same old song, different day

Toll Townne on Route 100

Oh, I know people are tired of my posts about development. I don’t really care because in my opinion, all of this infill development combined with other elements like climate change are a recipe for disaster in Chester County.

I was speaking to someone recently, who had served on a planning commission in the region about all of the development in Chester County recently. They interpreted what I was trying to articulate as I was against new residents in Chester County. And no that couldn’t be further from the case, it’s about the number of residences.

Our communities are on overload. Our infrastructure can’t handle the current pace of development, and neither can things like our hospitals and schools and that’s not fiction. That is a fact.

Infrastructure would be not just the roads. Infrastructure includes things like our first responders and other municipal personnel. A lot of municipalities don’t have rental inspection ordinances, and a lot of these developments are purely rental. The increasing number of rental properties is also creating a more transient community and it is also driving the real estate to the point where people can’t stay in their own communities.

The people getting priced out of their communities are various business service workers, for example. Individuals getting priced out are also like the people that serve on our police forces, in our fire companies, and who teach our kids. In addition there are the elderly who raise their families here and wanted to end their days in their community. Or the younger folks, who may be newly married, and are looking to start and raise their families and put down roots where they were raised.

We have seen what this has done to the Main Line. And frankly, these are just the same developers moving west. They don’t care about our communities and they will pay lip service to whatever, and a lot of municipalities are dumb enough to think that ratables will get them by. And possibly Emperor’s New Clothes Syndrome, yes?

From township to township they march. Gobbling up acre after acre. And as acre after acre are gobbled up, in addition to the aforementioned issues I have pointed out about infrastructure stresses and overcrowding the school districts, look at today’s thunderstorms and flooding. Yes, climate change.

Flooding today

All of these townships, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pay lip service to the environmental issues we are seeing increasing day by day. If they really cared they would not only do something about pipelines in Chester County and across the state, they would update the Municipalities Planning Code of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to protect our communities environmentally. But they don’t.

Until then, people from municipality to municipality in Chester County need to go to their local meetings. You can go to the meetings via Zoom, or you can go in person, but you can’t just complain on social media or expect your friendly neighborhood blogger to carry all of your water.

Downingtown PA today

And even if you can’t go to every meeting, that’s fine, we all have lives. Just take a stand and be counted. It’s your right as a resident. Even more important, is to have a basic awareness of what is going on in your municipality and so many people do not.

Ship Road Development

Recently I was somewhat floored when someone asked in a social media forum what was going on around Ship Road and Route 30 in West Whiteland. It was almost incomprehensible that people and even residents of West Whiteland have no idea what has been going on there and what has been planned there for almost 10 years at this point! Even if you don’t go to meetings, that’s a really big development issue that’s been covered in local media.

Ship Road Development

Something else that is cropping up all over are “rain taxes.” Essentially, it’s a direct result of other development and municipalities. It’s been raised as an issue in West Goshen and West Chester Borough, and other places. Well this showed up as also as a current hot topic in Tredyffrin:

Development has consequences. And the fact that we pay for those consequences comes down to simple economics as well because the developers take the profits from their projects and they simply move on to the next municipality leaving all the residents and taxpayers holding the bag. Bag men one and all is ok with all of you?

Ship Road and Route 30: Ground Zero in West Whiteland including development all around this development

Adaptive reuse and preservation is possible. Even with the rampant overdevelopment occurring in West Whiteland Township for example, you have bright, shiny gems of preservation in places like the Benjamin Jacobs house and the Benjamin Pennypacker House as but two examples.

People do love our old structures. They love our open space we need to do more to preserve that. We need to do more to preserve our communities as well as foster a sense of real community.

This development is not sustainable anywhere long-term. You can’t just continue to say build it and they will come because what do we do with all of the people what happens as we are replacing our farm fields with plastic townhouses or apartment buildings?

People on planning commissions and elected officials have drunk the KoolAid to a degree in so many municipalities. And the officials who haven’t drunk the KoolAid are then often outnumbered by those who have. And then the good guys get blamed along with everyone else. It’s a vicious cycle and problems are precipitated by other factors including a lot of people simply do not understand how the planning and zoning processes works and don’t seem to wish to learn.

People love to talk about what they don’t like. But people don’t tell their elected officials and local leaders and they have never attended a meeting. And now there are ways to attend meetings virtually as well as in person. Even I Zoom meetings. If you don’t want to speak in public you can often submit a written comment.

