I have been horribly sick all week so I completely missed the fact that The Daily Local has also picked up on The Smithfield Barn!
I am thrilled. The article is fair and unfortunately (once again) Upper Uwchlan doesn’t really sound so nice, do they?
UPPER UWCHLAN – The Smithfield Barn, a spot where residents can pick through antiques, toys, furniture and collectibles at barn sales, has been asked by the township to stop the sales.
According to Phil Smith, owner of the Smithfield Barn at 425 Little Conestoga Road, the township made the request at the end of November because it said he was running a business on a property zoned residential.
Smith said the barn sales are held occasionally, once or twice a month in the spring and fall, and should not be considered a business.
“There’s no heating or air conditioning, it’s a barn,” said Smith.
However, the township disputes the claim that sales are held only “occasionally.”
Township Manager Cary Vargo said it had become apparent the sales were happening more frequently.
In October, Vargo said, the township’s zoning officer spoke with Smith and advised him “it was a retail establishment.”
“It was clearly a successful business,” said Vargo, who added the township believed sales were held nearly every weekend.
The meeting was followed up with an official letter in November telling Smith to stop the sales or be fined $500 a day, Smith said.
Smith said the barn sales, which he said are similar to garage sales, have been going on for nearly five years without objection from the township.
I have only posted an excerpt. Read the whole article and comments.
All of the people leaving comments on this have been IN support of the barn except for a poster named “Elizabeth McGill”. Her comment profile on the Daily Local shows a photo of an older lady who looks like a cookie baking, scarf knitting grandma. Her profile description says she became a widow in July after being married fifty years. Her comments, however, are negative and also untrue. She says (and I quote):
I was there last summer looking for unique antique treasures. All I found was junk obviously obtained through “dumpster diving.” His garage sale/store is open to the public every day in fair weather….What if your next door neighbor turned his house into a strip club, gas station, or retail store? This man is operating a store in a residential area. If anything goes, and everyone is allowed to do this, fine. But don’t blame the township for ‘sticking their nose’ into THEIR business which is enforcing the rules
Since when are their rules for yard sales, garage sales, and barn sales? And wow has this lady every been to the super fabulous and super popular Clover Market? You go there and you will see sometimes priced at hundreds of dollars things like the ones you might find at the barn for literally pennies.
How can you compare a barn sale or garage sale to a strip club? Unless of course designer stripper poles are developer add on options in these “communities” gobbling up farm land in Chester County LOL? And how can this woman outright fib and say the barn is open “every day in Fair weather”? The Smith family lives on that property and just because a barn door is open, it doesn’t make it a barn sale day does it?
It’s like the rumor that was heard when this barn-gate issue first surfaced that a complaint was supposedly made from Green Valley Road. At first I could not figure out what road this was. Then I looked at the map. It is the little spit of road that is in front of the barn, but isn’t Little Conestoga Road. It sort of dead ends a bit past the edge of the Smithfield Farm property. It looks like it runs to the Frame property. But the thing is this, those are the most immediate neighbors of the barn, aren’t they? And these are the people who are supportive of the Smith family so who would start such a rumor?
But back to this whole negative comment thing.
When I asked Kristin at the barn if she knew who this woman might be, do you know what she said? Not what you might think for someone who is in a sense under siege from the township she calls home. What she said to me was (and I quote):
We live in a world filled with hatred and poverty and crime, but someone attacks the barn for in essence recycling. That makes me feel bad because I feel sad for her.
You see, that is a prime example of the kind of people the Smiths are. They are good people who even now when someone is literally casting stones at them would turn the other cheek and feel badly and feel concern for this person leaving comments like this.
Good people like the Smiths deserve better than they are getting. The residents of Upper Uwchlan deserve better.
Barn sales and yard sales are part of Chester County life and a lot of fun. Picking is as American as Apple pie and fireworks on the 4th of July! They should be allowed to continue. And this is a very nice family that I feel is being victimized by local government most unfairly.
Please help Save The Barn! Barn Picking hurts no one. And again I say there are a lot of very poor people in parts of Chester County who need places like the Smithfield Barn so they can just get stuff for their homes – you know the basics like a kitchen table and chairs that aren’t over priced?
Save picking in rural Pennsylvania. It is as American as Apple Pie. Contact Upper Uwchlan or your favorite TV station or heck even American Pickers or the Institute for Justice and tell them the Smithfield Barn and their OCCASIONAL barn sales should live on just the way they are until the Smith family doesn’t want to do it any more.
The Smithfield Barn is not a retail store and if you suddenly need a zoning variance for yard sales, garage sales, and barn sales wow so Big Brother and how is that even American?
Guy A. Donatelli Chairperson 78 Stonehedge Drive Glenmoore, PA 19343
Catherine A. Tomlinson Vice-Chairperson 788 North Reeds Road Downingtown, PA 19335
Kevin C. Kerr Supervisor 16 Heron Hill Drive Downingtown, PA 19335
140 Pottstown Pike Chester Springs, PA 19425 Phone: (610) 458-9400 Fax: (610) 458-0307
Cary Vargo Township Manager (610) 646-7008