if septa is considering cutting service past paoli, why does malvern need T.O.D.?

malvern train stationI remember years ago as a college student without access to a car when I wanted to go visit friends at West Chester University, if I couldn’t get a ride I had to take a train to Paoli and then get one of those scuzzy cabs to West Chester. And Paoli train station on the side going towards Malvern felt just as creepy and isolated then as it does today.

I was happy when Malvern and beyond opened again on Septa.  And people ride the train.  When I was transitioning out to Chester County for a while I took the train out from the Main Line.  I was going through radiation treatment for breast cancer and a lot of the time towards the end of my treatment I was too tired to drive. This was when Malvern train station was under construction.  It was then I realized there was no handicap access at either Paoli or Malvern – quite frankly during that time I would have welcomed a ramp versus steep stairs – I was just that tired. At Malvern during the heat of that summer I was going through radiation was when you not only had to climb  steep stairs, the train station also had no place for you to sit to wait to be picked up and a car couldn’t get near enough to pick you up.  Instead you had to wind your way through a construction site and around through to the other side via the roads on a sidewalk that was not the best.

So now there is the tunnel and the station is rehabbed (but still isn’t truly handicap accessible) and during the summer Malvern Borough officials were putting on charettes or whatever for T.O.D.  Transit Oriented Development, otherwise known as borough officials see dollar signs and have no brain cells. I wrote about T.O.D. before.

I said then I used to say that TOD stood for Total Of Dumbasses. It is like Groundhog Day for me because I lived through a lot of these Emperor’s New Clothes scenarios when I lived on the Main Line.  It tore apart Lower Merion Township where I used to live and to this day divisiveness truly still exists. And Transit Oriented Development is still a myth of more fiction than fact.

To say that people in suburbs and exurbs and quasi rural areas will give up driving is just ludicrous.  These municipalities and developers should just be honest: they don’t have the ability to put sufficient parking in all this new age urban-like development.  They don’t care so much about the environment and being green, in my humble opinion it is all about the green they can bank in profits. And who suffers? People already living around these infill development targeted sites.

Malvern’s charm is in it’s history and size, much like the village portion of Berwyn and similarly scaled small towns and villages.  I could see making Malvern say sprucing up a little bit more like Narberth which has undeniable charm and popularity, but Narberth does things based on sound planning and well Malvern Borough seems to chase dollars like a hooker looking for money on top of the dresser.

TOD stands to add hundreds of living units. Hundreds as in someone told me in excess of 600.  Malvern is no way capable of handling that many additional living units and cars and people.  That has a trickle down effect to the schools too. And we aren’t talking real estate taxes, we’re talking overcrowding.

TOD in Malvern will also adversely affect their neighbors in East Whiteland.  Much the way Tredyffrin affected Radnor residents downstream along the Gulph Creek when they allowed Church of the Savior and some other things to super-size.  East Whiteland should stay on top of this from a municipal perspective.  No one needs trickle down issues.

So why am I writing this? Because of something that appeared in Malvern Patch that was copied from Plan Philly.

The long and short of it there is a very real chance SEPTA will cut stops off the R5 Paoli/Thorndale Line.  As in NO MORE train service. Stopping at Paoli again.

(See  septa-s-complete-service-realignment-plan-and-letter-to-state-secretary-of-transportation-barry-schoch.original )

eli kahn

So I have to wonder if Septa will even do the makeover planned for Paoli train station?  And if the service is truncated and stops at Paoli, how will Paoli even if their grand plans make it to completion handle the influx?

I put forward that Malvern Borough Council and Borough staff /administration need to be watched.  They want to shove, shove, shove through new development yet they have no substantive planning that I can see. I know what they see- they see ratables.  What is happening (for example) with the Gables Greenhouse property on Warren and Second Ave?  There were a couple of things in Malvern Patch which seem to have disappeared?  The comments indicate on the remaining article that like five houses are being considered for that property?

Malvern Borough has lost it’s way.  They don’t seem to listen to their residents.  They also can’t seem to get much money in the end for development projects.  Remember when people checked out what they were getting in ratables for East King Street/Eastside Flats? See:

During a discussion of the police services and budgeting at the  of Malvern Borough Council, resident Joan Yeager asked a related question:

“Once the King Street project is completed, how much additional money is going to come into the borough? In taxes and all,” she said.