The more land that is gobbled up and the less open space there is and the increase of impervious surface coverage also is important because whether you subscribe to climate change or not, our environment is changing and water, flood waters in particular, will seek their own level. And voila, flooding. All this development means the water simply has no place to go.

So pick your poison people. Take a stand. We live here. We should have greater rights to help decide how our communities are preserved and shaped for the future. Real rights. And until we can get the bozos in Harrisburg to update the Municipalities Planning Code we can and should ask for every other protection we can legally get.

Our elected officials CAN implement conditions of approval that help our communities.

Our elected officials CAN enact rental ordinances.

Our elected officials CAN badger Harrisburg and Washington DC for more meaningful historic and land preservation…including protection for our farmers.

Our elected officials CAN say no to rezoning a property from commercial to residential. (Hey East Whiteland Township are you listening? You CAN say no to rezoning Clews & Strawbridge on Route 30 so there are fewer rental apartments including on Route 30, can’t you? But will you? )

The entirety of Chester County needs protection from overdevelopment. People, find your voices. Hold elected officials and municipalities accountable, but learn how to do it properly.

And above all else don’t become political pawns of political parties. Why do I say that? Simple. These issues are actually non-partisan. Make the politicians endorse all of you and your positions/issues out there. Stop endorsing them because all that accomplishes is you get them elected and then they dump you once they have gotten what they wanted: your vote. Your vote should be earned by them.

Have a good evening.

Please wake up Chester County. Before it’s too late.


@eightyeghtkeys Twitter photo.

From @eightyeghtkeys on Twitter. Crazy flooding in Wayne, PA (Radnor Township).

South Wayne Avenue and Runnymede Avenues. Next is a Google shot of the area when it is normal as in not a monsoon:

The water was like that here yesterday too. And we expect more rain and there have been more thunder and lightning.

We are on a flash flood watch and friends tell me that there were crazy straight line winds yesterday in Paoli:

My friend’s photo two hours ago

Charging my phone up at Starbucks. Heard the chainsaw though out the night still no electricity. Not sure what happened but it was a straight swoop from Darby-Paoli to the back of the Paoili Acme. Maybe just high winds but giant trees taken out. Thank goodness no one got hurt as it happened around 5:00pm yesterday.

~ friend post this morning
@eightyeghtkeys photo from Twitter

Yesterday in my neighborhood the water was crazy and some of my smaller trees bent into U shapes, but fortunately did not break. A friend of mine had their tree split in half.

I really wish that municipalities, as well as Harrisburg would look at climate change in action and see how the storm events are affecting us. Because this is yet another reason why development needs to be slowed down. But hey, I’m just a mere mortal and a female.

Stay safe and dry today.

Yesterday my photo

day after ida

Gibson’s Covered Bridge has been Idafied. DAHS board member photo.

This is a post of mostly just photos. I have been gathering them today so we don’t forget what happened.

The news says most of Chester County got 6 to 8 inches of rain but that’s not counting the floodwaters from creeks and streams and rivers. I think where I am got at least 9 inches.

Green Lane Bridge, Philadelphia

This was a totally crazy storm and it’s not over yet and in Chester County places like Downingtown have been devastated and down around Chaddsford, Route 1, Creek Rd. , 202…. you name it roads are closed and I’m guessing they are going to be closed for at least a couple of days if not longer in spots.

Historic structures like Gibson’s Covered Bridge in Downingtown sustained terrible damage. I heard through the grapevine that house on the Perkiomen washed away and people wonder if that’s the reason why the Arcola bridge is closed but I’m not there there so I don’t know?

Vine Street Expressway Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia is insanely flooded and even the Vine Street Expressway is under water. Lots of parts of the expressway are closed, and all sorts of other roads and streets. And parts of South Jersey are also devastated. In particular an area I happen to like called Mullica Hill had tornadoes like the Wizard of Oz go through.

On the news, all the meteorologists are talking about climate change. Hurricane Ida’s aftermath in the Delaware Valley is living proof of how bad it is. And then there’s the whole thing of development. We have to have a conversation in every community about Stormwater management and development. We need a lot less development in our lives because the water in storms has nowhere to go.

Gladwyne, PA

Feel free to send flood photos to the blog via the messaging component of the Facebook page for this blog.

River Road, Roxborough.

It’s a lovely sunny day today but please if you can stay put, stay put.

ida, just go away…

Route 1 Chaddsford area (I think)

I don’t even know where to begin. It’s just about 9:30 PM and this storm has been a complete horror show for hours. Countless friends are flooded, some folks dangerously so.

