meet the busy beaver of west vincent township AND new garden township

Sometimes I forget about people. Take this guy John Granger, Township Manger for hire. I first heard about him in March, 2009 when he was appointed interim township manger in Radnor while manager in Solebury Township, Bucks County, after they fired Dave Bashore. It was almost former Coatesville now Phoenixville guy Jean Krack, but that is another story entirely, isn’t it? In 2016 Granger was in Aston, Delaware County. Before West Vincent, Granger was in Exeter Township, and his contract wasn’t renewed.

I remember literally saying when West Vincent hired him full time, couldn’t they do any better? But whatever, I am but a mere mortal and a female of many questions and opinions. But now there is an “A ha” moment of sorts. Why?

Well because John Granger is a pattern guy. He is doing something in West Vincent he did while full time manager in Solebury, Bucks County: He’s straddling two townships. Yes I am being repetitive.

And sadly, no, I am not kidding you.

Granger will be a “consultant” compensated at $100 per hour, said Board of Commissioners president Tom Masterson (Ward 6).

He came recommended by Radnor’s special labor counsel Neil A. Morris, according to one commissioner. Morris also recommended the township’s interim solicitor John B. Rice of the Bucks County law firm Grim, Biehn and Thatcher.

Granger has been manager in Solebury since 2003. Before that, he was manager of Towamencin Township in Montgomery County from 1991 to 2001.

He also runs a consulting business, Granger Associates, which he describes as “management services for local government, focusing on grant writing and strategic planning,” according to his resume.

The Chalfont resident said Monday he will be using some saved up vacation time at his Solebury Township job, and estimates that he will work anywhere from 30 to 50 hours per week in his Radnor position.

~ main line media news, sam strike article 3/24/2009

New Garden Township Agenda September 19, 2022

So West Vincent Township explain to me how your full time manager John Granger can be your treasurer too and NOW he is interim manger and secretary for New Garden Township as well? West Vincent has approximately 5500 residents and New Garden approximately 11,500 residents? Does he still live in the Chalfont area or did he move?


Great work if you can get it and clearly he can and how much is he making for everything? And this is again what he did when at Solebury Township. He also became Radnor Township’s interim manager. So is West Vincent is supposed to be full time and he’s only there on average 3 days a week, is West Vincent getting a rebate on salary? Wowza West Vincent one would have thought you learned with Wendelgass but even West Pikeland didn’t did they?

Granger has done this before. Kind of double dipping, eh? Township Manager and Treasurer in West Vincent. Interim Township Manager and Secretary in New Garden Township.

Not my country, not my people. But hey, putting it out there. Below after the photos of camera shy Manager Granger today is your history lesson:

So for the “Radnor Time” , Granger came from Solebury, Bucks County. He was not a fan favorite when an interim manager in Radnor Township circa 2009, was he? Didn’t he try for a FL job at some point too? Anyway. He popped up as a name on the Main Line in 2014 with some litigation a former candidate for Radnor Manager filed:

Jury rejects claim against Radnor Township by manager candidate
By RICHARD ILGENFRITZ | rilgenfritz@mainlinemedianews.com | The Delaware County Daily Times
PUBLISHED: March 5, 2014 at 1:26 p.m.

Although a jury declared Wednesday that his future military obligations were a factor in Radnor Township’s decision not to hire an Air Force major as manager in 2009, the same jury added that there were still other reasons as to why it did not hire him.

John J. Murphy, who is currently the city manager in Hobbs, New Mexico, filed suit in federal court in 2011 claiming that Radnor did not hire him as manager because of his future reserve military obligations when the township was looking for a new manager after firing its old manager, David Bashore, in 2009.

In its decision, the jury had to answer two questions.

The first question was whether Murphy’s ongoing reserve military obligations were a contributing factor in its decision not to hire him.

Though the jury answered yes to that question, it was also tasked with the next question as to whether there were other reasons for Radnor not to have hired Murphy. Again, the jury decided the answer was yes.

In order for Murphy to have won the case, the jury would have had to find that there were no other reasons for the township not to have hired him.

Following the verdict, both sides declined comment…..

The township launched a nationwide search for a new township manager in 2009 by bringing in a consultant. The hiring consultant then conducted the nationwide search and received 76 applications for the post.

Radnor has said Murphy was not among the top 17 qualified of the candidates. Murphy, however, had been the put in with a group of eight who were interviewed based on the request of Commissioner John Fisher.

Murphy, the son of a retired Philadelphia police officer and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, had been working as the city manager in Wilkes-Barre, for several years before learning that Radnor was looking for a new manager. In court he said getting the job in Radnor was his chance to come home again.

In testimony during the trial, Radnor said the board believed that Murphy had overstated his qualifications and his role in turning around the troubled finances of the city of Wilkes-Barre when he was manager.

Murphy is also the brother of former Congressman Patrick Murphy who represented a district in Northeast Philadelphia and Bucks County.

Among the issues that came up during the four-day trial was a phone call that Patrick Murphy made on behalf of his brother to the commissioners president at the time…

There were also disputes as to what was said to Murphy by former Radnor interim township manager John Granger.

Granger, in the interim position, was tasked with facilitating interviews with potential candidates in 2009 for Bashore’s replacement.

In his suit and during his testimony, Murphy claims that Granger told him prior to his interview that he was in his list of top candidates. Murphy added that after the interview, Granger called him and said some of the board members had concerns over his ongoing military commitments and he was not selected for a second interview.

On the stand Wednesday, Granger said he did not recall the conversations Murphy was referring to and that he would not have made some of the statements attributed to him.

Granger was brought in to be the township manager in Radnor temporarily while he was also township manager in Solebury Township in Bucks County.

According to Granger’s testimony, he planned on working for Radnor from April through Labor Day in 2009. In the end, he stayed until Dec. 31, 2009.

Granger disputed Murphy’s statements by telling the court that he did not have any favorites because he didn’t really care who Radnor hired.

So….I remember I wrote briefly about this again in 2020 when John Granger was appointed Township Manager of West Vincent Township. West Vincent has a checkered past and present when it comes to elected officials and appointed ones, doesn’t it? Granger was also in Towamencin too:

NEWS
Towamencin officials must remain vigilant

By LANSDALE REPORTER |
PUBLISHED: April 19, 2003 at 6:41 a.m.

Instead, they must keep foremost in their minds that the review highlighted an overall failure to follow formal municipal procedures.

And they must learn from their mistakes in allowing former township Manager John Granger to assume power that wasn‘t his – power he used to transfer $1.9 million from the township to the Towamencin Infrastructure Authority without authorization, according to the independent review.

Township officials and residents are living with the aftermath of these actions, and continue to grapple with such thorny issues as widening Forty Foot Road, building a pedestrian bridge over the widened highway and “village plans“ that have been both touted and questioned in Towamencin.