“Something in the neighborhood of $60,000 a year,” council president Woody Van Sciver said, citing a financial feasibility study done before the project was approved.

And oh yeah what exactly in the realm of new businesses is Eli Kahn actually bringing to Malvern? Besides Kimberton Whole Foods?

I feel I must say again that in addition to better planning by municipalities and boroughs throughout Pennsylvania, there also need to be updates made to the Municipalities Planning Code.  After all Zoning blames Planning and Supervisors/Commissioners.  Supervisors/Commissioners blame flaws in Municipalities Planning Code.

Want to see bad planning?  Look no further than Lower Merion Township and take Ardmore as an example.  There is a short film surfacing about development there and the fact that when it occurs a lot of businesses and residents will have ZERO parking for two years and reduced parking after that. Why?  Because Lower Merion is essentially giving away land to a developer. I think you can view the documentary short by following this link: https://vimeo.com/72950877

Getting off the soapbox now.  Just been chewing on this a few days.

east goshen farmers market light coming to malvern in 2013

File under taking the farmers market show on the road.

I love the East Goshen Farmers Market .  It is far better run than the Farm to City Markets I used to patronize because although not inexpensive, the price points at East Goshen’s market are a lot more attractive than the pricing I see some of the same vendors do in Bryn Mawr.  And there is a far greater variety of farms to choose from.  Also, the vibe is so awesome each week.  As someone settling into a new community after 30 plus years in another community, this is one of the little things that has helped my transition because although I do not know a lot of people out here yet, going to the market has helped be become comfortable with my new community.

East Goshen Farmers Market has so many terrific farmers, and I patronize all but one farm – the farming folk known as the Millers and Birchrun Hills Farm. Given the treatment people I know in West Vincent receive from Farmer-Supervisor Miller and the other supervisors in West Vincent, it is so unfortunate, but I just can’t patronize them.  To me it would be morally wrong to put jingle in their pockets. And that pains me, because no matter what I like to support local farmers whenever I can.

Mind you that opinion cost this blog being linked to the East Goshen Farmers Market site  (at their original request, not mine) and for the market manager Lisa O’Neill to treat me like I had a disease any time I tried to say hello.  She and her co-market manager Donna Levitsky are trying to be politically correct and  face it, I am not your average PTA mom…. and I am a blogger who doesn’t just blog about recipes and homemaking projects, so I get that, it’s cool.  I just don’t bother to say hi any longer. It is easier and makes them more comfortable – they are so busy on market days, I wouldn’t want to detract from what they have to do by saying hi, you know?

Anyway, Lisa has in all honesty produced a most fabulous market for East Goshen (I featured it in an article I wrote about farm markets and community gardens for Philly.com this summer) , and she is apparently taking her show on the road for 2013.  Malvern Patch is reporting that East Goshen’s market will be giving birth in the spring of 2013 to a mini version of itself in Malvern on Saturday mornings.  That is awesome, even if it is the exact same time and day I believe as the West Chester Growers Market which is quite simply amazing, as well as the market that is the original of all these local farm markets.

I am glad local farmers will be getting more exposure – this will be another producers only market.  That means to be there and sell, you grow it/you raise it.

One question, however.  East Goshen Farmers Market is sponsored by East Goshen Township and The Friends of East Goshen – and part of the money they say in their mission statement goes back to East Goshen Park.  So will part of the monies here go back to Burke Park in Malvern Borough where this will be held?  Who is sponsoring this market? Is the borough or is there another non-profit sponsor?  Or maybe they will start their own company or non-profit at this point? And what do Lisa O’Neill and her co-manager Donna Levitsky (one of the owners of Shellbark Hollow Farm which is a participating farm at East Goshen Farmers market) get out of this monetarily?  Not being mean, just being realistic.   A former neighbor is the market manager of the Bryn Mawr Farmers Market and I know the lady who manages the Collegeville Farmers Market. I know the incredible amount of time they put into running just one market.  Will they receive a salary for this Malvern market?  A profit-sharing slice of market profits?  Or is this all done in a volunteer capacity?  Either scenario is fine with me, I am not judging – I am merely curious how it all works.  Most markets I have come across, pay their market managers something for all their efforts. And running a Saturday morning market will sure mean more effort as they will be up with the roosters to ensure the market is set up by 9 a.m.

