not sure what to do with this?

Being a blogger is sometimes a strange business.  The document I am sharing pertaining to development in East Whiteland and purported number of students that some developments old and new add to the Great Valley School District. It was left in my mailbox a couple of days ago. No note, no envelope.

The letter is written by David C. Babbitt & Associates (CLICK HERE FOR SCAN of what I have called frazer lanes)

frazer lanes 1

Frazer Lanes 2

Frazer Lanes 3

Now when it comes to experts and consultants, the voice of one of my favorite former Lower Merion Commissioners named Lew Gould comes to mind. He said one time when it came to a particular traffic study at the time that those who commission the studies gets what they pay for.

I will also note that this letter ONLY ADDRESSES APARTMENTS. Not other kinds of developments. Not townhouses, not “carriage homes”, not single family homes. I think the numbers might creep up significantly?

So I do not know what to think of this thing that was left for me. But I do not feel I am sharing anything privileged or illegal.  As a matter of fact this is the type of information which would be shared with a municipality during a planning process. I belive this was left for me because I have been critical of the affect of new development on the school districts in Chester County, in this case this study pertains to Great Valley.

Where I find this puzzling is it kind of runs contrary to some of what I have heard pertaining to the elementary schools in Great Valley School District and how crowded they are becoming.  I have also heard the high school is incredibly crowded.  My days with kids in any school district is done, and our son went to a charter school.

I figure this letter is another good place to start a conversation.

Thoughts?

can you hear the people NOW, east goshen?

East Goshen Township meeting 10/25/2018. Residents from multiple municipalities packed the board room. Inside and outside the room.

East Goshen got a good dose of the public’s ire in three municipalities over their proposed zoning changes last evening.

Now I am still not sure how the meeting ended other than I don’t think anything was completely decided and the supervisors were clearly annoyed that the public had the temerity to pack the house . I was watching on YouTube and fell asleep.

Here are two photos people sent to me. One from inside the meeting room, and one from the standing room only overflow in the hall. I really do not know what ails the newer commissioners to the East Goshen board but I hope they snap out of it. But I don’t know that they will, do you?

Prior to this East Goshen has always been such a jewel because it avoided this kind of development and it avoided rezoning that would ruin it.

But now? They are all short-sighted. Changing the zoning to add cluster development is a mistake. Not just my opinion apparently given the turn out last night would be my guess. What they want to do isn’t visionary. It’s stupid and greedy.

It adds more traffic, it will crush the infrastructure, it could very well affect the school district, and what about those of us on wells and stuff as all this development affects us too?

What about nature in the equation? These parcels support a lot of magnificent wildlife and more so what about that?

In my opinion, the majority of developers don’t care. It’s all about their profit and the more they can do high density housing no matter how a property sits the more profits they make. Because face it they are clustering the houses because they can’t use all of the land. Another example would be the hideousness going on over on Church Road in Malvern. Or even within the same school district East Goshen sits in. What about Greystone Hall in West Goshen?

It’s all about the money, honey. These municipalities do not care about the existing residents. Neither do the developers. It’s about profit margins. Ratables. Nothing about reality. Nothing about us.

The reality is more meetings throughout Chester County need to be packed. If we don’t stand up a lot more often and demand our open space and farms be saved and respected the pace of development will never slow.

We also need to elect better local politicians. And better state level politicians. The Municipalities Planning Code needs to be updated with better protections.

We need more land conservation and fewer plastic mushroom house farms. We need more real farms.

And we need a county planning commission run by someone from Chester County, not Lower Merion which is a land of infill development. I asked at least 15 years ago what was actually smart about “smart growth” and I am still waiting.

If we all don’t get more active in our communities we are going to look like parts of Bucks County, Montgomery County, and outside Harrisburg where it used to be open space and rolling farm land. Now it’s development after development punctuated by some version of a strip mall.

Thank you to all of the residents who went last night. Everyone can watch a replay by following this link.

I will note at the end an East Goshen supervisor took a jab at neighboring municipality East Whiteland for not letting residents know this was happening. O.k. not wrong but hey East Goshen did you really go out of your way to get this issue out there? Come on now, wouldn’t you have been just as happy with stealth mode?

Here are the names of the East Goshen Supervisors:

Here is a link to their page on the East Goshen website. It’s time to start contacting them (politely). If the public does NOT keep up the pressure, this zoning will become reality. Even if you live in a neighboring municipality, if you are against this, you should contact them. And contact your own supervisors in your municipality.