AT THIS POINT, the township is forging ahead with the controversial project, restarting the procedure to acquire rights-of-way needed for the road-widening and pedestrian bridge project…..WHAT HAS occurred in the past can‘t be changed. And instituting written procedures such as these should go far to ensure the township does not encounter similar problems…..

The other troubling aspect is the topic of John Granger, who apparently has not had to answer for any of his deeds. He left the township abruptly, worked for a time at Temple Ambler‘s Center for Sustainable Communities and now has left that job.

He is a difficult man to track down and refuses to comment on the topic. It would be the right thing for him to come forward and offer an explanation for his actions.

The supervisors should demand this explanation. The public deserves it. And then, with new procedures in force, perhaps the township can move forward.

~ landsdale repoter 4/19/2003

Now back up to 2007, when Granger was quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer regarding open space:

Open spaces pinching suburbs
Municipalities find that keeping land free can turn into a money pit.

By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer
Published Aug 12, 2007

….In town halls across the suburbs, conservation euphoria is giving way to the sober realization that open space can be a money pit.

“What did we get ourselves into?” is the increasingly common refrain among municipal officials, said John Granger, manager of Solebury Township in Bucks County.

READING EAGLE: Exeter will search for new township manager

By KEITH SMOKER
PUBLISHED: January 14, 2020

Exeter Township supervisors on Monday voted to officially open the position of township manager. The vote came a week after they agreed not to renew current Manager John Granger’s contract.

Supervisor John Cusatis said later that Granger was given 30 days’ notice when the decision was made Jan. 7. Cusatis did not, when asked, specify a reason for Granger’s pending exit.

Then this pops up:

WFMZ 69 News: Exeter Twp. supervisors take back supervision of police department
Gregory Purcell Jun 27, 2022

EXETER TWP, Pa. – Monday night’s meeting of the Exeter Township Board of Supervisors was relatively calm and quiet, compared to last Wednesday’s special meeting during which the board voted to censure and remove as vice president David Hughes.

The subject of the supervisors’ focus at Monday’s meeting wasn’t Hughes but controversial former Township Manager John Granger, who was fired in early 2020.

Granger had changed the reporting protocol for the chief of police, having the position report to the township manager rather than the supervisors. During Monday’s meeting, the supervisors changed the reporting structure for the police chief back to the way it was before Granger became township manager.

Oh and this is a public record for the PUC from 2019:

why is radnor township like a nancy drew mystery that needs to be solved?

In December of 2013, The Radnor Township Board of Commissioners agreed to buy 71 acres of original Ardrossan land. It was well-documented in the media, right?

To quote Radnor Patch back then:

To cover the $11.6 million cost, Radnor plans to use a $10 million bond issue (previously approved by Radnor voters) as well as supplementary grant funding requested from DCNR, Delaware County and private fundraising, according to the township document.

“The bond payments would be largely funded by revenue from our Open Space Fund, which comes from the real estate transfer tax, rather than from property taxes. However, for an 11 year period (2015 to 2026) the projected payments will exceed the amount available in that fund and we would need a millage increase to make up the difference,” reads a township document on the acquisition.

The document continues, “The millage increase would be structured to sunset in 2026. The millage increase required would be .15 mills. The median home assessment in Radnor is $264,710. That landowner would pay $39.71 a year with such an increase. Further, 67% of the properties in Radnor are assessed under $344,682 and those taxpayers would pay an average of $29.34, with the highest in that range paying $51.70.”

“Board President Elaine Schaefer said the community has had a ‘long-standing desire’ to preserve Ardrossan as open space. She pointed to a 2006 referendum that allowed the board to sell up to $20 million in bonds to pay for open space that was approved by 80 percent of the residents,” reports Main Line Media News.

“Also, in the four recent hearings held to discuss the purchase where “scores of people spoke,” residents supported the plan 3 to 1, she said. While Schaefer said that she understands the financial concerns of ‘the minority,’ Schaefer, who was just reelected, said that Radnor was a democracy,” the newspaper reports. According to the document, the intended use for the land would be for a trail system (both walking/running on the perimeter and macadam/biking on the road) “and continued agricultural use through a farming licensing agreement, and reforestation, habitat and wetland restoration.”

~ Radnor Patch 12/19/2013

OK, let this sink in again for a minute “According to the document, the intended use for the land would be for a trail system (both walking/running on the perimeter and macadam/biking on the road) “and continued agricultural use through a farming licensing agreement, and reforestation, habitat and wetland restoration.”

I have to ask, are their proper trails back there yet and has all of that mentioned years ago happened? Or just cows grazing up against McMansions, so McMansions get tax breaks and the farmer grows his cow’s food and no one seems to wish to actually release a comprehensive report since he signed off on his original lease and Radnor developed the ordinance to produce the lease or whatever?

Not to be picky, but from said document of 2015:

And here, the entire document signed by Bill Spingler in 2015:

So in theory, the chemicals would have to be human, domestic animal and wildlife friendly, right? Also in theory, chemicals used could not pose an actual or potential threat to natural water sources, right?

So if the list of chemicals used by said farmer as part of the lease agreement is supposed to be provided, are they regularly and PUBLICLY available (as in always posted on township website as exhibits in the form in which they arrived with only personal email addresses and phone numbers redacted?) ??? At this point why can’t the issue be discussed at Radnor meetings whenever and why can’t the public seem to ever quite know the truth? I still don’t understand what the big deal in Radnor Township’s mind is since that agreement lays out disclosing of chemicals, etc?

So Radnor what about the chemicals? Has that creek been tested regularly and by whom and where are the test results? Why are no outside environmental groups involved or are they involved and if so who? Does Trout Unlimited know for example? What does Delaware County say or a state thing like the PA DEP?

OK now let’s think about the folks who think the lease agreement is ridiculous and come on where else can someone get a deal of renting gobs of land at a $1 and they keep all the lovely moola they make off of the land as well? That my friends, is a farmer’s dream. I can’t blame a farmer for wanting a great deal because farming is brutally hard work and ungodly expensive. However, there is an original ordinance and lease and lease agreement correct? So what happens if the farmer isn’t keeping with the agreement? Has the lease been changed in any way since it’s original issuance?

So yes, to those who wanted the lease overturned in 2021, did you ever think another way to invalidate a lease is if the terms of the lease weren’t being adhered to? And wouldn’t super nasty chemicals be a lease issue?

Bringing it full circle to today, is that why Radnor doesn’t seem to want to release all of the information the public is entitled to see because it is public land?

Seems pretty simple and straightforward, doesn’t it? But sadly, hasn’t Radnor Township had transparency issues in the past? Sunshine doesn’t just help the crops grow, yo’.

Here are links to articles relevant to the farmer and the original lease. I looked for stuff on the trails that were part of this idea and purchase and subsequent leases or changes in lease verbiage, but…. ???? Does this stuff exist?

