will bryn coed become chester county’s next chesterbrook?

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Overnight a brave lady posted on the blog’s FB page. A resident of West Vincent who lives on Bryn Coed property. Bryn Coed was recently mentioned in a development post I had put up, because if developed between the land in West Vincent and the land in a neighboring municipality, the land is well like close to twice the size of what was Chesterbrook Farm and what is the development Chesterbrook that when the first house was built in 1977 forever changed the face of that part of Chester County. So built up today, you would never know it was once an important agricultural site.

Also do not forget Foxcatcher Farm off Goshen Road and 252 in neighboring Delaware County. Don’t forget what Toll Brothers has done there in what is known as the Liseter. Remember the barns, the rolling fields, the ponies, the horses, the trees, the woods? You would never know one of the most grand DuPont estates was once there. And no matter how they advertise (New York Times and tacky “buy now” signs all along West Chester Pike until you are practically in the borough), are those houses selling like proverbial “hotcakes”? Doesn’t seem to be does it?

Tredyffrin Township can barely handle Chesterbrook and all other responsibilities involved today and well Tredyffrin is a much larger better functioning municipality than West Vincent. I hate that once again West Vincent is the focus of a Chester County blog post, but this is a municipality in crisis, isn’t it?

Between West Vincent and Upper Uwchlan, this part of Chester County is in serious crisis from development. Remember another post I had up a couple years ago? Once again about Toll Brothers…in Upper Uwchlan. Toll Brothers is everywhere. And if it is not Toll Brothers it is other developers.

It’s too much.

Bryn Coed is one of the last relatively unmolested land parcels of its size in Chester County, isn’t it? Neighboring farms and homes voice bragging rights due to their proximity to Bryn Coed.  I once saw a real estate listing with this description:

This small but wonderful farmhouse is …situated on a country road on 3.9 very usable acres that are fenced in for three paddocks and riding ring. The bank barn has 4-5 stalls, and huge hayloft. It adjoins open space owned by Bryn Coed farms. You can ride out to trails right from the property. Chester County, Pennsylvania hosts many equestrian events of all disciplines.

Descriptions of listings like that will change if Toll Brothers or another developer buys the land parcel, right?

Think I am making it up? Here are the screen shots:

Toll Brothers1

Bryn Coed Evict

evict family

Developers don’t care about existing tenants and rent producing tenant properties when they have a “vision”, do they?

There is a sugar would melt in their mouths bless their little hearts page on Facebook for West Vincent residents supposedly even though I really thought it was created to promote a certain supervisor’s desperate bid to remain in office. I was sent a screen shot just now:

hear voices

My, my, my.  I guess this “lady” is the “official” spokesperson for West Vincent Township? Why bless her heart!  People keep sending me screen shots where she seems to speak FOR the township and the elected and appointed officials? Guess they do things differently there? Hope Miller keeps her in cheese and veal sticks, right?

So you know if you had such “influence” in the community wouldn’t you be trying to find the nice lady and other residents on Bryn Coed places to live? Or would you dismiss someone posting publicly that they had a notice to quit or something similar posted on their door as a “rumor”?

Everything is always a rumor it seems with Bryn Coed, right? Remember the meeting in March where the meeting notes reflect addressing a gentleman who expressed concern including about Bryn Coed? (West Vincent-2015-03-09-minutes)

Toll Bryn Coed

So it’s all always a rumor while quietly things get looked at, measured, tested, filed with DEP I am told?

This lady has SIX children. Now I know I know you rent there is always a risk the property will be sold but why post a notice like that if it is not true?  At any time they could be put off where they call home.

Oh and speaking of Bryn Coed, saw a cool restoration on an architect’s website (click here).

For the historical perspective Chester County resident should read if they haven’t the history of Chesterbrook as complied by the Tredyffin Easttown Historical Society. (Volume40_N1_027 TE History of Chesterbrook ) . It is a grim reminder of what could be seen again, on Bryn Coed, isn’t it?

This is why residents in NOT just West Vincent but elsewhere need to change the faces of who govern them sooner rather than later. The lure of the developer’s song (and dance) is far too tempting for local politicians who are shall we say…deeply entrenched? And what about term limits in local government? Not a bad idea, eh?

I am a realist. I know it is nearly impossible to preserve giant swaths of land like this – no one wants to deal with a 350 acre estate (Ardrossan, Radnor Township) or an 800+ acre estate (Foxcatcher Farm Newtown, Delaware County) Look what happened at Ardrossan, after all and that 350 acres has been carved up by relatives, and rumors abound there about the future of the mansion too, isn’t there? And we know the horror show that occurred at Foxcatcher Farm.