Here’s the update from Patch and I am looking forward to this market and Kimberton Whole Foods coming to Malvern!  I am still not a fan of the development occurring on East King Street, however, outside of Kimberton Whole Foods coming to town.  I think the development in the end will prove to be too dense and too much for the borough of Malvern to handle.

New Malvern Farmers Market Begins in Spring 2013

About 25 growers and vendors will set up shop in Burke Park on Saturdays.

ByPete Kennedy  Email the author  5:30 am

Malvern Borough will have a new, weekly farmers market in Burke Park starting Saturday, May 4, 2013.

The Malvern Farmers Market will be held Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Burke Park. It will feature about 25 farmers and food artisans in its first year, some of whom will appear on a rotating basis.

“It will start as a producers-only market,” co-manager Lisa O’Neill said. “There will definitely be a meat vendor in there, farm fresh eggs, local cheeses, local bakeries.”

What about cupcakes, dog treats and other less typical items for sale?

“The, what I call, value-added products will be there, but we’ll introduce them to the market after we get a solid farmers market up and going,” she said.

O’Neill, who currently runs the East Goshen Farmers Market with co-manager Donna Levitski, presented the plan for a Malvern market at the Sept. 18 Borough Council meeting. She credits Borough manager Sandy Kelley with helping her see the potential in Malvern….

In an email, O’Neill said the market will boost the local economy:

 

 Malvern is the perfect community for a farmers market – a  walking town, with plenty of parking on a weekend morning, and just the perfect distance from existing Saturday markets. We think this will benefit the entire Malvern community – every Saturday shoppers will head to Malvern for the market – while they’re in Malvern they can visit with all of the other Malvern merchants – giving local businesses a big weekend boost – everybody wins.

 

Many farmers markets have popped up in and around Malvern in recent years, but few have demonstrated staying power. The fate of the East Goshen Farmers Market for 2013 is in the hands of township officials, and two other nearby farmers markets—Great Valley and Rushton Farm—did not return in 2012.

 

Lisa O’Neill is right – local communities do indeed benefit HUGELY from things like farmers markets.  It brings people to town who might never otherwise visit.  And Malvern is cute.  The Bryn Mawr Farmers Market (albeit expensive) has greatly benefited Bryn Mawr by giving it foot traffic on Saturdays, and things like First Friday Main Line and Clover Market have also similarly benefited main street Ardmore.  (and if you have never been to either First Friday Main Line or Clover Market, you should check them out!)

Final note – today’s photos are of the veggies from Balsam Farms in Amagansett, NY…a little slice of heaven much like Sugartown Strawberries around here.

Hey, it is the end of September so what farms are doing the best corn mazes and hay rides and pumpkin things this year?  Let me know!  You know how I love pumpkins!!!

chester county at risk: historic birchrunville

I love being in Chester County.  Before I was a resident, anytime anyone wanted to take a leisurely drive and explore, I was all for it.

Birchrunville was one of those places.  Quiet and charming, consisting of small country roads.  Farms. Horses, as you can actually still ride your horse on the road which you won’t be doing if this development happens. Great old country architecture and some incredible old houses.  The real deal of charm.

It is NOT a place where developers should come in with their Emperor’s New Clothes grand plans for supersizing a small hamlet.  The residents should not allow it, and quite frankly, any elected or appointed official who likes a plan like this should be voted out as soon as possible.

We are, after all, talking about West Vincent Township.  And for West Vincent Township to go from needing/wanting eminent domain for private gain at Christmastime 2011 to this plan now, well it is so very Lower Merion Township that I can’t stand it.  And I can tell you how the story turns out: it doesn’t.

Once upon a time Lower Merion made a bid for eminent domain for private gain.  Then they put people through the pain of grand redevelopment plans.  All people wanted was a train station.  What they got was heartache, headaches, and nothing. Well nothing except a lot of money spent on plans, plans, and more plans.  A lot of the money spent was part of $6 million dollars that your Congressman Jim Gerlach got so Ardmore could have a new train station/transit center.  So much of that money has been squandered that I just don’t get why Jim Gerlach hasn’t pulled the money back yet.  But maybe he will and it will serve Lower Merion right.