Radnor official says cattle are part of a tax dodge at the former Ardrossan estate
Richard Booker’s motion would end Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease for land that the township paid almost $12 million for in 2013.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 12, 2021

An elected official in Radnor is pushing for the township to cancel its lease with a cattle rancher on publicly owned land that had once been part of the sprawling Ardrossan estate, saying the deal helps wealthy landowners on other sections of the former estate take unfair advantage of tax breaks for agriculture.

Richard Booker’s motion, which he plans to introduce at a Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 22, would end the agreement that lets rancher Richard Billheim’s Fern Valley Farm use 71 acres of township-owned property for its beef cow operation in exchange for $1 a year.

Booker said in a memo with his motion that he decided to take action on the lease after reading an article published earlier this year by The Inquirer about the tax breaks at the former estate enabled by statewide agricultural-conservation programs under Act 319 — better known as “Clean and Green” — and Act 515.

The programs tax land for what it is worth as a working farm and not what its value would be if sold on the open market for housing, strip malls, or offices. Under Act 319, by far the most commonly used of the programs at Ardrossan and elsewhere, the land must produce $2,000 a year in farm goods.

At least two dozen parcels on more than 260 acres are successfully enrolled in the programs, accounting for more than 40% of the former Ardrossan estate’s acreage sold over the last quarter-century, according to an Inquirer analysis of Delaware County records.

» READ MORE: Ardrossan homeowners qualify for local reductions, too — courtesy of programs to save farms

Properties covered by the tax breaks include homes of a leader at a major real estate firm, members of the family that cofounded the Apple Vacations tour business, and the top-ranking member of the County Council for surrounding Delaware County.

The only known agricultural products coming from the enrolled land are the corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay grown there to feed Fern Valley’s cows. While cows do graze on a portion of that land, most of their grass-munching is done on the township-owned property. To Booker, that means Radnor is helping private property owners get their tax breaks because those cows wouldn’t be there absent the generous lease.

Radnor officials defeat measure to cancel ranch lease seen as aiding Ardrossan tax reductions
The decision leaves in place an agreement that Fern Valley Farm has said was vital to its 10-person operation
.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 23, 2021

Officials in Radnor have defeated a measure to cancel a lease on township land for a cattle operation that also helps residents on parts of the former Ardrossan estate save hundreds of thousands each year on their taxes.

In a 4-2 vote with one abstention, the township’s Board of Commissioners on Monday rejected member Richard Booker’s motion to terminate Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease to use 71 acres of publicly owned property for its 60-head Black Angus beef business.

Booker said at the sometimes combative hearing on Monday evening that this was not a good use of the land that Radnor paid $11.7 million to purchase in 2013 and now costs the township $600,000 a year in debt service payments.

“I don’t want anyone to lose their job or for the farm to go away,” said Booker, who is one of two Republicans on the seven-member panel. “What I do want is to get the township out of … the business of farmland-assessment reductions it has been in for the last seven years…….”However, commissioner Lisa Borowski, a Democrat whose ward includes part of the former Ardrossan estate, said residents are benefiting from the deal…..

Borowski also said that the farmland-preservation programs give Ardrossan landowners an incentive not to subdivide and develop their large properties, which they could opt to do. This does not appear to be accurate, since all of the privately held properties enrolled in such programs are also covered by deals known as conservation easements that prohibit them from being further developed in perpetuity, according to an analysis of property records by The Inquirer.

When the former estate was first broken up, buyers of those properties qualified for federal tax breaks for land conservation thanks to those easements, as The Inquirer has reported.

Asked in an interview Tuesday about which properties she was referring to in her public remarks, Borowski referred the question to Township Solicitor John Rice. Rice said he had not performed an analysis that would identify such properties.

Oh and don’t forget, Lisa Borowski is running for State Rep in the 168th against Chris Quinn, right? So maybe it would benefit State Rep Chris Quinn to inquire as to the chemicals used on the fields, etc,. right?

Look, I love open space and I will admit it, I love cows and those cows are awesome and special. BUT chemicals are a big deal and look at all of the things in the news about glyphosate and paraquat-based herbicides? And what about the pesticides they warn about that can harm bees and other beneficial insects? I totally get that not all farmers can go completely organic BUT where this land is being farmed should be part of a more organic plan if not a completely organic conversation, correct?

So time to show ALL of the cards on this, Radnor. At a minimum if you like and respect your farmer, don’t you want him to be able to farm in peace? And farm safely to protect humans, domestic animals, natural water sources, nature in general, etc, etc?

Happy Saturday, and moo.

hey tredyfrrin dodo hamilton neighbors, are you ready for rue dégueulasse in radnor township?

Today Radnor Township is being visited because THEIR planning commission meeting Tuesday September 6th has a big old bomb of a plan which will affect Tredyffrin Township residents in Chester County. The pretentious A.F. name is “St. Honoré” for the development and there is an as equally pretentious A.F. street name proposed of “Rue St. Honoré” .

Zut alors! Mais oui, très prétentieux for a developer whose late father was born in Chester, n’est-ce pas? Which is why I found a better name to propose: Dégueulasse (disgusting, revolting, sh*tty, swinish, putrid) and Rue Dégueulasse or perhaps even Rue Dégoûtant? (And yes, dear developer, I can have these opinions.)

The location of this plan is DoDo Land in Wayne on Strafford Avenue, first mentioned on this blog in 2020. I had written about it then because of Tredyffrin Township residents and Radnor residents, because it just seemed like a shall we say, greedy development prospect?

What is even more concerning is if you look at the planning packet in it’s entirety, it looks like two more properties are folded in? 211 Strafford Avenue and 227 Strafford Avenue?

Here is the packet below. I don’t trust things to not disappear on agendas, so have fun wading through. It also has things on yesterday post concerning Garrett Hill:

Look, this is a lot to digest with VERY little time to do it. I know that Tredyffrin residents were VERY, VERY concerned the last time plans for DoDo Hamilton’s property came up in Radnor. Then I remember the strip the house sale.

And I wouldn’t say DoDo wouldn’t do this, because it was a fact she sold other properties for development when she was alive, correct? Including further out in Chester County? What I also seem to recall were neighbors being super concerned even while DoDo Hamilton was alive about stormwater management issues as a result of this property. And people were super concerned about stormwater management last time this property came up in Radnor, so, what now that it seems two additional properties are part of this?

In 2021, Main Line Today Magazine talked about this project and make sure you look at leadership team page of Haverford Properties:

Without strong preservation ordinances, things like “vinyl windows with short lifespans replace historic wood windows that could be made energy-efficient,” Prichard says. “In the end, all of thesesmall changes lead to a drastic overall change in the appearance of historic neighborhoods, even when no buildings are lost in the process.”

“Unfortunately, I think it’s gone.”