But between no one wanting to deal with big estates, and hearing about this lady on Bryn Coed made me think about all the tenant houses on Ardrossan.  What has happened there? Are the people still living there? I know different people over the years who have rented cottages and small farm house on Ardrossan. But I digress.

So, development of parcels like this is inevitable unless someone like Natural Lands Trust buys and conserves the land. And sometimes land conservation groups can only acquire a portion – and a lot of times it is the portion of the property that would just be too difficult and expensive for a developer to develop, right? Swamp? Wetlands? Steep Slopes? (You know like the pig in a poke purchased by Radnor Township at Ardrossan?)

The problem with all this development throughout Chester County and elsewhere is there is no true planning, it is just shoving in as many plastic houses as possible. No gardens, no lawns, no sweeping vistas, just row after row of plastic boxes sometimes slab on grade. All lined up like plastic soldiers or Legos.

So think about all the crammed in plastic and stucco boxes on Chesterbrook. Then think about Bryn Coed. Is that the appropriate vision for Chester County, or more like a nightmare waiting to happen?

Local government will always play Pontius Pilate when it comes to development won’t they? Just like monkeys all lined up when you ask questions. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil?

monkeys

Yeah. About that. If that is what you get, another reason to change the face of who governs you.

Preservation and conservation and so on and so forth can’t just be buzz words. They actually have to mean something.

Once the land is gone, it’s gone.

I will close with another old article I found on Chesterbrook:

Pre-development History Of The Farm At Chesterbrook

Posted: September 26, 1991

Mary Cavanaugh arrived at the Berwyn train station on an icy winter’s day in 1909. Snow was piled high on the land around her as she stepped into a horse-drawn sleigh, bundled robes around herself to keep warm and began the three-mile trek across the frozen ground to Chesterbrook Farm. She had just arrived in the United States from Ireland and had never seen snow before.

Cavanaugh, a parlor maid in the main house on the farm, was the mother of John, Edward and Marie Boland, who gathered Monday evening with about 80 current residents of the Chesterbrook development for a presentation on the history of the 600-acre farm in Tredyffrin Township.

The three children’s father was Peter Boland, a second coachman at the main house who became the farm manager in 1932.

The Boland children reminisced about growing up on the farm in the early 1900s, swimming in its streams, sledding and hunting on its fields and making its open space their playground.

Now, the same land is populated by condominiums, townhouses, office buildings and a shopping center…….. Audrey Baur, chairman of the DuPortail History Group, and Clara Bondinell, a member of the history group, painted a picture for the audience of the dimensions and the location of the farm…..Some former residents of the farm are unhappy with the development of the farmland.

“It makes me sick. It’s terrible,” said John Boland, who now lives in Berwyn. “My wife and I were on the committee to save Chesterbrook. We had hopes the state would annex it to Valley Forge Park.”

election season cowards in west vincent

 

Vandalism? Really?

Come on now all you fine folks of West Vincent Township Chester County, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t lather and fluff up the fighting feathers at me demanding I stop blogging about the sordid underbelly of West Vincent Township when you as adults vandalize private property and send out harassing emails from  johnsmith@yahoo.com like they can’t be traced and you can’t be found.

 

You can be found, West Vincent isn’t such a big place. What will you all do when you are unveiled? How will you explain it to the people you have been shoving phony baloney horse manure at for years?

I know the twisted psychology and reasoning and it doesn’t wash. Vandalism and harassing emails are against the law.

To the other residents of West Vincent: this is why you need to retire Supervisor Roadmaster Farmer KenOcrat Miller. Any individuals who would do THIS to keep some lower level life form of the lowest tier local yokel politician in office is yet another  valid reason why the tyranny and dictatorship need to come to an end. This isn’t medieval Europe, it is the 21st century. We live in Chester County, Pennsylvania and wow isn’t this why Quakers and others settled here in the first place? To escape mob mentality and behavior such as this?

It should not be acceptable  to anyone that your friends, fellow residents, and neighbors should  be subjected to cowardly acts of petty vandalism and other harassment.

Vote to end this behavior.

 Vote Miller OUT of office. 

Retire him, and you remove their power. It’s that simple.

You know it wouldn’t take much to visit every hardware or home improvement store in the area asking who had bought spray paint recently. Most of the stores keep track of who buys spray paint because of vandalism. 

