ugliness getting built at ludwig’s corner

 Some locals in West Vincent refer to it as “Quinntown” I understand? It’s seriously ugly. Another reason why Chester County needs to wake up fast. 

And FYI that guy heading up the Chester County Planning Commission now as the Executive Director? He’s out of Lower Merion Township. Don’t be impressed, they are so incredibly pro-development that Chester County better pay attention. And be very, very afraid.

Please look at these photos. This is happening all over Chester County. In 10 years at this pace, how much MORE open space and how many more historic structures where applicable will have been lost?

Please get involved with your communities and contact your state legislators. Chester County is unique and beautiful and steeped in rich history. And more and more parts are getting lost to wanton development which seems unchecked. We have to change the course before it is too late.  
   

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do you love ludwigs corner horse show?

….Well if you do, they need volunteers. And after the year they have had at the hands of helpful West Vincent government types, they deserve the help!

It will be more fun than the mad cattle car crush to go see VP Candidate Paul Ryan tomorrow at the Helicopter Museum (and if you are going and have never been to one of these things they are hot and crowded.  Be prepared to stand for HOURS and for the candidate to be LATE.  This is a large group appearance so it will be hell to be in that crowd and to live anywhere near the museum.)

So anyway….If you love horses and love Ludwigs Corner, please consider volunteering Labor Day Weekend.

Please complete the Volunteer Form and e-mail it to mhflick@comcast.net.

Volunteer Flyer

Questions: Please contact MH Flick. 610-914-5270

Mailing address: Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Attn: MH Flick PO Box 754 Uwchland, PA 19480

Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/LudwigsCornerHorseShowVolunteers

And from Chickenman:

This year the show benefits the following:

http://www.ludwigshorseshow.org/Home/Beneficiary/tabid/61/Default.aspx

Ludwig’s Corner Fire Company
Talk about supporting the public! When your house is on fire, these are the ones that come to save your family and property. Attending the
Horse Show benefits…YOU!

Horsepower of Life

“Enriching the lives of families living
with cancer”  What more needs to said?  A local non-profit that works with
families that have that huge hurdle to overcome.

Ludwigs Corner Horse
Show  Website: http://www.ludwigshorseshow.org/

snowy morning in chester county

Snow is quiet, but not exactly silent, have you noticed? It makes almost a little whoosh sound as it falls all around you.

I look out the window and it is almost Currier & Ives perfect.  I wonder if I will ever be able to adequately capture the beauty of a winter’s morning with my camera lens.  Snowflakes flitter and float to the ground, and I think back to when I was a child and the man across the road from us had a collection of carriages and sleighs.  His name was David Gwinn, his nickname was “The Squire.”

Now today there is not actually snow on the roads where you could take a sleigh out, but for some reason this morning as I looked out the window, a memory came floating back across the early morning.  In my head I could hear the faint remembrance of sleigh bells of long ago.  It was such a happy sound.  Of course, things change and now in place of where Mr. Gwinn’s horses once happily munched apples, a McMansion is planted.

These horsey memories for lack of a better description were part of a magic that many kids do not have in their lives today.  It’s a way of life I fear will be pushed aside, and I see this pushing aside in West Vincent with every new transgression thought up against a horse show that has been not only part of the fabric Chester County for near a decade but served the community well.

This makes me sad.  These people who in my opinion, are trying to get rid of some of the very civilities that fed their pretensions to move to places like West Vincent in the first place, do not get it.   And if they, along with a local government of questionable motivation, prevail in the quest to rid Chester County of a fine tradition, what will replace it?  Nameless, faceless inanity…and no appreciation of the simple joys of winter mornings.  The new should not necessarily rule the old because once these unique qualities of a community are gone, much like when a historic home is torn down, it’s not coming back.

The birds are treating the feeders like diners on a highway, and the usual cardinal couples (they seem to like to double date at the feeder) have been joined by a bird I have never seen before today (not Mr. Flicker, but an Orchard Oriole).

Truthfully this is a Robert Frost kind of morning.  He wrote a lot about snow in his poetry.

By Robert Frost1874–1963 Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

meanwhile back at ludwig’s corner….