Radnor Township commissioner Jack Larkin is referring to the mansion at the corner of Strafford and Eagle roads once occupied by the late Campbell Soup heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. The township is powerless to stop the razing of the Victorian-era home for a residential development. As written, its preservation ordinance “is very vague,” says Larkin. “We don’t have the authority to preserve private property, [and its location] would make it very difficult to build around it.”

The developer, Haverford Properties Inc., didn’t respond to several requests for comment, and it seems residents are mainly concerned about the density of the development. “There hasn’t been an attempt to save [the mansion], nor any significant community outcry over its impending demise,” says Prichard, a Radnor resident and member of the township‘s historical commission.

~main line today magazine Paul Jablow January 6, 2021

Now I don’t know if Haverford Properties is involved in the development at this point, do you? What I see from the documents in the planning packet, it’s C.F. Holloway. Yessss people, Cas Holloway, and is it fair that some refer to him as a neighborhood killer? Look what he did in Ardmore. The houses he took down were gorgeous old stone Main Line houses, and he pushed people out that I knew who were renters in one address, so IF 211 Strafford Avenue is being folded into this plan, what happens to the Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn?

The Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn is a historic home. I remember when the original B & B owners were looking for approval a bunch of years ago, and you would have thought they wanted to add rapists and murderers to Radnor Township. Ha, those residents should be careful what they wish for, right? In 2016 The Radnor Historical Society honored the Wayne Bed & Breakfast.

Also note this from a Radnor Historical Society 2012 event listing:

Local Garden Tour
Friday, June 7, 2013, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Nominal fee of $10 and reservation required. Tour four unique gardens surrounding wonderful homes in Radnor and Tredyffrin Townships. The tour begins at the garden and greenhouses of Mrs. Dorrance Hamilton (only open from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.). on Strafford Avenue. Then visit the Victorian garden across the street at Traudi and Bob Thomason’s Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn. The Thomason’s property features a 110 foot copper beech, thought to be the second largest in the state, wonderful outdoor spaces for sitting and relaxing, including a large pool and spa surrounded by gardens, and an inviting porch that wraps around the circa 1890 inn. Myrna and Paul Paluba will host at their creatively executed, multilevel garden with raised beds, water features, and a peace garden for contemplation. Maud Walker will host at her garden which is highlighted by an unusual collection of trees and shrubs, including a magnificent weeping beech, whimsical garden decorations, and a replica of an Irish garden shed. Directions to all of the gardens will be provided at the Hamilton property. Further information, including how to make reservations, will be sent to you in March. This event is cosponsored by RHS and the Radnor Conservancy.

~ radnor historical society 2012

Ha! With this development when it comes to plantings and trees, wonder what will be left? Don’t answer that, it’s a we shudder to think conversation, mais oui?

Another old thing I found on Developing DoDo land was

LIFE IN THE BURBS |MAR 03, 2021HAVERFORD PROPERTIES DEVELOPING THE CURRENT HAMILTON PROPERTIES ON STRAFFORD AVE AND EAGLE ROADS IN RADNOR WITH 41-3 STORY TOWNHOMES, AND 9 SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

And then there was an Inquirer article:

Developer to share plans for part of Radnor estate of late Campbell Soup heiress

by Katie Park
Updated Jan 28, 2020

A development company is considering building houses or townhouses on part of the Main Line estate of the late Dorrance H. Hamilton, heir to the multibillion-dollar Campbell Soup fortune.

Representatives of Haverford Properties are scheduled to meet with Radnor Township residents for the first time Thursday.

The company has not formally submitted plans to the township, but some residents, already disgruntled over development in the sought-after area, say they feel a sense of inevitability. Under what’s known as “by-right” development, Haverford Properties can legally build housing on the parcel.

“They have, without question, the right to develop that property. We have no discretion,” said Jack Larkin, a township commissioner who represents the section of Radnor where the development would be built. “We can never say we don’t want a particular industry in our town because we don’t like what it is.”

Then this:

Delco Today: Developer Eyes Houses at Former Wayne Estate of Campbell Soup Heiress Dorrance Hamilton

By David Bjorkgren
Published: 5:14 am EST January 17, 2020
Updated: 7:50 am EST January 17, 2020

A developer has plans for an estate property in Wayne where prominent philanthropist and Campbell Soup Co. heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton lived, writes Linda Stein for Main Line Media News.

Hamilton died in 2017 at the age of 88.  She moved to Wayne with her husband, Samuel M.V. Hamilton, in 1950. He died in 1997.

Radnor Township Board of Commissioners President Jack Larkin reviewed two plans for the property  at Eagle and Strafford roads.

“The first is purportedly a by-right plan, and includes approximately 40 homes,” Larkin wrote in his newsletter.

Larkin felt that plan was unattractive because it meant cramming 40 single family homes on to the two lots.

He was more enthusiastic about a second plan putting 41 town homes on the western lot and nine single-family homes on the eastern lot.

Forty nearby neighbors also weighed in, stating they wanted to “mitigate any negative changes to the neighborhood and keep its current character.”

They asked for no more than 30 town homes on the west lot and no more than seven single-family homes on the east lot.

A meeting between residents and the proposed developer is planned Jan. 30.

Read more about plans for the Hamilton estate here.

~delco today 2020


Main Line Media News did something to their website, so I found one their articles on Delco Times website:

New housing in works for Wayne estate of Campbell Soup heiress Dodo Hamilton

By LINDA STEIN |
PUBLISHED: January 13, 2020 at 11:30 p.m. | UPDATED: August 23, 2021 at 10:47 a.m.

RADNOR – Although no plans have been filed with the township, word is getting around that a developer has set his sights on the Wayne property of the late Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton, who was one of the Main Line’s iconic grande dames.

“The developer has shown me two concept sketches for the lots; the first is purportedly a by-right plan, and includes approximately 40 homes,” Larkin wrote in his newsletter. “This is, to me, an unattractive plan: Because the units are, by right, single family dwellings, cramming 40 homes onto the two lots means filling them with houses without space for buffers, open space, or stormwater recharge areas.”

Larkin continued, “The second plan would require a conditional use approval by the township, and would put approximately 50 homes into the two lots -41 town homes on the western lot, and nine single-family dwellings onto the eastern lot. Because the homes on the western lot are town homes, they leave a lot of space for the things that are absent in the by-right plan: Stormwater management, sidewalks, buffers, and open space. The density is problematic for me, but with that in mind, it is a good plan.”

“When we first discussed the property, they took my stormwater concerns seriously and the concept sketch they presented had already incorporated stormwater management facilities above and beyond what was required by the ordinance,” Larkin wrote. “Second, when they met with the township engineer for feedback, they promptly incorporated his feedback into their design. Third, they’ve already asked for a meeting with residents to discuss their plans and get your feedback.”