Be vocal. Be present. And East Goshen residents? If you don’t like the decisions change the faces of who governs you. Be a stakeholder where you live. Not a sheeple.

East Goshen Township meeting 10/25/2018. Residents from multiple municipalities packed the board room. Inside and outside the room.

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

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

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

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

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

To quote their email and attachment today:

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

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

Oh and here are the potentially affected parcels and acreage:

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

980 Hershey Mill Road (34.7acres)

1469 Morstein Road(20.6acres)

401 Ellis Lane (87.3acres)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the farmhouse rots?

Yesterday I wrote about the old historic farmhouse in East Whiteland on Church Road.

This morning I happened to drive by as a passenger in a car.

Simply put, how in the hell is this farmhouse being preserved exactly? Does this perhaps more closely resemble demolition by neglect versus historic preservation? The freaking place is collapsing, it’s clearly visible from the road so WTF?

Also note the “planting” photos. Cheap trees planted too closely together. Wonder if any are on the invasive species list like the developer special Bradford Pear? Whatever these trees will be mostly dead in a few years, wait and see. (sorry not sorry, my opinion as an experienced gardener. I find it ludicrous that these developers clear-cut forest and field, only to plant poorly.)

If Toll Brothers can get up the sales office for their Great Valley Crossing Development don’t they have time or shouldn’t they have time to save the historic farmhouse like people were told would happen?

the serious acreage of greystone in west chester bites the dust as development begins….

1485894280_blob (1)

Found on the internet

Long before I moved to Chester County I had heard of Greystone Hall.  Probably because the Jerrahian family live on the Main Line.  At least some of them do. In 2001 they were subjected to an attempted eminent domain taking from the West Chester school district. Yes, shades of Stoneleigh.

West Chester Daily Local Jerrehian owner condemns district
Kevin Plunkett Oct 15, 2001 Comments

“Before taking such and extreme step, the school district should go out of its way to be careful, fair and beyond reproach,” said Dean Jerrehian in a statement sent to area newspapers Sunday. “It is bad enough for the government to take someone’s property, but it is even worse to take it on a few days notice …and especially if they are not even sure they really want it.”

Jerrehian, one of the members of the Jerrehian Partnership, which owns the 400-plus acre property in West Goshen, was referring to an announcement made last week that the West Chester school board intends to discuss possible acquisition of a portion of the property for its proposed new high school.

He raised several objections to the possible move, including that it may not be the best site for the school, that its cost is uncertain, and that the district “has not fully explored all feasible alternatives.”

Jerrehian also said Sunday that by making its announcement on the heels of the Jerrehian Partnership’s application to create an Agricultural Secuirty Area for the property, which he referred to as his family’s farm …..The district said the action was taken because the Jerrehian owners recently filed an application with West Goshen to create an Agricultural Security Area protection. If that application is granted, the district could have a more difficult, lengthy and costly road to eventually buying the land through eminent domain.

Explaining his family’s decision to set the agricultural district up, Jerrehian said corn and “other field crops” are being grown on parts of the property. He did not know how many acres were under cultivation, however……All that was mentioned was that the district is interested in roughly 108 acres near the Greenhill Road and Route 100 intersection, he said.

Mind you that was not the only property at that time the WCASD tried to take. There as also the Singer Farm.  Unrelated, but the same time frame would have been the Saha Farm in Coatesville.

During at least a month or better in the winter of 2001, The Daily Local wrote a series of articles on eminent domain that I thought were quite powerful.  Here is an excerpt from one of the 2001 articles:

….America’s frontier has been closed for well over a century now. Its citizens, though, still need roads, schools and utilities. Its leaders develop plans for land improvements and economic revitalization. And the two groups face potentially bitter conflicts, here in Chester County and across the nation, over the locations of these projects on the one-time frontier and over the means by which those in charge carry out their plans…..In Valley, more than half of Dick and Nancy Saha’s 45-acre farm is under threat. The city of Coatesville, in an effort to revitalize its economy, is attempting to take the land for a recreation center and 18-hole golf course. The Sahas, vowing to fight the city’s condemnation to the Supreme Court, are seeking allies among public officials and the public. The Valley board of supervisors has joined their cause.

In East Bradford, the West Chester Area School District’s proposal for a new high school led to rushed efforts to take 102 acres of Philadelphia real-estate developer Michael Singer’s 172-acre farm on Route 322. Singer and his attorneys successfully fought off the school district’s plans earlier this year, with an assist from East Bradford officials who opposed the location of a large high school on the land.

