as a County Commissioner? And where is the PA Attorney General in Waiting during this hot mess today? Or Val Arkoosh who is not only Chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners now but the Chair of Montgomery County Board of Elections????  Asleep at the wheel much Dr. Val Arkoosh? And what about the Chief Clerk Lauren Lambrugo?  What is she doing?

30495091503_0c392b4478_oSomeone there in this zoo in Montgomery County said this afternoon:

 

“Ray McGarry, the county solicitor, has held firm. The Election Board will accept them (petitions) for service only. It is the Election Board’s position that our only recourse is via the court — either a court ordered recount or a decision that the position we have taken is correct. In any event the Montco Election Board has handled this abysmally, in my opinion.”

 

Now I know Montgomery County folks have been up in arms because the absentee ballots were NOT even mailed out in a timely fashion.

Now the County Board here has been claiming that  the petitions need to go to prothonatary office then to judge, emergency filing with judge/court to order county election board to recount. But my sources which include lawyers tell me that  in PA supposedly this is a layer not needed, the county board can accept the petitions so what the heck is  is going on? Doesn’t every vote count???

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I spoke to a committee person in Narberth who is a dear friend.  Her name is Gigi Tevlin-Moffatt and she is also a Narberth Borough Councilwoman. When I asked her about this she said:

 

“I am so confused by this entire process at Montco Voter Services. My concern is multi-layered, and this office knew a recount was underway in the entire state, what is the delay at the counter? Why make petitioners literally wait all day?

The decision from the County Solicitor came so late… why was this not posted?  Are we really telling voters that if they dare raise a red flag of ‘recount’ that they have to have thousands of dollars  and a day off from work and their lives to receive a decent response?”

 

So is this just a case of they still need to take out the trash in Norristown or something deeper and more insidious?  You see, this is not a Republican or Democrat thing, this is an all around voter thing.  As a citizen, your voice is heard with your vote often if it is heard no other way.  So if your voice is not heard because your vote is suppressed, what of our inalienable rights as Americans?

31158883712_e5b4c582a7_oDoes every vote count only if certain factions allow it?

Sign me glad I do not live in Montgomery County any longer. I also wonder if Val Arkoosh is fit to lead Montgomery County Solicitors? Can she be removed from office? And this opinion is nothing new…I had reservations when she tried and failed miserably at running for Congress.

Oh and media was on site so I am not making this up and it will be on the news. It’s like Storming the Bastille today over there in Norristown for Pete’s sake!

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fire reported at church farm school

Church_Farm_HD

Patch is reporting a fire at Church Farm School.  I hope everyone is O.K. There are also trees down all over after the storms. My sources tell me Building 139 (cottage) with a quick knockdown by Sta. 5 &6. Will post updates as I receive them. Single building at 1002 Cottage Lane is what I was told.

fire

Thank you Daily Local for following up:

Church Farm School ‘Cottage’ in West Whiteland hit by fire during storm

POSTED: 06/08/16, 6:02 PM EDT|UPDATED: 50 SECS AGO

cfsWEST WHITELAND >> Firefighters responded to a blaze at the Church Farm School at about 1 p.m. Wednesday following a brief but intense lightning storm.

A passerby traveling on Route 30 called 911 after seeing flames and smoke at a cottage residence on the school’s campus. The cottage, which can hold up to 18 students, was unoccupied at the time. The Church Farm School held its commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 4.

West Whiteland Fire Chief George Turner said the building was likely struck by lightning during the storm Wednesday morning and smoldered in the attic of the building until flames erupted from the structure a few hours later. Turner said most of the damage was done in the attic.

 

here we go again in tredyffrin

wall

I haven’t written about Tredyffrin in eons. But the news out of Tredyffrin is disturbing if true.

In July of 2012, then Township Manager Mimi Gleason resigned.  In 2014, Tredyffrin relieved then Public Works Director Scott Cannon of duties. In more blunt terms, Tredyffrin fired him.

Tredyffrin Township released a statement at that time (TT Press Release 2014 02 10 ) which said in part:

In his capacity as Director of Public Works, Mr. Cannon engaged in conduct, himself, and directed vendors and subordinates to engage in such conduct, involving two instances of the improper disposal of materials on Township property in a manner prohibited by Pennsylvania’s environmental laws. Since the areas affected are not easily accessible to the public and, as addressed in more detail below, since no immediate danger was identified by DEP, we cannot disclose the locations until that agency’s investigation is complete.