Well apparently the accusers of Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds have names.  They mean nothing to me, of course, but they confuse me.  The horse show grounds have existed for decades, correct?  So people who move in would know there is skeet shooting, right?  So if you didn’t want to hear guns why move to a fairly rural area where you know there is skeet shooting?

I wrote about this before , and someone pointed out to me that clay pigeons shouldn’t be an issue, but if the lead shot wasn’t cleaned up, that would be a legitimate gripe.  But you aren’t hearing about the lead shot, you are hearing about clay pigeons.

Ludwig’s seeks better relationship with its neighbors

Published: Tuesday, February 07, 2012

By SARA MOSQUEDA-FERNANDEZ smfernandez@dailylocal.com

WEST VINCENT — The Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Association is checking ways to improve its status among its neighbors by responding to their concerns.
….Linda Rava, a 15-year neighbor of the grounds, said that although she didn’t support the township supervisors’ use of eminent domain, she also doesn’t support the “belligerent” and “aggressive” behavior of the members of the skeet shooting club. Rava says that they now shoot over neighbors’ property on Sundays and holidays, including Christmas, New Years, Easter, and Mother’s Day.
“The last couple of years they have not been good neighbors,” said Rava. “I hope that the Horse Show does the right thing and takes care of their property.”
Judy Holmes, another neighbor of the grounds, is another voice against the booming practices of the shooting club.
“(They) disrupt our quiet,” said Holmes. “The Ludwigs Corner Horse Show could care less about us neighbors and being inconvenienced by this.”

And what up with the noise brew ha ha ha?  I get these people don’t like noise, but if that is the case what is with these Whinersons?  Why did they move next door to a place that is known for many things including skeet shooting?  They disrupt their quiet?  Look, I like quiet, but if I made a conscious decision to move next door to a shooting range, gun club, or a property where skeet shooting occurred, wouldn’t I have to expect a little bit of noise once in a while? Do they believe in deer birth control versus culling the herd, too?

Who are these Linda Rava and Judy Holmes women?  The horse show people in my humble opinion are neither aggressive or belligerent.  They are just doing their thing on the land owned by the horse show association or whatever.  They aren’t doing anything different from what they have done for decades, so why is suddenly not o.k.?

Personally I would rather have the horse show grounds as a neighbor with occasional skeet shooting versus a strip mall with fast food places and when I opened my windows I would hear “do you want fries with that?” ….and smell the smell of ancient grease.

Wow.  Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show can’t get a break. I mean if I was a conspiracy theorist….wow the possibilities…..lordy one would think these people would also be concerned about West Vincent Supervisor Miller and his goat poo too, huh?

eyes rolling in chester county

I love it when things get cute , don’t you?  Why else would Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds now be having an environmental dance of some sort with the state over skeet shooting?

State investigates contamination complaint at Ludwig’s Corner

Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

By SARA MOSQUEDA- FERNANDEZ, smfernandez@dailylocal.com

WEST VINCENT — The state Department of Environmental Protection is investigating complaints concerning the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds.

The investigations are the result of a neighbor of the grounds filing separate complaints with the state about possible lead contamination and with the Chester County Conservation District regarding stormwater runoff.

“The DEP is looking into whether the debris from the (skeet) shooting constitutes a waste and whether or not the debris presents an environmental concern,” said Deborah Fries, community relations supervisor for the DEP’s southeastern regional office.

According to Fries, the state is investigating both the plastic and clay pigeons and the increased runoff from the newly constructed horse ring….According to John Jacobs, president of the association’s board…..the state is mistaken in thinking that there might be contamination from the skeet shooting’s pigeons, and he said the sport was unpopular with the site’s neighbors.

“They don’t like it from a noise standpoint,” he said.

Does West Vincent have anything quiet to do with this because they want to kill the things that happen at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds to try to use that as a back door angle to get paws on land after that eminent domain for private gain gig failed at the end of 2011? (And oh, yes, I can indeed ask that question – funny thing about inalienable rights.)

Or is this complaint just the end result of some new McMansion dweller in Chester County who doesn’t want to hear skeet shooting or smell horse manure?  If that is the case, why did you move out to Chester County with your giant luxury SUVs?

It seems to me that some of the very ways of life that made Chester County so appealing are constantly being threatened.  What is next?  Outlaw farming, country fairs, antique shows, and horseback riding?  Lordy are these the same people who have issue with deer culling even though Chester County is starting to look like parts of Long Island it is so overrun with deer?