Yes, I digress. But a point is coming. I have no clue what happened to Michael Singer’s 172 acres after they beat back the West Chester Area School District in 2001:

“In an opinion issued Tuesday, Court of Common Pleas Judge William Mahon ruled that the school district’s April 6, 2000 meeting — at which it voted to acquire 105 acres of Michael Singer’s 172-acre farm to build a new high school and athletic fields — was “void and of no effect” because it violated state “sunshine,” or open meeting, laws.”

I remember cheering the Jerrehian family’s victory over the West Chester Area School District.  But when I saw their plans for Greystone years later filed in West Goshen Township, I almost regretted cheering them on because I wondered for what did we cheer? So they could develop hundreds of ticky tacky new construction boxes? (Greystone-NID-Plan-Presentation-11.3.17-rev._2)

In late 2017, Bill Rettew wrote about this Greystone Development:

598 homes to be built in West Goshen
By Bill Rettew Jr. brettew@dailylocal.com Oct 11, 2017 Comments

WEST GOSHEN >> A development project to construct 598 homes at the 433-acre Jerrehian property is shovel ready.

The township has approved the project, Woodlands at Greystone, at the former Sharpless Estate, with the potential developer still seeking an OK from supervisors to establish a Neighborhood Improvement District.

The property stretches from Phoenixville Pike on the southeast, the Route 322 Bypass to the south, near Pottstown Pike on the northwest and Greenhill Road to the north.

Through the NID, future homeowners would foot the bill for 30 years to pay off a bond issue financing almost $21 million of infrastructure improvements…..Greystone Manor will continue to operate on its own 35 acre lot.

The article quotes West Goshen Supervisors. Specifically FORMER Supervisor  Ray Halverson and still existing Supervisor Chris Pielli.  I will be honest that I think West Goshen is one of the more problematic Chester County municipalities and are part of the lovely Mariner II pipeline ground zero as it were.  Them approving this is sheer lunacy and am I alone in this opinion? And yes, I understand all too well the realities of development but when will more municipalities in PA do what is right for residents?

I had put Greystone out of my head until up popped an article this week in the Philadelphia Business Journal by Natalie Kostelni.

The week before the September 5th Philadelphia Business Journal article, there was also an article in the Daily Local on August 29 about construction starting. It featured  heart wrenching photos of construction equipment digging up the earth.

All of this comes on the heels of Crebilly in Westtown news from Mindy which I will share :
*******************************************

Dear Friends,

Crebilly Farm/Toll Brothers Conditional Use appeal court date is quickly approaching and I hope you are planning to attend:
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH, 1PM, Chester County Justice Center, 201 West Market Street, West Chester  COURTROOM #1 (Not #15).
We are coming upon what could be the final moments of what will set the tone for a long time to come.  Our national history is in jeopardy and all of us will pay a dear price in traffic congestion and environmental damages if the Judge grants this appeal.
 
Last week, I attended the Chester County Commissioners Meeting and asked the Commissioners ‘What can the public do between now and the court appeal to keep this fresh in the minds of others?  Can we write letters to the Judge?’  I learned this is an option and it is up to the discretion of each judge whether they will read them or not.
 
FRIENDS, THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION– for each and everyone of us; all those reading this message and all those you can share this message with.  I am calling on everyone for a new letter writing campaign- ASAP!   Please send a mailed letter in opposition of the proposed development via snail mail- yes, snail mail– one to the Judge and one to the Commissioners!  Please be polite.  If it’s too much to write a letter, that’s okay, then just write a sentence- and please mail it snail mail.  If it’s too much to write a sentence, that’s okay too, then please mail an empty envelope with the following message on the front at the bottom:   
PLEASE PRESERVE OUR NATIONAL HISTORY ON CREBILLY FARM!
*Every letter/sentence/envelope needs to have written on the front of the envelope at the bottom: 
PLEASE PRESERVE OUR NATIONAL HISTORY ON CREBILLY FARM!  
We need to flood the Judge and Commissioners’ mailboxes, office and desks with letters from all over West Chester, the county, the state and the country!  Make copies of the same letter and send numerous copies to both.  Flood them like the Brandywine River last week!  Whether the letters are opened or not, I think our message on the front of the envelopes will be pretty hard to miss and talked about by all.
SEND YOUR SNAIL MAIL TO:
The Honorable Judge Tunnell
Justice Center
201 W. Market Street
West Chester, PA  19380
*Remember to include on the front of each envelope at the bottom:
PLEASE PRESERVE OUR NATIONAL HISTORY ON CREBILLY FARM
 