 

Well apparently Mr. Cannon was arrested and is facing criminal charges on chemical dumping (MDJReport Tredyffrin Cannon ).

Tredyffrin issued a statement over the past few days (Tredyffrin Press Release Nov 2015 ) which states in part:

Former Public Works Director, Scott Cannon turned himself over to the Tredyffrin Township Police Department for processing on Friday, November 20, 2015.

The charges brought by the State Attorney General’s office arise from facts that were disclosed publicly in February 2014 during a meeting of the Board of Supervisors following the Township’s own internal investigation. The Township is unaware of any allegations of violations other than those disclosed in February 2014.

 

Walt Hunter at CBS3 was the first media to cover this story. Walt quotes Cannon’s lawyer on the charges:

In response to a CBS 3 inquiry, Cannon’s attorney, A.J.Chotkowski, emailed a statement that reads in part:

“Mr. Cannon was surprised and disappointed to learn that charges were filed against him today… the charges occurred less than a year after Mr. Cannon initiated a civil action against Tredyffrin Township stemming from his termination as the Director of Public Works… Mr. Cannon denies that he, or any other employee under his supervision, violated any law or caused any environmental harm. The substance alleged to have been released is magnesium chloride, which is merely a common salt product used to treat roads.”

 

Ok but according to the state, aren’t chemicals like this supposed to be disposed of properly?  As in not just dumped on Tredyffrin Township owned property and allowed to spill into the Valley Creek?

Yes, the Valley Creek. You know where Tredyffrin had raw sewage issues? Remember groups filed suit against Tredyffrin this time last year over violations of the federal Clean Water Act? 

To quote Penn Environmental at the time :

penn enviro 2014

Last December 2014, Tredyffrin agreed to a costly clean up settlement in the raw sewage case .

And now this. The Philadelphia Business Journal says in their article:

Scott Canon, 56, of Glen Mills, is facing four counts of unlawful conduct and a count of prohibition against other pollutions for opening a large tank containing magnesium chloride, and releasing 1,000 gallons of the chemical into the township’s public works facility, according to the Office of the Attorney General.

Main Line Media News has a story today on this as well and the comments are as interesting as the actual article.

MLMN article

Political chess anyone? Mimi Gleason (so much for that pretty quote of “a job is not a life”, eh?) went to West Whiteland and Bill Martin came out of the polluted Bashore era in Radnor Township via problematic Bridgeport, correct? Is there culpability when it comes to Tredyffrin’s former Public Works guy and the current and former Township Managers of Tredyffrin when it comes to this case? Has anyone contacted Mimi Gleason in West Whiteland for her thoughts? Did she hire this Scott Cannon?

I can’t help but wonder what else will surface in the always politically charged muck and mire of Tredyffrin Township. Because can it said nothing there is ever simple?

But at the end of the day what disturbs me the most are Tredyffrin’s pollution problems. It’s bad enough when it’s a specific company in a certain municipality and all of this has been well, municipally caused has it not? First raw sewage, now this?

And how have these issues affected Tredyffrin residents as well as their municipal neighbors?

To all the sewage add a 1000 gallons of Magnesium Chloride.

What the heck, Tredyffrin Township? Well only time will tell where this case will go , especially given all the problems in the attorney general’s office in Pennsylvania.

Sign me glad not to live in Tredyffrin but I sure wish they would clean up their act (and pollution problems).

 

 

 

BREAKING: hit and run driver sought for knox covered bridge in valley forge park

ys1

A friend of mine posted this photo above a little while ago on her Facebook page! YES! Unbelievably it happened again! Some IDIOT hit ANOTHER one of our beautiful Chester County Covered Bridges! If you recall, a truck driver with a giant tractor trailer destroyed the Rapps Dam Bridge in East Pikeland in 2014. The damages were estimated in media reports at $500000, and a repair contract wasn’t awarded until this past April.

So this beautiful bridge known as the Knox Covered Bridge is in Valley Forge Park. I have taken it’s photo easily dozens of times and walked the bridge. It’s beautiful. It is 252 on one side along the creek and Yellow Springs Road on the other.

Here is one photo I have of it that I took (I think this one is circa 2008):

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So someone according to my friend and others (including two television stations) did a hit and run on this beautiful bridge!

YS2

What kind of jerk does this???

As per PennDOT this bridge (The Knox Covered Bridge) is now structurally unsound and closed as of today. No estimates on repairs.  This is in Tredyffrin Township Police Department’s jurisdiction, here is hoping they and Tredyffrin Township in general are as diligent and thorough as East Pikeland was with Rapp’s Dam and bringing that truck driver to justice.