Now circling back to farming and the DEP, it seems to me I recall seeing something on the Chickenman’s site about some groady violations having to do with stockpiling manure and Birchrun Hills Farm?  Just curious but was this covered with as much fanfare in The Daily Local? If it was, could someone post a link to the corresponding article?

I am sorry but wow, Chester County sure has some happy horse manure going on.

I personally have been in close proximity to skeet shooting.  It’s not THAT noisy and most places hardly go ALL day.  Geez.  I think the sounds of cars whirring by on a highway are more annoying and find the sounds of video games far more offensive.  And of course that is the irony, isn’t it?  People see no problem with all the fake weapons noises on video games, some of which are quite violent, yet they yammer on about skeet shooting.  This cracks me up as much as seeing people in riding togs who don’t actually ride, it’s just an outfit.

Eyes rolling.

Now – back to Birchrun Hills Farm Cheese for a minute and a question.  My question is this: Birchrun Hills Farms appear at all these Farm to City Markets and other places sitting side by side with organic food, are they certified organic?  Or are their products just raw?  I did purchase their products in the past because I wanted to support the Bryn Mawr Farmers Market, but after the whole Ludwig’s Corner Eminent Domain thing, I will look to other farms.   No matter how folksy that supervisor sounds in those PBS videos loaded on their website.  I won’t boycott the markets they appear at, because that is unfair, but I do choose to buy other Chester County cheese, dairy, meat, and poultry now.

I passed through Ludwig’s Corner and Birchrunville a few days ago and noticed looming in the back off roads some pretty icky development.  It reminded me of certain places I pass on the Main Line where horses and cattle used to graze, and now there are planted McMansions and more.

I don’t get it.

And every year more and more land gets gobbled up.  Once it’s gone, it’s not coming back, and neither is the life and customs surrounding it.  It’s the country, not Disney Land, people.  If you want Disney Land, then by all means go to Disney Land.  But please, let some of the integrity of Chester County remain…or seriously, it will become something you won’t appreciate in 20 years.

UPDATE:

In order to be fair and to try to be a good citizen journalist, I feel I should post this comment I received from someone who shoots regularly (I don’t know that they have ever gone skeet shooting at Ludwig’s Corner, however) – but fair is fair, and this is not anti-Ludwig’s Corner:

Not to put too fine a point on this but there is no way the DEP would be investigating this over the clay pigeons. The real issue with any skeet shooting range is the tremendous amount of lead shot that accumulates over a period of time on the ground surface. Any shooting range should be aware that this is an issue and there are companies that come in and vacuum the shot off the ground surface. I’m not sure but I believe there’s a specific schedule for the cleanings and the gun club in question has to provide number of shooters times number of days shot for just this reason. If that shooting range hasn’t been cleaning they are screwed…

meanwhile, back in west vincent township

It seems that in West Vincent Township, it’s still a cloudy day?  I have this e-mail from ChickenMan which also contains part of an interesting update from the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Folks which I also received.  Wow talk about murky and no sunshine.

Are these people for real? And how come they can’t produce a lease for the taxpayers to review if this Township Supervisor Ken Miller (who makes that cheese I no longer buy from Birchrun Hills Farm) rents land from the township? Doesn’t that make in some sense the residents/taxpayers of West Vincent his landlord? And he does this (rents this land from in essence the taxpayers), yet he thought it was a good idea to seize Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds via eminent domain for private gain?  And if West Vincent owns all this land and is so hot to trot on a “plan”, why not use the land they already own before looking to seize privately owned land?

And who is this Pam Brown, other than she seems to be part of French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust?  Call me crazy, but damn that non-profit seems to have issues or am I imagining that?

And what’s up with this zoning issue?   Shouldn’t residents be able to discuss any potential changes in full sunshine even  typos?  That seems to be the norm for other municipalities in Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery Counties doesn’t it?

Also, why is it again this Clare Quinn can’t get benefits on COBRA from her former employer and it is such a good idea for the taxpayers of West Vincent to pay for her health benefits?  I would love for someone to pay my health benefits, but I live in the real world and pay my own. Just sayin’.