Chester County Commissioners
313 W. Market Street
Suite 6202
West Chester, PA  19380
*Remember to include on the front of the each envelope at the bottom:
PLEASE PRESERVE OUR NATIONAL HISTORY ON CREBILLY FARM
Friends, this is MASSIVE PUBLIC OUTCRY.  And I promise- it’s now or never.  I thought it one of the silliest ideas ever to ride my horse through the nearby neighborhoods of Crebilly Farm almost two years ago to raise awareness, but it was all I could think to do at the time.  To my surprise, it woke people up.  And then together, we woke up the Westtown Township BOS.  And they heard us.  And they voted ‘NO.’  Time to wake up the Judge and Commissioners before it is too late.
If not you, then who?
Sincerely,
Mindy Rhodes

******************************************

So back to Greystone. It is over 400 acres, right? And it has how many homes ultimately planned? 598 houses? So even if this development is built in stages, it is the same school district as Crebilly, so if Crebilly goes through where is West Chester Area School District going to go to get more land now?  How will THAT school district handle all of these new district families?

Kind of ironic, and bitterly so, isn’t it? The Jerrehian family saves their property from eminent domain via a school district to turn around and sell to a developer? Makes you wonder if this is the ultimate FU to a school district, doesn’t it?

But it’s not just the school district which will suffer, is it?

Chester County collectively needs to seriously wake the hell up.  And that includes that misbegotten Chester County Planning Commission headed by a Lower Merion Township Resident, doesn’t it? Pick a school district. Pick a municipality.  All the land is going under developers’ collective shovels and I am still asking how this insanity is sustainable?

What about the farm land that was on Greystone property?

Now for the history.  My dear friend Sara’s grandfather was the architect Charles Barton Keen . Mr. Keen was the architect on Greystone Hall built for Philip M. Sharples.  I found some great history on a blog called Hackberry Hill:

HOUSE HISTORY
PHILIP SHARPLES’ GREYSTONE HALL
OCTOBER 26, 2016

Philip M. Sharples (who often went by P.M.) was a fourth-generation Pennsylvanian and from an influential Quaker family in Chester County. Not surprising that one of Sharples predecessors was the first mayor of our town.  In 1881 Sharples established the Sharples Separator Works Company with plants in Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Canada and Germany.  At its peak, Sharples Separator Works was the largest industrial company in our town, employing 600 workers and turning out an average of 3700 separators a year (West Chester University Archives).  He was clearly a big deal.

Sharples 5

The company did exceedingly well for over 30 years and Sharples became a rich man.  In 1907, he finished construction on Greystone Hall, an incredible house that sits just north of town designed by architect Charles Barton Keene.  Coincidentally, just after looking at the Sharples’ city house, I attended a lecture at Greystone Hall, not initially realizing that this was a Sharples’ house as well.  I am not sure P.M. lived in or owned the city house though – it was possibly a relative. There are a lot of Philip Sharples in the family tree!  I need to look into that further.  In any case, by 1907 P.M. Sharples was living quite grandly at Greystone Hall with his wife and three children.

Sharples 2Sharples 4

…..P.M. and his wife moved in and a mere four years later his wife passed away leaving Sharples and his three children alone. He later remarried and had 3 more children.  His second wife and 6 children lived at Greystone until 1935.

Sharples fell victim to the Depression and ended up losing Greystone to foreclosure in the early years of World War II. Greystone was pledged as collateral on loans and about half of the original nearly 1000 acres of land were sold off in small parcels starting in the late 1930s.  Sharples relocated his family to Pasadena where he lived for 9 years before passing away in 1944 (www.greystonehall.com).

You can read more about the history of Greystone in detail and the family who has owned the house since 1942 here.  The house sits on an incredible 500 acres. Still.

Pennsylvania is a private property rights state. It is what helped defend Greystone from eminent domain, after all, wasn’t it?

But where do we draw the line on developers and politicians and their visions for where we call home?  When did the rest of our collective private property rights as extended community stop mattering?

Chester County is literally disappearing and soon you won’t be able to tell if you are in Chester County, or say some bland subdivision in Oklahoma.

Today an Inquirer article by Vinny Vella made me pause and decide to write something about this.  It’s not like we can stop it. The plan is approved and the construction has begun. 