This bridge, the Knox Covered Bridge was just recently part of an award of monies for repairs:

Three county covered bridges to be rehabilitated

By Candice Monhollan, cmonhollan@ 21st-centurymedia.com, @CMonhollanDLN on Twitter (Pete Bannan photos)

People will be able to take a drive through history once again after PennDOT rehabilitates three covered bridges in Chester County.

PennDOT awarded a $3.2 million contract to Eastern Highway Specialists, Inc., who will set to work on the Rapps Dam covered bridge in East Pikeland, the Speakman covered bridge and West Marlborough and the Knox covered bridge in Valley Forge National Historic Park in Tredyffrin Township.

“The ideas to rehabilitate the bridges came from a variety of sources — from the county, from PennDOT, from the historic preservation community and from legislators, such as myself,” said Sen. Andy Dinniman. “PennDOT is trying to rehabilitate as many bridges on the funds that we have approved. The historic covered bridges are still being used..

Good thing that money is there, right?

Unbelievable.  If anyone out there knows anything or saw anything, please please please call Tredyffrin Police or Valley Forge Park or PennDOT. It is hard to see who is taking tips as early media reports indicate that Tredyffrin Police are sort of referring this along right now.  This apparently happened this afternoon around 2 pm but there is nothing on the Tredyffrin Police Department Website yet.

I found an email on that site that is  police@tredyffrin.org and this other information:

Tredyffrin Township Police Department

Anthony Giaimo, Superintendent of Police
Taro Landis, Lieutenant – Administrative Division
Joseph Glatts, Lieutenant – Operations Division
Organizational Chart [PDF]

Contact the Police Department
Tredyffrin Township Police Department
1100 DuPortail Road
Berwyn, PA 19312-1079

Business Number: 610-644-3221
Dispatch Number: 610-647-1440
Emergency Number: 911
Fax Number: 610-644-5394
Email Address

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm

alert

Please…if you know anything, or you say saw a damaged vehicle driving away from this direction this afternoon, PLEASE call police. This bridge is part of our heritage and our history and a lot of people still use this bridge daily. Accidents happen, but a hit and run like this is not right.  The bridge is painted white so a vehicle could have all sorts of white paint on it and hopefully Tredyffrin will do their bit and see if any automobile paint is on the damage. yes, yes I know a little Nancy Drew meets CSI but this is such an awesome bridge!

Here is the media I have discovered thus far on this:

Car Strikes Covered Bridge In Tredyffin

The bridge, located in Valley Forge National Historical Park, has suffered structural damage and is closed indefinitely.

Authorities are seeking a driver who reportedly struck a covered bridge in Tredyffin Township Monday afternoon.

Knox Bridge, located where Yellow Springs Road crosses Valley Creek in Valley Forge National Historical Park, was hit by an unknown vehicle at approximately 2:30 p.m. According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) spokesman Gene Blaum, the only information currently known about the vehicle is that it was ”large.”

The bridge remains closed indefinitely pending a PennDOT investigation….

Later, in a PennDOT statement, Blaum reported that ”nearly an entire stone-masonry wing wall adjacent to the bridge” had been damaged along with a 20-foot-long section of its timber siding….

Originally built in 1865, the Knox Bridge has rehabilitated twice, in 1996 and again in 2006.

Asked for comment, a representative for the Tredyffin Police Department referred all questions to Valley Forge National Historical Park, where an official in turn said any new information would come from PennDOT

 

CBS3:   Covered Bridge In Valley Forge National Historical Park Closed Due To Damage 

6ABC Action News (has video) TRAFFIC Covered bridge struck in Chester Co.; driver sought

 

will it be eminent domain and pipelines, sunoco?

20140331-190842.jpgSimple Shots Photos photo

A group in West Goshen is fighting mad and battling Sunoco Logistics and its plan for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.

W. Goshen residents upset with gas pump station proposal By Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News POSTED: 03/30/14, 7:47 PM EDT |

WEST GOSHEN — Township residents are organizing against the construction of a proposed natural gas pump station, voicing outrage over possible health and safety issues from the facility.

“This doesn’t just affect West Goshen, but every community from here to Marcus Hook,” resident Tom Casey said.

Sunoco is requesting a variance from West Goshen at an April 3, 2014 zoning meeting to build a pipeline pump station with 34 foot ‘flare stack’ in a neighborhood at Boot Road and Route 202. Sunoco has similar requests in 31 municipalities across Pa as it transitions a cross-state petroleum pipeline to ethane, butane, propane liquid gas use.