Meanwhile, about 40 nearby neighbors sent this statement to Larkin: “We understand and appreciate the developer’s rights to develop the property, and our goal as a neighborhood is not to squash any development, but to mitigate any negative changes to the neighborhood and keep its current character. For those of us who have lived here many years, we have seen the negative effects of cutting down trees on the Hamilton’s property and the building of just four homes on the corner of Strafford and Eagle Road. Despite the assurances of the engineers, developers, and other experts, our neighborhood has been substantially damaged and our lives negatively affected by ‘tiny’ changes to the Hamilton’s property. There are approximately 40 neighbors on Strafford, Hedgerow, Grant, Forrest, Fairfield, and Old Eagle School who will attest to being harmed financially by the improper regulation of storm water runoff in the past.

“The character of the neighborhood will be drastically changed by the proposed development. Haverford Properties is seeking to double the number of homes within our small community. Our current neighborhood contains 35 acres and 64 homes, approximately two homes per acre. The developers plan to build 50 homes will result in 114 homes, for over three homes per acre. We already have a traffic problem, exacerbated by the fact that our community straddles two townships and counties. The Strafford train station is a delightful anchor to our neighborhood, but it too increases motor and foot traffic. Residents are already fearful to walk on Strafford Avenue. It is a death trap (with) no sidewalks, insufficient lighting, and a dangerous curve in the road. As a community we deserve better from both Radnor and Tredyffrin townships.”

~ delco times 2020

I looked on Commisisoner Jack Larkin’s website and couldn’t find anything about DoDo Land. Perhaps he doesn’t want the general public to see his commissioner musings or has he just checked out as a commissioner?

So here is some other stuff on screenshots to make it easy:

Look, Radnor Township doesn’t care if this gets developed, that has always been my opinion. But it is also my opinion that they make have tarted up the proverbial pig here with a new developer, but this is a plan that is still too dense. And now given the meeting agenda states this meeting is slated for NEXT WEEK AS IN THE DAY AFTER LABOR DAY, residents in Radnor and Tredyffrin do not have much time to rally.

THIS IS AN IN PERSON MEETING – Tuesday, September 6, 2022 – 6:30 PM – Radnorshire Room – 301 Iven Avenue Wayne PA 19087-5297

I think this is being put out in the hopes no residents show up after the last holiday weekend of the summer. I think this is deliberate. So residents in Radnor and Tredyffrin, it’s up to you. Below is the link to where you can find the email addresses for Radnor’s Board of Commissioners. Remember in particular that Lisa Borowski is running for State Rep in the 168th. HOLD HER FEET TO THE FIRE.

https://www.radnor.com/government/boards-and-commissions/board-of-commissioners

That is all I have got on this. Residents, you rose up before, just like the residents in Garrett Hill over unwelcome development and more there. Get yourselves to the meeting, but when you storm this Bastille don’t act all cuckoo like Willistown Residents over the sewer sale. Show decorum, make your points, be heard.

Good luck. You will need it here, especially Tredyffrin residents because you are neighbors and affected, but Chester County as well as another municipality. Tredyffrin needs to get their township to take a stand and attend the meeting too. And if zoning variances are sought, Tredyffrin Township needs to be a party to this so their residents can preserve their rights, correct?

utterly classless: radnor’s lisa borowski wants to use garrett hill july 4th parade for politicking for pa 168th? really?

Next to the Ocean City, NJ July 4th parade I remember decorating my bike for as a little girl, one of my favorite July 4th parades ever, ever, ever is Garrett Hill’s in Radnor Township. It’s awesome, old fashioned, about kids, and community.

Or it was.

Apparently….Commissioner Lisa Borowski wants to politick at this event. You see this political desperate Dora who spends most of her time looking like a perky muppet with her bangs in her face is trying to run for State Rep in the 168th. The lines for this district were recently redrawn. She’s as bad as Elaine Paul Sing Song voice, err Schaefer. Now Elaine had a failed run for State Rep in 2016 I think it was, now she sits on Delaware County Council doing who knows what other than shameless self-promotion, but I digress. (Bet she shows up for her gurrrl Lisa, right?)

I have a very strong dislike of politicians who use community and non-profit events for campaign gain. Years ago I yelled at now Mrs. Septa Leslie Richards when she used First Friday Main Line as a politicking event. That did not make me a fan favorite with some local Democrats back then, but I have no regrets, it sucked and was wrong.

What Lisa Borowski is attempting to do is also classless, tacky, and wrong. That she would use a beloved tradition for personal gain like this is despicable AND shows you what kind of a State Rep she would be. She has already proven herself fairly useless as a Radnor Commissioner.

Radnor Democrats should be ashamed of her and stop this.

If she goes through with having her campaign walk in a parade designed for kids and families, keep it simple: BOO LOUDLY and videotape/ record it. This parade is NOT ABOUT HER CAMPAIGN!

Email your displeasure to: lborowski@radnor.org AND CC info@lisaforpa168.com

This is utterly unacceptable and selfish and tacky and classless. Sorry not sorry for being repetitive here about this.

Say NO to Lisa Borowski July 4th in Garrett Hill and November when you vote.

hey radnor, where’s the beef ?

Not a sign you expect to see on the Main Line is it?

Radnor Township hates when you ask questions about Ardrossan and so does a certain Delaware County Commissioner and former Radnor Commissioner, right?

We will start with Radnor Township is just an odd place. Betwixt and between. They want to be super Main Line and forget they are part of Delaware County. (Of course people in other parts of Delaware County have always said they wished they could forget about Radnor, so it is a push me pull you, I suppose?) They were super slim shady politically until it came to a head years ago and the former manager was removed and elections (and scandals) bit by bit got rid of shall we say…interesting commissioners? Then they got another manager who didn’t use a Radnor credit card to buy stuff (like $400K was misspent or something? See this old report also embedded below) and there was a brief renaissance where things in Radnor veered away from slim shady into the sunshine.

But as with all things political, it was cyclical, and now the pendulum seems to be swinging slightly back slim shady or teetering on it, right? The current township manager is the last manager’s finance guy, not really suited to be a township manager either by education or temperament. Nice guy, very intelligent, but doesn’t seem to like to interact with the public much, does he? His assistant is the proverbial gatekeeper, and oh don’t necessarily count on a reply if you email. Control is the name of the game, I think, only who is actually in control these days? A lot of the commissioners are new and they don’t seem to get the basics like of course they might not get a quorum to have a commissioners meeting April 11th (today) which is undoubtedly why they cancelled it…Easter week.

But back to Ardrossan….

Adrossan was the estate legends were literally made of. The inspiration for A Philadelphia Story and High Society. A literally gorgeous and amazing estate. But once Bobby Scott, Hope’s son died, you knew it was only a matter of time until the march of McMansions really arrived. And McMansions were born.