  

political complacency

 

Tammany Hall’s Boss Tweed ruled 19th Century New York City with an iron political fist.  He is fascinating to read about, but eventually got caught up in his own web and died in prison. He wielded crazy political power and corruption. He had many minions to do his bidding.

It took courage in 19th century New York City to bring down Boss Tweed. People feared him. He was a petty tyrant and for a while New York City was his dictatorship.

Boss Tweeds have existed throughout history. Different countries, centuries, same M.O. Boss Tweeds operate on a fear based system.  They still exist today. They exist because we are politically complacent and allow them to exist. 

 Election season is about a month away. Throughout Pennsylvania there will be local and county elections.

The result depends on the voters. There is plenty of whining and whispering behind hands but do all of you have the courage to put some career politicans out to pasture?

The full court press of political fairy tales begins now. In local politics, it’s not fancy commercials, their little legions of volunteers will fan out and visit the locals. Over and over they will tell you their Boss Tweed is a paragon of virtue and has slayed more dragons than St. George.  You know, The Tall Tales of Election Season.

But have they? Or is it all a big illusion and they have instead profited from the naïveté of their constituents ? 

Who really loses when Boss Tweeds are voted out of office? The answer is no one but those who profited in some way from their association with the particular Boss.

Now is when you will hear how new faces are “bad” and you need to hold the course. Hold the course for whom exactly? Ah yes, the particular Boss Tweed and their friends. 

You are ok as long as you vote “how you are told”. Why? Because there is no place for individuality with pack mentality, is there?

And the pack can make your life a living hell, can’t they? But the thing is this: you can take away their power. How? Vote their Boss Tweed out of office.

So now is the time wherever you live. Step out of the shadows of political complacency and vote Boss Tweeds out of office. If you don’t you do lose one thing: your right to complain. 

In each of you is the power to enact change to better your community. You just have to vote. 

Thanks for stopping by.

  

ask not for whom the bell “tolls” west vincent….

toll brothers

So, what a difference a couple of years makes, right? A friend sent me this photo the other day.  Toll Brothers at their finest. Guess this is the next phase of Byers station or whatever, right? Because nothing says Chester County like the smell of plastic siding roasting in a treeless sky, right?

I know you can’t save every old house, but what is being done in places like West Vincent is almost criminal. Can you imagine if THIS above is what happens to Bryn Coed which sits not only in West Vincent but a neighboring township? That estate is like what? One and a half times the size of Chesterbrook when it was created? Can you imagine what Bryn Coed land would resemble if stripped bare like this?

Here is a photo of the same house that I took in June of 2013:

June 2013

Now for those who live in West Vincent, the thing to remember is when KenOCrat Supervisor Roadmaster Farmer Miller sends his ladies in waiting forth to invite themselves into your homes to say what a fabulous job he has one, how he is all about preservation, the environment and so on, remember these photos or the next one….which is another for whom the bell “Tolls” over at Eagle Farms/Chester Springs Road (also sent to me ):

toll brothers1

Now they naysayers and cheerleaders will try to tell you how Mike Schneider who is running for Supervisor against Ken Miller is not the guy for the job and heck come on it is all the same tired rhetoric from when John Jacobs won and well John is doing an awesome job isn’t he?   The bottom line is Ken Miller got booted by his own political party so in desperation he was a write-in fake Democrat. (How embarrassing that the Chester County Democrats have a horse in this race and it is a veritable Trojan Horse, right?)

Ken Miller’s supporters (because you NEVER hear from Ken personally do you?) will tell you how Ken is “fiscally conservative” into “conservation and environmental protection” and oh yes “good planning” and “road maintenance”.   If he was Pinocchio he would be using a Toll Brothers wielded chain saw to slice off his ever growing nose.

This man voted in favor of eminent domain for private gain when they tried and failed to take Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show. His supporters will try to explain that away “It was for the good of the horse show”, “it was to protect the land” , “it really wasn’t eminent domain for private gain.”

Yes. It. Was.

That crappy Ludwig’s Corner Overlay Plan? What do you think that was about? Tea and scones? Moving pony club? And they could have seized the land, sort of twiddled their thumbs for a couple of years, sold some to a developer to build that crappy overlay plan and what would that be? Tea and scones?  moving pony club? The answer is still eminent domain and it is private gain because well these overlay plans aren’t public purpose and a municipality as tiny as West Vincent isn’t going to develop these big honking plans themselves are they? Miller can barely take care of the roads, and not very well, correct? So that all leads back to what class? Eminent domain for private gain.