And don’t let Supervisor David Brown tell you he had no idea of what went on in Lower Merion.  He was too entrenched in the politics for too many years not to know.  Via his own online political resume you can see: Republican Committee of Lower Merion & Narberth Committeeman 1976 – 1990, Counsel to Committee 1990 – 2004, Member Executive Committee 1990 – 2004, Former Solicitor to Montgomery County Controller,Gladwyne Civic Association, Former Director, Former Vice President.

See this synopsis from The Castle Coalition in Washington DC where I will highlight some dates in particular (although I encourage you to read it all):

….a letter in February 2004 informing him that Lower Merion Township had targeted his property and those of his neighbors for eminent domain acquisitions, he was devastated and uncertain about how to proceed….

In September 2004, the Township hired an independent consulting firm to study Ardmore and assess the extent to which economic redevelopment really required condemning their properties, as local officials contended. The Urban Land Institute, an outside organization that specializes in land use and has no financial connection to the business owners or the Township, conducted a comprehensive study of the downtown business district slated for demolition, and strongly urged against the plans proposed by the Planning Commission. Instead, the Institute submitted a number of alternative approaches to the Township, all of which protect property rights and promise the same benefits the municipality sought without condemning the Ardmore properties.[3]

“We kept coming up with alternative plans, but the Township kept ignoring us,” Mahan said.

In December 2004, the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners overwhelmingly approved the most destructive redevelopment option of all the plans submitted for its consideration. The proposal submitted by Hillier Architects called for the demolition of Ardmore’s entire historic district—even though Hillier simultaneously concluded that all of the buildings were in restorable condition…….the Save Ardmore Coalition continued fighting, attending all civic meetings, speaking against the proposal and especially against the abuse of eminent domain, and pursuing practically every grassroots avenue available.

“We’d march to the meetings, carrying signs and making statements. We’d have 300 people on our side, and 100 of them spoke out against the Hillier plan,” he said. “We just kept gaining momentum and the SAC kept growing and growing.”

 

These plans fermented for years prior to 2004 being the year eminent domain came full out in the public eye.  And during that time there were commissioners on the board in favor of this, including one Ken Davis and there is no way David Brown did not know him. Ken Davis represented parts of Gladwyne and was a fellow Republican and member of Gladwyne Civic.  Trust me, not that big of a sphere.

And if David Brown is for this development of Brichrunville, then he should go as soon as his term is up, but if Ken Miller and Clare Quinn are up first, vote them out.  If you do not change the face of who governs you in West Vincent, you will not achieve what you need to achieve.  I know because because I was part of a group who did it.   We flipped five of the seven commissioner seats up in elections, and the people who came in had adopted our group’s mission to defeat eminent domain for private gain.  You see, we endorsed no one.  We had a position: no eminent domain.

But after we defeated eminent domain and the fractured community came together once again, we were faced with re-development plans.  We should have said no.

And if you don’t believe how the land can be raped and pillaged by development that is not truly necessary, take a ride down King and check out the mega mess in Malvern.  They got sold a New Urbanism Fairy Tale and they will rue the day when all is said and done is my prediction.  I am not anti-progress, but I am anti-supersizing it on the theory of build it and they will come because it is not true.  All this hoo ha over transit oriented development.  It’s suburbia, people will always drive, always have cars. Duh.

Malvern got themselves a nice new train station, and if this current development being built was much smaller and in a scale actually in keeping with a very small town?  Well we might be having a different conversation.  Instead, West Vincent, you are being presented with cautionary tales.

But residents, I and others can talk about it, offer opinions from the sidelines and write articles, but you have to pull a real We The People and rise up with pitch forks if necessary.  You have to not just talk about it but actually fight.  Accept it will get nasty and dirty tricks will abound.  To me, it should all be important enough to preserve your way of life. As well as your property values.  (C’mon you think you are going to find it easy to sell a property if West Vincent keeps up indefinately with the West Vincent of it all?)