Oxford. Photo from Twitter.

My friend Michael is trying to see the humor and said a few minutes ago “By my count, this is the 6th “100 year storm” in the last 3 years. The averages say we are due for a 500 year break!”

Sugartown Rd between Abbey and Rock Creek Cir (Easttown)

Ida a super bitch of a storm. I can’t keep up with all of the flash flood warnings, high water and all sorts of water rescue evacuations on PulsePoint.

This is all of us. Soaked.

Tomorrow it’s time to make a donation to your local volunteer fire departments. These folks will be working all night long with police and more to keep us all safe. As the thunder booms all around, this is definitely going to be a long night. Places like Oxford, PA and Mullica Hill, NJ have experienced tornadoes today.

May be an image of body of water
Bell Tavern and Downing Rd in Downingtown.

So after this storm, and we keep getting these extreme storms, we need to have conversations with government officials throughout Chester County and elsewhere. Climate change is real. More and more devastating and extreme weather proves it. Also, the development needs to slow down. Water has nowhere to go much in any storm anymore. And a lot of municipalities pay lip service to stormwater management, kind of like they pay lip service regarding parking with all these developments. I am thinking about construction sites that blew chunks of dirt and stone just recently….like the Easttown development on the old Fritz lumber. I wonder how much from that site will be all over Route 30 when daylight comes?

May be an image of outdoors

There are developments going up all over, and more planned. We need to come together as a county and demand better from officials. Hopefully after this storm they will see they need to do better in the areas of development and stormwater management. I have friends right here in Chester County who will probably lose their home to a flood again. And it’s their home. So where do they go this time?

Put your address into the FloodFactor database and see where you end up.

Stay safe tonight everyone. The slideshow are photos I have found all over social media from Ida the bitch storm.

okay 2020, can we cry uncle now?

Classic Diner Photo

It has been a day. I thought I was having a bad day with all my biggest pots blown over and things blown to bits in the garden until I started seeing the pictures my friends were taking.

But for the grace of God go any of us. Tropical Storm Isaias reminded us when it comes to Mother Nature, just who is the boss.

Earlier PulsePoint had a notification that I knew wasn’t good but oh these poor people!

Source: Facebook. Sproul Rd East Whiteland.

All over the region and into other states, the weather was horrible. What they think were tornadoes that even took down billboards in Delaware near Odessa, DE. See these photos posted by New Castle County Paramedics:

And then there’s the stuff that’s hitting the news. Like the Darby Creek flooding like crazy. Or this video sent to me by a friend who lives adjacent to the Schuylkill River:

Schuylkill River and flooded neighborhoods in Roxborough

One photo I saw today came from Long Branch, New Jersey. It was a new house being built and it looks like a bunch of match sticks. Really gives you pause about new construction doesn’t it?

New house being built in Long Branch, NJ reduced to rubble by today’s storm.

And then of course there are all the photos of all the trees down around here.

I think one of the things that floors me the most are the photos that were taken by the people at the Classic Diner in Malvern. Much like my friend’s photo from Long Branch, NJ it provokes the need for a serious conversation on development and stormwater management. Of course it also provokes the conversation of why do people drive through flood water like that?

Hershey’s Mill Road East Goshen where the dam used to be. Facebook photo.

But the more our area gets developed the more flooding we will experience because the water has nowhere to go. And also there’s the whole thing of global warming and changing weather patterns. It seems like we get more and more of these “hundred year storms”.

Please stay safe out there, we have more flood water on the way after this storm. Thank you to all the people who kindly lent their photos to me, Facebook and other social media sites.

And as a general life commentary, I don’t know about you but I am definitely over 2020. It’s the year where the hits keep on coming.

Classic Diner photo. Source: Facebook

schuylkill flooding on roxborough (philadelphia) side after yesterday’s rain

My friend who lives on the Roxborough side of the river from my Gladwyne river dwelling friends sent me these photos after yesterday’s rain.

My friend reported that no one was hurt near where they live, although people did lose things like boats. She also remarked how fast the water came up and then how fast it went down – she said it was a real study in extremes.

But when people try to tell us including in Washington DC that climate change is hogwash all you have to do is look at these rain events.

Our back gardens and woods are incredibly soggy and there are water puddles. I never have had water puddles. There was just that much water.

I realized this morning that I actually probably could grow swamp azaleas and have them survive and thrive out back even though I don’t have a creek or a pond on my property.