While I was researching and hunting for the old articles on the eminent domain play which occurred, I also came across this thing from Temple University about restoring the Greystone lands I guess. (Haven’t read through it all but have also uploaded MLArch 2015_Greystone Hall 2_Web here.)

Here is one page from that PDF showing the trees on Greystone:

plants

Greystone was mentioned in another post I wrote in 2017 about the still missing Toni Lee Sharpless . 

1485894280_blob (1)

I think this development will create havoc. It will overwhelm infrastructure, a school district, and so on, won’t it? Can you imagine the traffic when all of the houses are built? I was told that land that was probably undevelopable was given to West Goshen Township for parkland or something? Hopefully that saves a good chunk of the forest, right? There is supposed to be some road cut through the development.  Friends say it will be a narrow windy 25 MPH road?

Sign me sad. I am glad the mansion is staying, but am totally bummed that all those acres will become plastic houses.  For any number of reasons. Hope the ratables were worth it, West Goshen. In the Philadelphia Business Journal, West Goshen’s Manager was quoted:

West Goshen has been dealing with developer interest in Greystone for years. “We couldn’t stop the development but we could manage it,” said Casey LaLonde, township manager of West Goshen.

I had to laugh because Casey LaLonde? Y’all GOT managed versus managing anything didn’t you?

Other interesting tidbits from the Philadelphia Business Journal article include:

…Other developments Reiser was involved with include Atwater, Muir Wood in Newtown Square and Carriage Hill in Doylestown……As it did with those projects and will do with Woodlands at Greystone, Reiser will serve as the master developer and has partnered with NVR, which builds under Ryan Homes and other brands, to construct the houses. Under that arrangement, Reiser plans to prepare the lots for development, install the infrastructure and then sell them to NVR on a scheduled basis over the next six years.

Atwater? It’s in East Whiteland, right? Large and kind of unattractive?  Hmmm isn’t that the development which has already caused some elementary school redistricting within Great Valley School District?

Here is the Inquirer article:
PENNSYLVANIA Philadelphia Inquirer
In Chester County, hundreds of homes to rise near historic Greystone Hall
by Vinny Vella, Updated: 21 hours ago

More than 400 acres of land, the largest remaining undeveloped tract in West Goshen Township, Chester County, were sold last month to make way for hundreds of houses in a deal that was a decade in the making.

But the origin of the $38 million sale of land surrounding the historic Greystone Hall traces to the 1950s, when the Jerrehian family, its owners, first started courting developers.

Their vision was finally realized Aug. 23, when half of the property surrounding the mansion was sold to Reiser Land Development. The other half, according to Drew Reiser, a managing partner at the company, is expected to be sold in a separate deal, the details of which, he said, are private.

Reiser’s plan for the Woodlands at Greystone calls for the construction of 598 homes….The Jerrehian family has owned the land, once the property of West Chester manufacturer Philip M. Sharples, for nearly 80 years. The main building, Greystone Hall, frequently used for corporate retreats and wedding receptions, will remain under their ownership and will not be part of the subdivision.

Sharples, who built Greystone Hall in 1907, founded the Sharples Separator Co. but lost his money during the Great Depression. The Jerrehian family, which immigrated to the United States from Turkey in the early 1900s, bought it in 1942.

Read the entire article.  It is informative and interesting.

Bah Humbug. I am glad the mansion is surviving but why all the houses? I will never understand. Kind of disappointed in the Jerrehians on this, have to be honest. I don’t know what I thought they would eventually do with all of the land, but it wasn’t this.

 

development bug growing? wake up great valley school district and residents before it’s too late….

google2

File under who bought the farm?

Yes. Development whining shall now commence.

If you don’t like it, move off of the page now.

At present, it is a lovely swath of land on Monument in Willistown called Troutbeck Farm. However, as per Willistown’s Planning Commission Agenda for August 8, 2018 it is another parcel up for a cram plan. According to Willistown’s development list on their website it’s up for 35 homes on a 37 lot subdivision.

trout 1w3

Now I know some will say it’s “only” 35 homes.  (Like Willistown’s Paoli Walk is “only” 30 townhomes and the old Daylesford Abbey land development  now the preposterously titled Chapel Hill Paoli is “only” 55 homes)

You can CLICK HERE to check out the Willistown Development List. And I think much like East Goshen, Willistown records nothing so if you do not attend meetings, you don’t necessarily know what is going on do you?