And then there are the current developments. Aren’t there enough? And what about Fawlty Towers over there behind the horse show? Remember how bitterly disputed they were?  Ken Miller didn’t exactly fight to preserve the land over there did he? The Daily Local described him basically as akin to a mute during the process, didn’t they?  And FYI the nickname preferred for Stone Rise is what? Miller Towers. (It’s a shame Malvern Borough wasn’t paying attention before Eastside Flats went up, right?)

Basically it is the same pool of developers all over.  In every community they tell the same tale as how they want to “help” the communities they wish to destroy with new development. But God only loves those developers who help themselves (to higher profit margins) and the occasional politician, right? (Sorry it’s called opinion and I am entitled to it.)

At the end of the day people, local elections matter. And if West Vincent residents don’t wake up in November or are afraid to vote intelligently, well scarred naked landscapes is what will replace the beautiful fields and forest and winding country roads.

And that ladies and gentleman is what I will never get about Farmer Supervisor Roadmaster KenOCrat Miller. He’s a farmer. Farmers are supposed to love the land right? So how is all the bad development out there loving the land?

Be wary Chester County. Ask not for whom the bell “Tolls”. It “Tolls” for all of us if we don’t slow down development everywhere.

Thanks for stopping by (and keep those bad development photos coming.)

why I can’t support the sierra club for quite a while

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I did not use to have a problem with the Sierra Club, other than some of their fundraising campaigns can be irritating. But now I am going to take a close look at them and groups like them in the future because of something astounding I discovered by accident today.

What am I talking about? Their political endorsements. Who the Sierra Club endorses makes me question everything about them. And I think in a lot of cases non-profits should refrain from endorsing political candidates because eventually their poor judgment is noticed and noted. I respect and prefer non-advocacy or non-political endorsing non-profits.

I was told today that the Sierra Club endorsed Ken Miller for re-election for supervisor. And there it was on his website. And there it was on the Sierra Club Southeastern PA website.  Technically it was for the spring when he was still a Republican and not a KenOcrat.  Here is what it said:

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My goodness one would think the man was a saint . I like the part where they left out his part (and vote) as a West Vincent Township Supervisor in the whole failed eminent domain for private gain land grab of Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show in December, 2011. This was the debacle that cost then Executive Director of the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust Clare Quinn her job. They did not like it when she as a then West Vincent Township Supervisor voted in favor of an eminent domain for private gain land taking.  She did not seem to get that when her day job was land preservation/conservation it was a bad idea to vote for a land grab as an elected official with her night job, I guess? Here is an excerpt from the article:

….The board of the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust voted unanimously to end its more-than-five-year relationship with West Vincent Township Supervisor Clare Quinn, said Cary Leptuck, the trust’s board president.

“The board believes that Ms. Quinn’s actions as a West Vincent Township supervisor in condemning the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show grounds represent a fundamental conflict with the trust’s long-standing mission of voluntary land conservation,” he said….This month, Quinn was among the West Vincent supervisors who voted to seize the 33-acre horse show tract by eminent domain, a decision that prompted a widespread outcry that included two politicians, State Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman (D., Chester) and Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello.

The supervisors said they wanted to use the land for a park and ball fields. The horse show could use it as well, they said, but those affiliated with the show questioned the feasibility of that arrangement.

The conservation trust passed a resolution on Dec. 3, “opposing condemnation as a means of land preservation and community access.”

 

Here is hoping the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust remembers all this and doesn’t endorse Miller this fall…or they will become a land conservation/preservation hyprocrite non-profit too.

So…the Sierra Club. How could they endorse an elected official who every voted for eminent domain? Seriously?

If the Sierra Club can’t do it’s homework, why should people support them? Eminent domain is not exactly beneficial for the planet now is it? (Of course how they tell the tall tale of eminent domain around West Vincent Township today is it was all misunderstood. They were just going to take the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show to “protect it”, they wanted to put a CONSERVATION EASEMENT on it.  Yeah sure and I have a bridge they can buy…in Brooklyn.

They can try to dress it up and perfume it and tart it out a few years later, but eminent domain is eminent domain and politicians who vote in favor of such land grabs shouldn’t be endorsed by non-profits that preach a better planet, land conservation and land preservation.

Of course this isn’t the only questionable Sierra Club 2015 political endorsement. Take where I used to live in Lower Merion Township. They endorsed two candidates that are so PRO as in EXCESSIVE development they can’t possibly be green (unless they are nauseous).

sierra club oof 2

Oh ok because she could afford geothermal heating it’s ok to endorse her?  As for Manos, he’s done what exactly? Oh yes….like Liz Rogan (because face it they both got placed into office by the same people but that is a longer tale for another time) he has voted for so much development and so many bad pro-developer zoning overlays it is terrifying.

