A few years ago in 2013 I asked rather tongue in cheek if a Toll Brothers development was what Stepford might look like. Now Toll Brothers might not like my opinion but since the whole Crebilly scenario erupted, I daresay my opinions are mild when compared to some. (Had to get that whole opinion/First Amendment thing out of the way.)
Sadly I am only half kidding about the Stepford of it all.
We are becoming a place where people no longer say what town they are from. They reference where they live by development. Not by road, town, township, borough, or city. By development.
Ok, so that is how you identify? That is your entire self-image? Your development or subdivision defines who you are?
Every time someone does that, I pause. I can’t keep track of ALL of the developments, especially in Chester County, can you?
As I said in 2013, Can you imagine what that next Appledumb, Mountainfake, Potters Field, and Byers Remorse will look like? (Can’t keep track of all the municipalities and doofy names of developments or developers so pardon the comedic license.)
Once before the plans were approved this property at 99 Church Road came up in an East Whiteland meeting. They showed up in subsequent meeting minutes which have disappeared from public view on East Whiteland’s website, but I saved a screenshot:
I read with some amusement the description of this now christened Great Valley Crossing. Here is a screen shot:
Heaven starts at $649K++. Choose from four models with jumped up, preposterous names.
Oh the “model” names. It’s like you are buying a car. So not only will you be identified only by the development you buy into, but will be known by your house model. Where is the “Tara” model???
Relaxed atmosphere of “country living”? Oh.Come.On. Have these marketing geniuses sat in traffic in Chester County lately?? Sadly, it’s less like country living and often more like King of Prussia mall traffic at rush hour. You can’t even garden the way you want to in a lot of these new developments. It’s all controlled and maybe soon the husbands can rejoice that out here in New Stepford, the developments will define wifely attire too?
(Hold me back, New Stepford is a comin’ ! Individuality is BAAAAAD!)
And as THIS development goes up and others are in the pipeline, for how many years will the Great Valley School District remain “award-winning”? Hows about we try “over-crowded” on for size?
Here are the plans for this development I found on East Whiteland’s website. Follow the link. All developments are magical through marketing until ALL OF THE PEOPLE WITH ALL OF THEIR CARS move in. Then everyone complains. “Too much traffic” “I thought our taxes were supposed to go down?” “Where is the open space?”
And speaking of marketing, East Whiteland is marketing itself as “The Heart of The Great Valley”. How much of the ACTUAL Great Valley is still left? Great Valley has gone from having fascinating and important history with regard to this great nation to being a series of corporate centers, strip malls, and developments.
Speaking of history, I discovered this really cool report on the PA Historical and Museum Commission website. It is called The Great Valley Historical Agricultural Region, 1750-1960.
Completely fascinating. Have also uploaded here: great_valley
Here are some shots from 99 Church Road circa 2012:
Also found this aerial shot on Google:
This is another 41.50 acres of open space/farmland that will never, ever come back. And as per a comment on a blog post from 2016, the development’s “open space” is actually unusable flood plain land, apparently? So these houses are clustered on what land can actually be developed? And what will the “roads” of this development look like? Will they be wide enough?
And let us not forget in just this part of Chester County, there is OTHER development happening the Great Valley School District…not just East Whiteland, although East Whiteland has the lion’s share. (Refer to this post from early August, 2018)
I will ask again, and keep asking: Chester County residents, do you want the entire county to look like this? Didn’t some of you move out here to escape this in the first place?
Signing off from Happy Dell Acres (no, not a real place that I know of but I feel like I have to give the area where I live it’s official dumb development name.)