So one has to ask since the McMansions seem to enjoy farming and agricultural perks although none of those people probably even cut their own lawns. The Ardrossan Farm development was approved in 2014. But what I can’t find is if the roads within the development suddenly became private roads? Why do I ask? That photo above. Taken at an entrance point into the nouveau development so are those roads publicly dedicated streets or not? If they are public with Radnor doing plowing, etc, why the “Private Community” sign?

Now in 2013, Radnor inked a deal to buy 71 acres of Ardrossan for $11+ million. Wheeler Field, Quarry Field, Rye Field. “Everyone loves the cows” was a catchy phrase back then attributed to a commissioner then who is on Delaware County Council now, and some say has higher aspirations still. The farmer is also on two other fields nearby supposedly, correct? Not owned by Radnor Township but old Ardrossan Land?

So there is a farmer farming on the Radnor Township land. That started I guess around 2015 as per an old Patch article? In same family that worked for Hope Scott when it was Ardrossan proper, correct? Main Line Media News reported back then that residents were concerned about chemicals being used on the land. At that time, Main Line Media News quoted Commissioner Elaine Paul Schaefer (now of Delaware County Council):

“I believe a license agreement with the current farmer will be on the agenda for one of our next meetings, so we will have the opportunity to hear resident comment and discuss all the issues involved,” said Schaefer. “The current farmer has been farming the Ardrossan land for over 25 years, and his father farmed it for the generation before him. I believe that most residents would like to see this farmer continue to farm the land, as his very unique operation provides the beloved cows that beautify the landscape. As I understand it, the proposed license will require that the farmer utilize best management practices and adhere to the NCRS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) approved soil conservation plan.”

~ Elaine Paul Schaefer to main line media news 3/3/2015

So, I think it’s wonderful part of Ardrossan is still farmed, don’t misunderstand me, but well, what chemicals are being used on the fields? Especially since the farmer who farms there (his farm is called Fern Valley Farm, correct?) also has the cows/steer he tends to, the last of the famous Ayrshire steer, right? So if he is raising feed corn etc. for said cattle, what are they ingesting? Way back when Radnor inked this deal with the farmer, people urged the farmer to be as organic as possible so what today, in 2022 is happening? Is there a correct list of chemicals? You know like Round Up and Round Up laced engineered seed?

Look, there are natural water sources everywhere, so isn’t it important? There is a sign outside the farmer’s farm that says “BEEF” so if he’s selling, wouldn’t you like to know what chemicals the butchered beasts were exposed to? This is why so many people like to buy organic meat today, correct? And people pay big bucks gladly for organic meat, poultry, fish, produce, yes?

So Radnor, where’s the beef? And is there an official farm store, USDA and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture listing for Fern Valley Farm? I looked and can’t find it. Truthfully, I think it’s great if the farmer can sell his products, as long as it is done right and isn’t meat it’s whole special category? How it’s butchered, stored, etc?

Back to field chemicals. Trout season is now open, right? So wouldn’t fishermen like to know what chemicals the Ardrossan farmer is using right now in 2022 and what they have been using in years past? Again, I looked to see if I could find it listed anywhere and came up empty.

So in addition to trout and the famous Ardrossan “cows” isn’t there a bald eagle now at the Willows nearby and there used to be big blue herons too, right? So what is the beautiful wildlife ingesting courtesy of whatever Radnor’s farmer uses? And kids are all over that area and isn’t that Quarry field slated for being part of the trails there or something at some point?

Sadly, public land requires public answers does it not? So what chemicals are being used on the land where the farmer farms that is owned by Radnor? I am of the opinion that Radnor Township can’t just be environmentally friendly for show, and it’s great they want to ban plastic bags too, but what about this? Why is it such a big deal for their tenant to produce a list of chemicals used?

So this isn’t the only curious part of Ardrossan tales of today is it? The other part is whatever benefits from farming the McMansion dwellers who have bought on Ardrossan land get? This has all swirled in the media for years. In November there was a movement which was defeated to cancel the farmer’s $1 a year lease:

Radnor official says cattle are part of a tax dodge at the former Ardrossan estate
Richard Booker’s motion would end Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease for land that the township paid almost $12 million for in 2013.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 12, 2021

An elected official in Radnor is pushing for the township to cancel its lease with a cattle rancher on publicly owned land that had once been part of the sprawling Ardrossan estate, saying the deal helps wealthy landowners on other sections of the former estate take unfair advantage of tax breaks for agriculture.

Richard Booker’s motion, which he plans to introduce at a Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 22, would end the agreement that lets rancher Richard Billheim’s Fern Valley Farm use 71 acres of township-owned property for its beef cow operation in exchange for $1 a year.

Booker said in a memo with his motion that he decided to take action on the lease after reading an article published earlier this year by The Inquirer about the tax breaks at the former estate enabled by statewide agricultural-conservation programs under Act 319 — better known as “Clean and Green” — and Act 515.

The programs tax land for what it is worth as a working farm and not what its value would be if sold on the open market for housing, strip malls, or offices. Under Act 319, by far the most commonly used of the programs at Ardrossan and elsewhere, the land must produce $2,000 a year in farm goods.

At least two dozen parcels on more than 260 acres are successfully enrolled in the programs, accounting for more than 40% of the former Ardrossan estate’s acreage sold over the last quarter-century, according to an Inquirer analysis of Delaware County records….Properties covered by the tax breaks include homes of a leader at a major real estate firm, members of the family that cofounded the Apple Vacations tour business, and the top-ranking member of the County Council for surrounding Delaware County.

The only known agricultural products coming from the enrolled land are the corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay grown there to feed Fern Valley’s cows...While cows do graze on a portion of that land, most of their grass-munching is done on the township-owned property. To Booker, that means Radnor is helping private property owners get their tax breaks because those cows wouldn’t be there absent the generous lease.

~Philadelphia inquirer november, 2021

Radnor officials defeat measure to cancel ranch lease seen as aiding Ardrossan tax reductions
The decision leaves in place an agreement that Fern Valley Farm has said was vital to its 10-person operation.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 23, 2021

Officials in Radnor have defeated a measure to cancel a lease on township land for a cattle operation that also helps residents on parts of the former Ardrossan estate save hundreds of thousands each year on their taxes.

In a 4-2 vote with one abstention, the township’s Board of Commissioners on Monday rejected member Richard Booker’s motion to terminate Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease to use 71 acres of publicly owned property for its 60-head Black Angus beef business.

The decision leaves in place an agreement that Fern Valley has said was vital to its 10-person operation, which also relies on feed crops grown on sections of the former estate that are now private homesteads.

Because of this reliance, Booker has argued that the lease is helping some of those private property owners claim property breaks available to land that is farmed.