Anyway, read on from ChickenMan:

Hi
This came in to me from the Friends of the Horse Show and I am copying it here for you. 

West Vincent Township BOS meeting update
Dear Friend,
Once again interested residents of West Vincent Township packed the township building anxiously awaiting the zoning hearing that was postponed in December. Once again, the residents of the township were turned away, as the zoning hearing was postponed yet again.  The hearing is now set for January 23, 2012.   Explanation:  They sent the “insignificant changes” (one change and a few typo’s)  back to the County, because the County could determine that they were “significant changes”.  That’s right folks, I couldn’t make this stuff up, it’s double talk at its best!
To refresh your memory, the zoning hearing is to approve major changes to the township zoning ordinance.  The changes to this ordinance are vast, and will certainly change the look and feel of West Vincent Township in the future.   Even more important than the depth and breath of the changes, is the fact that the changes proposed will attempt to right the zoning violation that occurred when Pam Brown was permitted to built her accessory dwelling on her deed restricted property.
Frustration levels were high as the residents of the township voiced their displeasure in the manner in which the zoning changes are being handled.   They are complicated, difficult to read, and cumbersome, yet the supervisors and township manager along with solicitor do not intend to hold a town meeting or provide a plain language document for residents to better understand the future effects of the changes.
Since the township website makes it difficult to locate documents referred to at the meeting,  I have provided you with the links to follow along.  Get cozy and read along.

Click here to see the changes to the amendments.

Fast Facts taken from the meeting:
  • The meeting once again required two attorneys working on behalf the supervisors.  During the budget approval meeting of December 27, 2011, the supervisors said they were going to control the expenses of the attorneys in 2012,  I wonder when they will start?  My guess Monday night cost the township a minimum of  $1710 and possibly much more, might I remind you….nothing was accomplished!  The supervisors knew the hearing was not going to take place, yet they kept 2 attorneys at the table…..Good Job watching that budget!
  •  When questioned about the decision to pay 100% of Clare Quinn’s benefits, the board said they would determine the percentage in March when Clare will go on the policy.  Keep your eyes on this one, how will the supervisors spend your money?
  •  Remember when the Horse Show supporters showed up at the meeting, and mysteriously chairs were missing from the meeting room, forcing people to stand or sit on the ground?  The chairs have returned! Personally I want to thank my township for treating their residents with such care that they actually removed chairs from the meeting room when the supporters of the horse show attended meetings.

BUDGET REVIEW UPDATE

As promised, I have been inspecting records at  the township building over the last two weeks.  This is a slow process, however I will keep you updated as things of importance are revealed.  The 2012 budget did not include rental income for the farmland and farmhouse leased by the township.  After I pointed this out, Jim Wendlegas was not able to determine why they were missing.  During my review and on Monday evening, Jim took responsibility for “missing” the income from the farm land in the budget. The supervisors decided to vote to amend the budget to make this change at the next meeting. As part of my review, I have asked for copies of the leases on the farm land along with the farmhouse lease.  What I was provided was an expired lease (lease expired 9/30/08) on the Farmhouse and an expired lease for the farmland that Ken Miller leases from the township (expired 12/31/10). When asked for lease renewals, extensions or addendums to the leases, Jim looked surprised, and said he would have to “look” for them.  Jim did not have them available at the next meeting even though I stressed the importance of seeing them.  Just to be clear, the leases do not have an automatic renewal, and do require renewals in writing…Stay tuned more to follow….

Thank you for staying interested in what is going on in West Vincent Township.  Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who may have an interest in what’s happening in West Vincent Township.  If the e-mail has been forwarded to you, and you would like to receive future mailings, please click on the link below!

Sincerely,

Maria Jacobs

Friend of the Horse Show

“Be the change you wish the world to see” – Ghandi

 To join the Friends of the Horse Show Mailing list click here
To see my previous mailings please click on http://tinyurl.com/westvincentinfos    As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know.  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.   Especially though, if you don’t want to continue to receive my mails, please tell me. I’ll take you off the list immediately.   Just hit reply to this email or write to chestercountynews@gmail.com
Best wishes
Chickenman

transition

So here I am, making the transition to one of the places I always wanted to live: Chester County.  Now it’s all about git r’ done.