Apparently one of the big fat sticking points per my sources is the flare stack proposal. I learned about the Just The Facts Please group from my friend Tim at Panewz:

Panewz.com: Gas pipeline wants fast track on expansion, pump station, flare stack approval in Pa

….Many pipelines across Pa were established with easements to carry petroleum when much of the Pa landscape was farmland. Today these pipelines pass through suburbanized communities.

Additionally, many residents are concerned about the conversion of the former petroleum pipelines to highly pressurized liquid gas and its combustibility. In some cases, residents aren’t aware that a pipeline, installed many years ago, runs through their neighborhood….One concern for residents is the pump or compressor stations that must be built along the gas pipelines to push the gas through. Some of these stations can be quite large, depending upon terrain and distance from the next station… Sunoco Pipeline is also applying for status as a Public Utility in Pennsylvania. See the application and a list of all Pa Townships involved in the Mariner East 2 pipeline expansion by clicking here.

If approved, the pump and valve control station buildings, above, that Sunoco says it would install on the sites, would be ‘exempt from any local zoning, subdivision and land development regulations’.

The company is also requesting that the applications be expedited because ‘full potential of Pennsylvania shale gas remains hampered by limited pipeline infrastructure’. The company has requested approval of this legal designation prior to the Public Utility Commission’s meeting of June 19, 2014.

The company’s application says the buildings and expedited service are needed for the ‘convenience and welfare of the public’. It also does not want one township’s denial of construction to hold up the entire pipeline.

A judge has already ruled in York County on Sunoco’s Motion for Survey Rights and efforts to condemn property in Eminent Domain. Read about it by clicking here.

Pa eminent domain blogger and Harrisburg attorney Michael Faherty has written ten reasons why, he believes, Sunoco will not succeed with the PUC in gaining Public Utility status and the power of eminent domain.

Alrighty then. The other meat of it? Sunoco apparently has a request before the PUC to be classified as a ‘Public Utility’ so the company can bypass all local zoning regulations and use eminent domain to take additional lands along the existing pipeline route? Apparently they are not a public utility when it comes to gas or something? So does that mean then they want carte blanche eminent domain powers? Sounds like it right?

The Facebook Page, Just The Facts Please, is trying to get more people to the meeting.

I think that eminent domain for private gain shrouded in a cloak of eminent domain for public purpose is what will occur if eminent domain for properties is attempted. I was told but have no proof that some are already are having to deal with whispers of eminent domain and to them I say FIGHT. I am somewhat astounded to hear how reluctant property owners are being bullied and isn’t that awful?

Look, our homes are our castles and our personal American dreams and personally I wouldn’t want big oil or the government to have a piece of my dream. (And I hope homeowners facing eminent domain know about groups like the Institute for Justice
in Washington, DC. They are a tremendous resource and much more.)

I used to be somewhat ambivalent towards this whole pipeline issue. But now, because of what I have heard happening in West Goshen and my former community of East Goshen I’m not so sure. And if big oil came knocking on my door I don’t think I could say yes. I am not going to judge anyone who has said yes, and I know some who have in the past, but I don’t think this is for me either.

Do we as Chester County residents get benefits of allowing drilling as we live in a state whose governor doesn’t have a tax (or much of a tax?) on the big oil companies having to do with what they drill? Ironically most of us don’t even have access to natural gas for heating because there aren’t a heck of a lot of those kinds of gas lines, yet they have been running an insane amount of pipelines. We are also on wells out here, so what happens to our drinking supply if they screw up?

I know you can’t take on everything but this is something at the very minimum worth going to a meeting to learn. After all a good portion of municipal meetings in Chester County are not televised.

I guess where I am on this is I hate government bullying. I hate eminent domain. I hate businesses attempting what Sunoco is attempting. I think I might even buy gasoline for my car elsewhere now. Wawa has better prices anyway. And most of all I hate that residents can’t just say “no thank you” if they don’t want a pipeline in their yard.

So if you have concerns, please don’t wait, go to this meeting this week. April 3, 7 pm, West Goshen Township Building. 1025 Paoli Pike, West Chester.

Judge Rules that Sunoco Pipeline Does Not Have Eminent Domain Power by Michael Faherty on February 28, 2014 in Pipeline Construction

The Top Ten Reasons Sunoco Pipeline Does Not Have the Power of Eminent Domain by Michael Faherty on January 22, 2014 in Pipeline Construction

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