Anyway I just thought I would share what is the majesty and force of Mother Nature . We need to respect her better.

flooding on schuykill in gladwyne

From Gladwyne Civic Association (including photos):

River Road is closed-it will be closed all day! Coast Guard reports that River will not truly crest until 10:30am, so the worst is yet to come. Photos below are from this morning. DO NOT DRIVE INTO ANY WATER!


I have friends who live on BOTH sides of the river here – Gladwyne and Philadelphia side.

I think municipalities in South Eastern PA need to redefine “hundred year storms” and so on. This is climate change in action. We used to only get these storms and downpours once in a while and now it’s like they are becoming a far too common occurrence.

flooding. everywhere.


A friend of mine took this photo less than five minutes ago in Tredyffrin. Lancaster Avenue and that is Old Covered Wagon Inn to your right I believe.

Friends and other readers are alerting me to flooding photos, so here is a slideshow. From Lower Merion where stormwater management in the township needs a makeover to flooded out Little Chicago in North Wayne, to out around West Vincent and beyond the flooding is crazy. Highways are closed like parts  the Schuylkill Expressway, turnpike, etc.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But of course, global warming is an urban legend…and all of the development never, ever causes any storm water runoff problems, right?

radnor street at willow

Willow Avenue at Radnor Street Road in “Little Chicago” in North Wayne, PA. (Radnor Township) Neighborhood was built at turn of 20th century over the Wayne Natatorium…which at the time was largest outside pool thanks to Gulph Creek and all those springs and water sources underground.  These people are flooded horribly today.  Feel sorry for them. Photo from Twitter this morning.

flooding in chester county

So the rain is of biblical proportions at this point. Mother Nature must be having a tizzy about something.  Who knows maybe she is trying to tell us something.  Anyway, one of my pals popped these photos over from West Vincent.  I can’t help but wonder if the illustrious Roadmaster has a good row boat?

west vincent




w vinc2

w vin 3

sandy storm photos – send them in for posting!

Hi there gentle readers.  I hope everyone has battened down the hatches for however Hurricane Sandy turns out?

I have a proposition for all of my readers: send me storm photos for posting.  I learned a long time ago that if you want to enact change, photos help. The photos you are CURRENTLY looking at are photos I took where I used to live in Lower Merion Township and one from Conshohocken. The snapped tree was courtesy of Irene last year.

So if you have flooding photos and you want them out there, send them to me via sandysnaps <at> spamex <dot> com

That is sandysnaps @ spamex . com – Sorry due to spammers, I will not have this as just a hyperlink to click and go.

Alternately you can tweet me at @gossipgirl19380

I am happy to attribute photos, tell me who gets credit, and *MOST* importantly give me precise locations. Or I will post photos anonymously if you live in a municipality that has shall we say, issues?

I am particulalrly interested in photos where development may be occuring or is currently occuring or has just been completed. I am also interested in areas that chronically flood and often wait until the bitter end for help to arrive.

One spot  of particular curiousity which should not be overlooked by anyone is where the Borough of Phoenixville is building their over-priced new municipal hall.  I passed it last night while in Phoenixville and thought I should defininately put that location out there as a site for good storm photos because it always floods, doesn’t it? And correct me if I am wrong, but the plans for that needlessly overpriced new borough hall doesn’t really have proper flood remediation built in, does it?  Wasn’t that the plan where the plan is put the garage underneath so everyone’s cars drown and there is lots of potential litigation from that?  Anyway, I figure a way to preserve the taxpayer investment and future costs here is to have irrefutable proof that they need a real plan or they should stop and move sites.

Phoenixville has a fun downtown at night.  They need better parking and I notice they have the parking authority people out chalking tires on a Saturday night, and truthfully, most municipalities don’t do that.  They leave it as the police can tow people from certain zones and are done with it.  But then again, people tend to question how Phoenixville spends money – they spend way too much on a manager, they spend way too much on a school superintendant – seriously for a borough barely squeaking by in any economy they pay Main Line prices.

But enough picking on Phoenixville which always floods so badly, from Tredyffrin through to West Vincent and Oxford and wherever, if you have storm photos, or storm info, send it in.   Also feel free to leave comments about where the power is out and if roads are blocked.

Hopefully Sandy will be a non-event for Chester County.


But do document flooding and damage.  It is helpful for getting things corrected so situations do not repeat themselves. I will also take Main Line storm photos if it will help any of you out there near where I used to live.

Thanks and stay dry!