Rise up, support folks like BirchrunvillePeople who are trying to do good.  And if you feel your government is not quite right and not quite ethical, hello it is a MAJOR election year.  Your congressman needs more than checks from fat cats to survive, he needs votes.  Get him to come around an you show him what you are trying to preserve.   Go to the state.  Surely the Attorney General’s office and ethics board are there for a reason?

But you have to do it for yourselves.    This video like the one up top is awesome.  Kudos to whomever did that.  It literally shows people what you are talking about.

None of this will be easy, but you defeated eminent domain for the time being, so keep on keeping on and save Birchrunville too.  After all, you may or may not realize that developers as much as they love to destroy small towns, also love to recreate them.  You have the real deal.  Preserve your way of life.

And don’t be swayed by “oh but look we can improve our roads.”  Beg to differ.  If your roadmaster actually took the proper care of the roads you would be fine.  But what will happen with road improvements if development occurs?  It will look good for a while because it is new and then it will be back to mainteance business as usual so what is the difference?

This historic school house could be easily sold and preserved from what the video says.  It is YOUR community.  Make that happen.  YOU are the taxpayers.  YOU are the voters.

Once a way of life is destroyed, it is gone.

Lecture over.

 

 

west vincent on the peoples’ radar again: rising up about birchrunville

I haven’t had much to say lately about West Vincent.  First of all, nothing is changing, just more of the same old same old….including everyone but the cows at Ken Miller’s farm are being told they are the fine feathered friend Chickenman.  That gets old, who cares,  and besides they gave up burning witches at the stake centuries ago, right?

What doesn’t get old in West Vincent, apparently, are mysterious acts of retribution. Yeah, everyone knows it goes on and they are not paranoid delusions of residents. Stuff like that happens every day, and not just in West Vincent.

But West Vincent hasn’t been Mayberry Sleepy…. and there still seems to be stuff going on “on the down low”.

Chickenman’s e-mail the other day made me wonder if it was time for an update.  He wanted people to read an article in The Daily Local about proposed development of the old township building property, which is apparently a historic school house.

Here we go again.

By SARA MOSQUEDA-FERNANDEZ smfernandez@dailylocal.com

WEST VINCENT — Residents are concerned about office buildings proposed in Birchrunville, and they want township supervisors to reject the plans as inappropriate for their historic village center.

The applicant for the Birch Run Village plan seeks to construct three two-story office buildings, each of about 2,500 square feet, on a total of 2.5 acres.

 The property is at the corner of Flowering Springs Road and School House Lane. The school house on the adjoining parcel was built in 1833 and was formerly used as the township’s administrative building.

 According to Supervisor Clare Quinn, the zoning for the area is mixed use, which allows small commercial development.

Suzanne M. Roth, who sits on the township’s Environmental Advisory Committee, hopes more residents realize what the proposal means.

“We just really want to make sure that people understand the amount of development that’s being proposed for this property, the impact that it’s going to have on all of our lives,” said Roth. “This keeps changing, but at the moment it looks like there will be (three) two-story buildings.”

According to Township Manager Jim Wendlegass, Birch Run Village Leasing LLC originally submitted a land-development application in late 2004. That was denied, he said, and a new plan was submitted last year.

The township’s Planning Commission advised supervisors to reject waivers sought by the developers for the project….“This is an historic village with roads to match,” said Roth. “If the property is developed as planned for each parking space allotted, there will be eight car trips anticipated to travel our roads.”

That would mean about 256 to 270 more cars passing her house  daily or turning around somewhere in the village to enter the office complex, Roth said.

“Township police cannot enforce the 15 mph speed limit on the lower portion of School House Lane now,” she said.

 Ethan Schofield, whose property also neighbors the site, hopes that more residents will become aware about the issues at hand…Kenny Carroll, a resident of the township since 1973, said he was specifically concerned with impacts on the environment. “The Birchrun Creek, an exceptional value creek, will be seriously impacted by this development,” said Carroll…According to Carroll, another issue is the development’s impact on the schoolhouse building. “This building is an historical building,” said Carroll.

….Roth and other residents have put together a website, http://www.birchrunvillepeople.com/, with more information about their concerns on the project, hoping to inform the township and community members about these and other issues.