I started in Society Hill, transitioned to the Main Line, but let’s face it, the Main Line she ain’t what she used to be.  I am discovering more and more the kinds of people I used to prefer on the Main Line have actually moved to Chester County.

In Chester County, you have room to breathe, and you can actually see things like open space, farms, horses…and oh yes lots and lots and lots of deer.

I am not so jazzed about all the deer, truthfully. But the rate of development is taking away their habitat and their natural predators.  And every time a deer hunt is proposed to cull the herd the caterwauling and protests I read about are just silly.

One thing I worry about in Chester County is that the many municipalities out here becoming afflicted with the non-listening-we-know-best government disease.  This disease is ruining parts of the Main Line, Lower Merion in particular.

You see when local government starts to believe its own hype, it all goes into the crapper.  The government becomes so full of itself, it completely starts to forget what attracted people to an area in the first place.  A lot of this is caused by unnecessary development.

Unnecessary development starts out like a gleam in a municipalty’s eye.  Ahhh the savoring of future ratables.  But what municipalities seem to forget is you can’t just build it and assume they will come.

I see a lot of what can only be described as wanton careless development in Chester County.  I am fuzzy on where all the boundaries from community to community lie, but truthfully it’s a little startling to see quite so many plastic houses being planted all hodge podge.  And a lot of them are planted on top of busy, noisy highways.  I don’t get the whole leave the hectic pace of a more urban lifestyle to hear urban noises in quasi-rural areas. And Chester County definitely needs no more malls.  They are replete with strip shopping centers and malls.

Now recently there was a failed eminent domain for private gain attempt in Chester County.  At Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds, which is West Vincent Township.  When I first heard about it, I was appalled.  Here we go again – the last time I heard about something that turned my stomach quite so much is when Coatesville tried to seize Dick and Nancy Saha’s farm.  I got to know the Sahas a few years back, and they are the loveliest people.  Kind and neighborly.  They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect their land.

At the crux of the West Vincent debacle seems to be a lot of political shenanigans and of course, a Disneyland-esque Redevelopment Plan.  The funny thing is, as is the case with many of these plans is I can’t figure out who asked for it. Or why they think they need it.

One development which concerns me greatly was the Toll Brothers one approved by Willistown Supervisors approved on Paoli Pike in 2011.  Applebarf, err Applebrook Meadows. This development is right up against Willistown’s border with East Goshen.  Close to one of the most awesome park spaces I have seen (East Goshen’s park and walking trails are lovely.)

Lots of plastic houses in the new make me barf affected style of “carriage homes”.  Yeah really?  Do they even know the genesis of the carriage house and yet they re replacing horses with….you got it, plastic houses.  I never saw much coverage on Willistown’s mistake except in the Malvern Patch.  Malvern Patch also has reported on the planned super-sizing of Malvern.

In cute Malvern, a developer named Eli Kahn has plans and apparently governmental blessings to super-size Malvern.   Look at the renderings for this plan – does that even look like it belongs in Chester County?  To me, it will just make Chester County experience some of the over-developed ugliness of North Jersey.  This developer also has his sights set on West Chester according to Malvern Patch .

Chester County if it is not careful will become like the congested, over developed Main Line.  It’s beauty is in what it is, not some plastic vision of people who just are going to make their investments pay for them and move on.

How do people in Chester County in whatever municipality want their county to look like?  Do they envision lots of plastic houses and plastic (turf) fields to go with it?   I think people overall want to preserve the integrity of the county, so maybe a lot of these residents from various small and large municipalities need to get together and work with one and other.  One of the largest problems I see in Chester County is the hodge podge of zoning.  Commercial and residential all higgeldly piggeldly.  Why layer on more development when the obvious solution is to deal with what they have?  Look at all the little crossroads towns that need a little love.  They don’t need a strip mall or plastic houses down the road a piece, they need restoration.

Chester County is a gem and I am so loving exploring it.  I would just hate if Chester County  ended up looking as bad and over-developed as parts of Bucks and Montgomery Counties in particular.

I am but an auslander at this point hoping that Chester County learns again to preserve the land and a way of life before it’s overly “improved”.  Appreciate and preserve the charm of crossroads communities and nature that draws people here in the first place.  After all, there is nothing natural about plastic.