~ philadelphia inquirer november 2021

So here’s an article about how the Ardrossan homeowners enjoy ag benefits although they aren’t farmers, per se:

Ardrossan homeowners qualify for local reductions, too — courtesy of programs to save farms
Dozens of properties at the former Ardrossan estate are covered under state abatement schemes, including the Act 319 “Clean and Green” program, that give landowners local tax breaks for farmland.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Jul 16, 2021

Thanks in part to 60 cows that they don’t have to wrangle, many of the wealthy homeowners who dot the sprawling acreage of the former Ardrossan estate have found a way to qualify for local tax breaks along with federal reductions.

That’s because the owners are taking advantage of state laws that permit them to pare down the property taxes owed to Delaware County, Radnor Township, and Radnor schools by registering their land as farms.

The tax breaks under state law are open only to parcels at the former estate larger than 10 acres. For lots under that size, the nonprofit that owns the land is arguing in Delaware County Court that it shouldn’t be taxed at all because restrictions on development have stripped it of all value….at least two dozen parcels — accounting for more than 40% of the former estate’s acreage sold by Eddie Scott’s businesses — are successfully enrolled in state agricultural-protection programs that qualify owners for tax cuts, according to an Inquirer analysis of Delaware County records obtained under the state’s Right to Know Law.

Those owners have seen their realty taxes reduced by an estimated total of $490,000 this year, a 30% reduction from the $1.6 million they would have owed without the discount, the analysis shows…

~ philadelphia inquirer july 2021

Yes, there were a LOT of Ardrossan related or touching articles in 2021. It kind of made me sad, in a way. Almost like the whole allure of that amazing estate were being tarnished in some way.

That is the problem with a lot of these large parcels of land. We see it here in Chester County. Not all are under any sort of conservation easements which is causing eruptions in many places in Chester County right now. You can’t make people conserve land, and then there is how do you make it attractive to conserve/preserve land? And developers just salivate at the prospect of these properties everywhere, and what developers can afford to buy versus what farmers can afford to buy versus what land and nature conservancies can afford to buy are all very different and difficult conversations, correct?

But the most bombshell of the Ardrossan related bombshell articles to me was the in depth Inquirer report:

Open Space, Closed Gates
Tax reductions were on offer to buyers in exchange for protecting the land. But the public cannot enter.

Jacob Adelman
Staff Writer July 16, 2021

This is an article that is too extensive to unpack and briefly excerpt, so people have to read it themselves. What makes this whole thing at Ardrossan even more controversial is the involvement of the North American Land Trust, which has found itself in hot water in 2022 for it’s relationship with Donald Trump. (Also click HERE.)

In an effort to bring this post full circle, many people always wondered how things with Ardrossan and what is left of this estate got here to this point today. And I think that is in part because it has always felt dually shielded in secrecy and controversy, right or wrong.

BUT why else would it behoove Radnor Township to lift the veil? It makes it easier for other people, other municipalities, other farmers trying to farm in the tri-county area. Farming is so under siege, and ironically, most often the farmers under siege are the one who play by the rules, correct? No one is saying farmer don’t farm, they just want to know about the chemicals in the fields and the beef of it all, right? However, people are asking questions about McMansion owners doing a modern spin on the whole feudal thing of it all including ag benefits, correct?

Come one Radnor, set the record straight, and is it really that hard to do these days?

Here are some more articles of a more recent past vintage on Ardrossan:

Ardrossan estate’s final chapter by Ryan Richards May 8, 2007

Another Ardrossan tract goes on the block Anthony Roberts April 27, 2005

For sale: A piece of the storied Ardrossan estate Anthony Roberts, April 7, 2005

Residents worry over herbicide use at Ardrossan Farm By Linda Stein March 3, 2015

Calf at former Ardrossan farm in Radnor diagnosed with rabies by Linda Stein April 17, 2018

Development underway at Ardrossan property in Radnor by Linda Stein August 22, 2018

Conservancy raising moo-la to save the cows by Joan Bang November 2, 2011

Ardrossan: Preserving Radnor’s green heart by Mike Weilbacher September 20, 2011

Radnor inks deal with Ardrossan farmer, approves Villanova West End Zone by Linda Stein September 23, 2021

breaking news: haverford school goes big for an additional school home

I get the most interesting tips at times. This afternoon I found out as folks involved with The Haverford School currently (parents, staff, or other) or attended (alumni) that Haverford School has seemingly accomplished what Agnes Irwin couldn’t do a few years ago in Easttown.

What am I talking about with Irwins? See:

What Does a Sprawling Berwyn Estate, a Hollywood-related Socialite, a Private Girls School and a Planning Commission Have in Common?

Supporters of Agnes Irwin School Using Scare Tactics in Berwyn Neighborhood Over Land Development Plans

Yes I digress, and what makes what I am about to disclose that Haverford School is doing is different because Haverford School was SMART, they sought a property to expand with a land use that was pre-existing and conducive to a school. So it’s apples to apples, not apples to oranges.

Haverford School apparently has had their bid accepted in Radnor Township for what locals remember as the Presbyterian Children’s Village on South Roberts Road. It was once the estate of Samuel Robinson (ACME Markets – same family as Crebilly, correct?) and called “Glencoe”.

Presbyterian Children’s Village: the former Glencoe Estate from Radnor Historical Society on Vimeo.

Presbyterian Children’s Village (now known as “The Village” if it still exists, not sure) was founded in Philadelphia in the 1870s as an orphanage. (See this article in a Wayne Presbyterian Church Bulletin) In 1926, Samuel Robinson, then President of ACME Markets bought the Glencoe Estate in Rosemont, which had originally been owned by Thomas McKean, Jr who had a similarly named relative who was a a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The estate was the creation of George Bispham Page. Mr. Robinson bequeathed Glencoe to the Presybyterian Church in 1959, and that is how the Presbyterian Children’s Village came to be there.

In recent years, until it closed, I vaguely recall negative press when it came to the Presbyterian Children’s Village. I found this: click HERE, click HERE, click HERE, click HERE. I actually knew someone once who was a children and youth social worker. Worked at Presbyterian Children’s Village for a few years. Did not like it and left

It is remarkable Glencoe has survived. And no matter what my mixed feelings about The Haverford School are at times, one can definitely say they respect the historic structures on their campus in Haverford, and I think they will undoubtedly continue to do so. Expanding their campus here I feel is a good thing. They are landlocked in their current location and that has always been a burden to their neighbors among other things.

I found a cache of the listing when it was on the Financial Times website. See screenshot:

I also found the listing lingering HERE , HERE, and HERE. Mostly the listing appears taken down. So here are screenshots of what I got a copy of (or you can refer to embedded PDF above):

Hopefully Radnor Township residents around this location on South Roberts Road are pleased. They should be. They have been saved the unpleasant fate of a housing development, apartments, condos, townhouses, etc.

I wonder how they will weave in the existing campus in Haverford, which sits in both Lower Merion and Haverford Townships. Hopefully it all works out.

chester county melting pot?