(I am not going into  Easttown’s , Tredyffrin’s or East Goshen Township’s sock drawers at the moment because they aren’t in Great Valley School District.  Doesn’t mean I don’t wonder about development and politics there too, but I digress…)

But anyway…. a lot of us wonder if Great Valley School District has Captain Oblivious at the helm because there is SO much development in various stages in this school district in Chester County.  People always think it’s just East Whiteland, but multiple municipalities make up this district.  And they all are little development islands in a bigger development sea in Chester County.

And no, before all you school district cheerleaders jump all over me, I am NOT questioning how good the district is at present. I am questioning the school district’s perennial lack of interest in a topic which affects all of the families, taxpayers, and most importantly students: DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE DISTRICT.

willistown

According to Niche and Patch as of August 1, 2018, Great Valley is ranked 11th in the state. Think they’ll maintain that if the unchecked development continues? Haven’t they done eminent domain before in this district? How will they remain so good if the schools are so huge we’re ready for Great Valley East and Great Valley West? Are their school board members awake?

I found three documents courtesy of Willistown:

17302 Plans 10 SWM Troutbeck Farms

Troutbeck_Development-Narrative-17-05-05

Troutbeck_Traffic-Planning-3

Apparently this has been going on for a few years?

According to Willistown, Troutbeck Development LLC is responsible for this plan. When you put that LLC name into Google you get:

where is trout llc

When you put the address into Google you get:

moser

Et voilà ! Another development is born in Chester County.  Don’t worry all livestock, horses, and crops will fit nicely on top of all of the Wegmans and Whole Foods Markets. And we don’t need open space.  Just traffic, pollution, infrastructure woes, and over-population issues, stressed out first responders, and school districts busting at the seams.

And what started all of this today?

The Philadelphia Business Journal heralding yet another development plan for East Whiteland in the Great Valley School District:

GMH Capital buys properties along Main Line

By Natalie Kostelni – Reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal
Aug 6, 2018, 1:31pm EDT

 ew yuck

GMH Capital Partners has paid $3.2 million in two separate transactions to buy several properties along Route 30 in Frazer, Pa., for a proposed mixed-use development.

The Newtown Square, Pa., real estate company assembled and bought the parcels as part of its plans to develop a four-story apartment building with retail space. Those plans have been going through the approval process in East Whiteland.

Mind you, East Whiteland seems to love development that comes it’s way (just look at this 2017 list.) Not being mean, this township has earned it’s pro-development reputation, has it not?

The old Frazer Lanes has been closed for a while.  (CLICK HERE for old Loop Net commercial real estate listing. Click HERE for another listing which is where aerial photo came from.)

Google maps gives us another look:

google maps

According to the article it’s the bowling alley, the trailer park next door, and the gas station.  The gas station is 558 Lancaster Ave, Frazer Lanes I think was 554 Lancaster Ave, and the trailer park is Norbros Circle These properties were mention in the 2017 fall issued land assumptions report in East Whiteland. I think they are also somewhere in the Route 30 Corridor Study.

Development, development, development.

Just yikes. But when it comes to this particular development can they build if the Alley Pub stays put? After all isn’t that in between Frazer Lanes and the Pioneer gas station?  The cheese stands alone? Can they withstand a big developer and survive as long as they choose? Here’s hoping the Alley Pub survives, right? It is after all the last of the old school joints in these parts isn’t it?

Speaking of development in East Whiteland, there is a petition circulating which was created in opposition to a development plan over on Flat Road.  The petition is called simply PETITION IN OPPOSITION TO FLAT ROAD DEVELOPMENT.  I am not the creator of the petition, but I feel for these people.  East Whiteland has been lobbing this around for a while. You can read about it HERE and  on HERE. If you want to see the Flat Road plan, CLICK HERE to go to East Whiteland’s site.  It’s “only” 47 more homes, no biggie, right? (There was an emergency meeting of the East Whiteland Historical Commission this evening about this too – the historic Amish Cemetery is over there.)

Wrong. Not picking on any development or developer in general but all of these “onlys” ADD UP, don’t they?

Soon there will not be one blade of grass left that is not planned for something.

And all of these “onlys” do indeed affect school districts. That readers, is what I got on my soap box about.  Every development adds up through multiple municipalities . This affects school districts.  School districts affect taxes, so do you get the vicious cycle?

Remember…is it not true a lot of things get pushed through local governments during holidays and the dog days of summer?  We live in a world where we must sadly remain ever watchful…and involved.

Thanks for stopping by.