Clare Quinn?  How can anyone believe a thing that comes out of her mouth?  Isn’t she Chester County’s reigning queen of eminent domain is a good thing?  And well, don’t all the residents pay her health insurance via tax dollars, making her right up there with sucking off the proverbial public teat, yes?

In general, where is the need for this development?  Did residents request it?  Are there businesses lined up with signed leases waiting to move in?  How does this work? This isn’t just a suburb, it’s the country, and one of the largest problems with Chester County as beautiful as it is, are these odd business developments that never look exactly full.  Who decided there was an actual need, or is this a build it and they will come scenario? I don’t understand.

Malvern is already learning how their development that will be super-sized and traffic clogging will impact the borough economically.  Suffice it to say, it will not be the cash cow officials thought it would be.  And lordy it has taken David Della Porta long enough to get one of his New Urbanism Fantasy Plans through.  He’s a nice man, I have met him, but I have heard him chirp this all before – it’s just with the Borough of Malvern he finally found his perfect rubes.  He said at a ground breaking after the fact:

“What I mean by that is, the first urban-esque, mixed-use, transit-oriented development,” he said. “There’s really nothing in Philadelphia suburbs like this, where you have retail-residential involved in a great existing place that already has a beautiful little town, the services and the train station within walking distance.”

Urban-esque?  Hello, why do people move to the suburbs?  Why do people move to the country?  Is it so they can eventually feel the urban of it all they moved away from?  Call me crazy, but I don’t think so.

So West Vincent residents, lovers of Birchrunville, what say you?  Is this what you want?  It seems to me that a lot of different voices are saying “no”, aren’t there?

The problem is, this dopey plan will go through unless fought tooth and nail.  And I hope people get political.  Let your Congressman up for re-election know how you feel too.  Hasn’t he received a tidy sum of donations from power brokers and decision makers in West Vincent?  Donations are nice, but votes get an elected official where they need to go, so always let them know how you feel about local issues even if they are not directly involved.  Especially during a big election year.

Now, let’s also use this as a reminder as to why West Vincent needs term limits and new supervisors.

And here is the new website Birchrunville People: Preserving the Village of Birchrunville:

Check out the TRAFFIC TAB:

4-Way Stop Sign is Being Planned for the Intersection of Flowing Springs Rd. and School House Lane!

See the photo below of the new notice marking at the intersection, and scroll down to see the Caruolo Associates’ Traffic Report which “strongly disagrees” with the creation of the 4-way stop at this intersection! This will be an extremely hazardous intersection for vehicles driving up and down Flowing Springs, especially in the the winter! 

Why should the People of Birchrunville be put in danger for the sake of one corporation’s financial interest?

Check out the History Tab and The Actions Tab:

What Can You Do?

    1. Attend the West Vincent Township meetings (see Calendar).  Share your thoughts with the township Board of Supervisors and the Planning Committee.  Keep your comments and questions civil and respectful– these township officials are our neighbors and friends and they are committed to serving the township and upholding its laws.
    2. Stay informed.  We will try to keep this website up-to-date with the latest developments.
    3. Write letters.  Put your concerns and questions in writing and send them to:
      West Vincent Township Board of Supervisors: 729 St. Matthews Road Chester Springs, PA 19425           Pennsylvania State Senator: Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman One North Church Street West Chester, PA 19380
      Chester County Historical Preservation Network: http://www.cchpn.org/contact.htm
      PennDOT (PA Dept. of Transportation): Francis J Hanney Traffic control services manager fhanney@state.pa.gov
      Fire Safety:

Birchrunville’s first responder: Kimberton Fire Company P.O. Box 99 Kimberton, Pennsylvania 19442 Phone: 610 935-1388 Fax: 610-935-3956

Others Serving West Vincent: Ridge Fire Company #1 480 Ridge Road Spring City, PA 19475-9678 Phone: (610) 495-6063 Fax: (610) 495-5106 RidgeFH@RidgeFireCompany.com
Ludwig’s Corner Fire Company 1325 North Pottstown Pike Glenmoore PA 19343 Station #73 Phone: (610) 458-8479 Fax: (610) 458-2562
Check this page regularly for more opportunities to get involved and make a difference!