Residents were SO outraged by Liz Rogan being endorsed by The Sierra Club that a flyer went out in the spring:

Sierra club rogan

Here is an excerpt from the BACK of the flyer:

Let’s look at Ms. Rogan’s “green” record as a commissioner and as president of the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners. How has she impacted the LOCAL environment? First, consider her policy of encouraging development in inappropriate places from an environmental perspective. She’s enthusiastically endorsed huge development projects on Rock Hill Road (600 units – 330 being built now and 270 later on) and in the “M” District on the Schuylkill River in a FLOODPLAIN (about 600 units). Neither area is effectively served by public transit. This will bring many more cars, more air pollution and more urban runoff into the waterways. Is this green and environmentally sensitive? Hardly.

….Environmentally alert residents have worried about the continuing degradation of our creeks and streams in both the Mill Creek and Cobbs Creek watersheds. Storm water runoff from impervious surfaces, including roads and parking lots, is a major culprit. Ms. Rogan’s penchant for more impervious

surface through very dense development, in most cases, leads to more blacktop or asphalt parking lots. Is this green? We don’t think so…..

For years, residents have been asking the Township for stronger storm water management regulations and better remediation measures. Efforts to focus Ms. Rogan’s attention on this issue for years have been met with inaction. Now the threat of sanctions from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection – starting in 2018 – has brought about the creation of a storm water advisory “committee” probably too late to save these important waterways as viable streams. This is most definitely not green….

 

So.  Reading all this and knowing about these candidates PRIOR to knowing the Sierra Club endorsed them makes me question the efficacy of the Sierra Club and their moral compass as an organization. After all an endorsement should be made with careful consideration. Not with fluff and nonsense and who do you know and maybe they will get a pretty donation out of it, right?

If you are as incredulous and astounded as I was, here is how you contact the Sierra Club. These are national organization contacts. Obviously there is something wrong with the Southeastern PA Group since they obviously didn’t do their homework.

Anyway here are the contacts:

Contact Us

Sierra Club
National Headquarters

85 Second Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
USA
Phone: 415-977-5500
Fax: 415-977-5797
Sierra Club
Legislative Office

50 F Street, NW, Eighth Floor
Washington, DC 20001
USA
Phone: 202-547-1141
Fax: 202-547-6009

General information: information@sierraclub.org

Membership questions: membership.services@sierraclub.org

 

So the moral of this story is to do the research….you know, like the Sierra Club should have prior to endorsing.

Development isn’t land conservation/preservation. It’s development, a for profit enterprise that gains municipalities a short time high of new ratables.

TDRs (Transferrable Development Rights) are not land conservation/preservation.

Zoning overlays partially designed by and for developers are not land conservation/preservation. They are just another way to shove in development.

True conservation easements don’t need to occur by using eminent domain as a “tool”. Remember, eminent domain is not a helpful tool, but those who utilize it are tools…..

Vote smart no matter where you live this November.

And look for other non-profits to give your money to in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Save your local environment by changing the face of who governs you.

a good day in west vincent (finally)

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We can call him Supervisor-Elect Jacobs.

Congratulations John Jacobs! (And see you didn’t need Christmas tinsel on your signs either!)

Apparently the entire endorsed slate in West Vincent has WON as per my early reports !

Endorsed West Vincent Candidates were:

Michael Schneider, Tax Collector
Louise Rutter, Judge of Elections (Dist #1)
John Jacobs, Supervisor
Maria Holderness, Auditor
Suzanne Nastase, Inspector of Elections
Tonya Helwig, Judge of Elections (Dist #2)

I am guessing that Harriet person is blaming it all on chickens…

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a good day in west vincent (finally)

20131105-215757.jpg

We can call him Supervisor-Elect Jacobs.

Congratulations John Jacobs! (And see you didn’t need Christmas tinsel on your signs either!)

Apparently the entire endorsed slate in West Vincent has WON as per my early reports !

Endorsed West Vincent Candidates were:

Michael Schneider, Tax Collector
Louise Rutter, Judge of Elections (Dist #1)
John Jacobs, Supervisor
Maria Holderness, Auditor
Suzanne Nastase, Inspector of Elections
Tonya Helwig, Judge of Elections (Dist #2)

I am guessing that Harriet person is blaming it all on chickens…

20131105-215918.jpg