The above T-shirts crack me up, although I can’t take credit for their creation. You can buy them through My Chesco.

I thought of them this morning when I saw a post on NextDoor about moving to Chester County but being from Delaware County…and how moving here was a huge culture shock.

Different, yes, but culture shock? Meh, not so much in my opinion.

Now I was a newcomer not so many years ago and it was different. But that for me I think was mostly that I had not only lived in one place before Chester County for so many years, but because I was in my mid-40s. When you are younger or have young kids I think it’s just easier to assimilate and find commonality. I couldn’t have kids and was moving here and becoming a stepparent.

I think what made the move adjustment take time was because I was moving into a very established community, where people had lived for generations. However that was one of the things I liked best about coming to Chester Country. People put down roots and stay. Of course, with all the development these days I wonder if that will stay the same in the future? Because it didn’t stay the same in other places like the Main Line and Delaware County and other parts of Montgomery County.

Now as for the Delco pizza of it all I can’t really comment. Never had Gaetano’s and never understood the religion of Picas. Yes, sacrilege, I understand but I do not hail from Delco, I came from Main Line/ Montco. And I like my own pizza better with the exception of Tacconelli’s and the former Mack and Manco, now Manco and Manco in Ocean City, NJ. And out here Fiorello’s makes amazing pizza too.

What was immediately different for me personally when I moved to Chester County, was simply put, people were just a little nicer. The Main Line was super bitchy with a dash of misplaced entitlement by the time I left thanks to the Nouveau Main Line. Social climbers had created a blood sport, and those folks are exhausting (as well as ridiculous.)

Now I know plenty of people who refer to parts of Chester County as “Delco West” and for some I suppose that’s how they see it. I don’t. I see Chester County as Chester County a place with a rich heritage and am so glad I am here. I could wish for LESS development because that would put it in the category of “Delco West” via that perspective.

I have always known folks who grew up in Delco as quite literally “Delco Proud” and I respect that, it’s where they are from. It’s their Mother Ship so to speak. I wish I could say that about the Main Line but I can’t because the Main Line might have her history and memory pages on social media (where for some odd reason people are obsessed lately about discussing the Pew family and an estate that was broken up decades ago), but it has changed so very much. And not for the positive.

I will always have a lot of great as well as mediocre memories of the Main Line, but it is no longer my homeland and is not my Mother Ship. I do not miss the Main Line. I miss friends, but I do not miss living there at all. I love living in Chester County in spite of the nasty comments I get occasionally about what I write about.

And Chester County feels like home because it is home. Home is where my heart and friends and family are, right here in Chester County.

Thanks for stopping by.

further adventures in search of christmas spirit

Today we went to visit our friend Lisa who owns Brandywine View Antiques in Chadds Ford.

Three floors of festive fabulous and Christmas magic!!! Enjoy a sneak peek in my photos and go visit! Masks required and hand sanitizer stations throughout the store.

Brandywine View Antiques is located at 1244 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford, PA. Wednesday through Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM.

need some more merry festivus? try brandywine view antiques in chadds ford!

We had an appointment down in Chadds Ford late this afternoon so I asked my husband if we could stop at Brandywine View Antiques.

Brandywine View Antiques is locates at 1244 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford, PA 19317, incidentally.

I adore the owner of Brandywine View, Lisa. She is just an awesome human being and I love to be around her. She’s a straight shooter and real. And she has an awesome eye.

When the holidays roll around, Lisa is always is on point. She has a carefully curated collection of old, new, and vintage. This year is even better than last year and I didn’t think she could top last year.

I went for some reproduction decorations including red mercury glass pinecones. I have been looking for red and green ones. I walked into Brandywine View and there they were!

Now because of the state of my knee I could not venture upstairs at Brandywine View Antiques. There are literally three floors of fun!

Anyway, there are still a few days of Christmas shopping left so don’t forget about places like Chadds Ford and Kennett Square too! Brandywine View Antiques is the perfect place to start!

I am not compensated in any way for this post. I am just a happy customer.

#nobillboardsintheburbs

Back to billboards. Happy Holidays affected residents, the issue that never seems to go away is back again.

May, 2009. That was the first billboard hearing about billboards in Haverford Township.

This includes the two ginormous billboards proposed for Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr across from the Bryn Mawr ACME and Our Mother of Good Counsel Church. Two ginormous billboards that would cast a ginormous shadow on lovely small neighborhoods in the vicinity.

Now mind you this was only one site proposed for Haverford Township, there were multiple sites. All in the shadow of churches, schools, small businesses, neighborhoods. And don’t forget the issue at five points in Bryn Mawr, which while technically in Lower Merion, also affects Radnor and Haverford Townships as this is the literal point where two counties and three townships meet. (To see articles about this topic, go to Main Line Media News and search “billboards, Bryn Mawr“.)

Well here we are at the end of 2019 and billboards are back as you can see above. This letter was sent out by Haverford Township 5th Ward commissioner Andy Lewis.

Andy said:

📌As per the attached letter, the hearing on the application of the Bartkowski Investment Group to install billboards in four locations in Haverford Township, including two along Lancaster Avenue at Old Lancaster and Penn Street, is scheduled to commence on Tuesday, January 21st and continue for three days. Please save the dates📌

I never know what the media is going to cover or not cover, and they have been quite devoted over the years to the residents potentially affected by these billboards. However, I have a lot of friends that still live near these billboards sites so I am posting this because how could I not? Back in the day I went to every billboard hearing until I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2011.

I will also note this is the same company residents in Tredyffrin are fighting. (See Community Matters.) In Tredyffrin they want to tear down the historic toll house replica built by Okie at Lancaster Ave and Route 252 in Paoli. (Also see Ban Digital Billboard in Paoli Page on Facebook.)

I saved lots of photos from these old Haverford Township hearings and I’m posting a few of them here. I want people to see things like when the firetruck shot their ladder up in Haverford Township above houses to show how tall the billboards would be. Or when residents in Haverford Township made a mock-up using big blue tarps of the actual size of a billboard screen being proposed. and photos of residents taking to the streets over this issue.

I no longer live in or near the areas of Haverford Township being threatened, nor do I live close by to the proposed site in Tredyffrin in Paoli. But as a citizen of this country until they revoke it, I still have my First Amendment Rights… which interestingly enough has always seem to be one of the arguments for why these billboards should be allowed and I’ve never understood that and can you understand that?

#NoBillboardsInTheBurbs pass it on. Please support the residents of Haverford Township, Lower Merion Township, Tredyffrin Township, and any other township who objects to these monstrosities in their communities.

I will also note that four states—Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine—have prohibited billboards. Yes, they banned them. So why can’t we say no?

I wonder would the folks from the billboard company want BIG digital billboards on their front lawns? Probably not and I doubt their neighbors would either, right? So why shouldn’t these communities be able to say “no thank you”?

BILLBOARDS = BLIGHT