There is also a forum with comments worth reading

Good for these residents for stepping up and having a say!   But it is West Vincent, so who knows how it will end up. All I know is little country roads are just that: little.  And you only get so many chances to keep water sources clean and once an environment is gone, etc., it’s gone.

It’s a damn shame that the politicians in West Vincent and the taxpayer-funded staff do not really get the value of the charm of this area that will disappear once they turn it into Little Eagle.  I can’t wait for the CVS with fake Victorian gables.

Sigh.  More dumbness.

 

.

malvern: from flying pig to pig in a poke

June 23rd was the last time I wrote about Malvern on this blog. Before that I wrote in May.

I feel that Malvern’s super-sizing via the Eli Kahn development on King Street is a huge mistake.  Having  gone by the site quite a few times at this point, I am profoundly disturbed by what I see every time, and can easily envision for the future.  Yes, it is a site that should be redeveloped. But why not a park and a couple of stores?  Or something Malvern lacks? Sufficient parking?

You know what I think Eli Kahn and Jack Loew’s project is going to be like when it is done?  A super-sized Charleston Greene.  And over the years, how has Toll’s Charleston Greene worked for you ,Malvern?

Hasn’t that been a problem site, with islands not in a stream that are supposed to be traffic calming pedestrian islands that don’t work there anymore than the one in front of Bryn Mawr Hospital does?

I have to laugh every time I hear developers say to those in suburbia and exurbia that living in a “mixed-use”  development on little spits of land or wedged in with a shoehorn next to existing buildings is such an exciting proposition.  Folks, it’s just another New Urbanism Fairy Tale.  Or redevelopment fantasies. Take your pick.

The economy can’t sustain big plans.  And who says people outside a city want to be crammed in like lemmings?  Doesn’t everyone know what happens to lemmings sometimes?

Municipalities dream of ratables like they are drugs and they need a fix.  And then you see reality.  Reality is that if you have ever lived next to a train tracks or a train station, you don’t repeat it.  There is more noise and more dirt, and there is nothing like having your windows open on a nice spring day only to have the unmistakable odor of Septa trains and their burning  brake pads wafting in the window.

And when you live on top of train tracks you also have fire fears during warn months or periods of drought.  Septa and Amtrak also spray heavy-duty pesticides loaded with carcinogens in lieu of weeding.

Of course, don’t even get me started on stormwater management.  You see when you live with rail as the neighbor, you are basically their stormwater management system if they have runoff issues.

I lived across the street from R-5/Paoli/Septa/Amtrak tracks for over a decade, so I know of what I speak.  I also have sat and watched developers promise using too tall tales, and then what happens?  It doesn’t turn out as planned.  After all, when they show municipal fathers and mothers plans at a town meeting, the plans are all lovely with hearts and flowers on a field of green.  Not real scale, and how it will look in conjunction with everything else around it.

I firmly believe with Malvern and this development that after the sheen of new wears off, these developments will end up being apartments going for cheap not chic because living on top of transit has limited appeal unless you want to live in the city, or near the 69th Street Terminal or in a row house near the El.

So at a recent Malvern Borough Council Meeting when a resident asked how much would Malvern get back  now that they have given the keys to the town to Eli Kahn and Jack Loew, it was shockingly low.

Told you so.

So I think Malvern has bought itself a Pig in a Poke.  The town already has a Flying Pig, so it really didn’t need A Tale of When Pigs Fly By A. Developer.

Daddy Warbucks told Malvern they would have big bucks.  And they believed him. Dumb. Real dumb.

Malvern Patch: $60,000: East King Revitalization’s Impact on the Borough

The new apartments and businesses won’t be a windfall for the borough.

By Pete Kennedy   Email the author July 2, 2012

During a discussion of the police services and budgeting at the June 19 meeting of Malvern Borough Council, resident Joan Yeager asked a related question:

“Once the King Street project is completed, how much additional money is going to come into the borough? In taxes and all,” she said.

“Something in the neighborhood of $60,000 a year,” council president Woody Van Sciver said, citing a financial feasibility study done before the project was approved.

“That’s it?” Yeager replied