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bishop tube and o’neill in front of east whiteland zoning monday february 27, 2017

Chester County Ramblings - Thu, 2017-02-23 18:33

It is once again, Bishop Tube season in East Whiteland. I last wrote about Bishop Tube this past January ( see toxic nightmare site bishop tube goes back to zoning…).

Well Bishop Tube was at Planning already this week, O’Neill is also speaking at an East Whiteland Business Networking event this evening – “Guest Speaker Brian O’Neill will provide insight on development in the East Whiteland area.”

Bishop Tube was postponed until February 27 Zoning, and somehow I doubt many residents impacted by Bishop Tube will be at the networking event this evening, but if I lived in General Warren Village I would go (but I digress).

 

 

Above is the legal notice for Bishop Tube in front of East Whiteland Zoning.  I will note there is NOTHING posted on East Whiteland’s website about this February 27th meeting yet…but hey why stay on top of sunshine on a sunny day, right?

Anyway, I am supportive of the folks in General Warren Village, and even the Malvern Borough residents who will be directly impacted by this plan, so I am posting the following information written by a resident over there:

 

On Monday, February 27 at 7:15 there will be a township meeting to discuss the Bishop Tube Site project. Here is a brief overview from what we have learned so far.

Bishop Tube is the old manufacturing facility that is located at the end of Village Way and is accessed by Malin Rd and route 30, near the Giant Shopping Center. O’Neill Properties, who own this property now, wants to develop the site to include 228 town homes. They would be in rows of 3 to 7 in length and they are asking for a variance from the township for the rows that are greater than 6. In addition, they are asking for variances to change the natural slope in the land. This would be to excavate the area and provide an area for the new housing to be built. In order for the sloping to work they would need to add a retaining wall around the east side of the property, along the creek. The highest point of the retaining wall would be 18 feet. At the meeting, we couldn’t tell from the drawing how this would look or impact the residents on that side of the Village.

Within the property there are three areas where the previous owners reported the release of Trichloroethylene (TCE), which is a chlorinated solvent and is used commercially as an industrial degreaser. These areas would be cleaned up by soil excavation and would then become green areas. They discussed removing 6,700 cubic yards from the site as part of this cleanup effort. They also noted that the remedy for cleanup would be selected by DEP in 2017.

Another area of concern for Village residents is that they want to add emergency vehicle access from Village Way through to the new neighborhood. They are saying this would be needed because of the number of homes in the new development and because if there was a train derailment on the Malin Rd side, emergency vehicles would have to use Village Way to access this new neighborhood.

Please come to the meeting on Monday. Your presence will help us show a concern for our neighborhood and hopefully help the township make the right decision.
Here are some of the questions that we have so far…
Once that dirt is being excavated what is the impact to the air quality and ground water?

Will there be any additional ground testing to determine if other areas of the property have been impacted by contamination of TCE or other products?

What are the overall impacts to living in proximity to this cleanup effort?

How will the retaining walls look from our community?

Are we guaranteed that their will only be emergency access from Village Way?

 

So I wonder, are Benson Companies still doing the building? They are in spotlight in Chester County again, and not in a positive way for their planned development in Howellville in Tredyffrin aren’t they?   I also wonder why so many units have to be shoved into/onto a toxic site? What about the potential issues down the road? Building slab on grade with no basements doesn’t necessarily mean any leftover chemicals that escape clean up will be encapsulated, right?  And where are the DEP and EPA on this clean-up? Or is this all just going to disappear considering the new administration in Washington DC doesn’t seem to place much value on things that concern every day people?

Density. How much do we need? Do we live in Chester County so we can feel like we live in King of Prussia, Bensalem, and development ridden Mongtomery County up the 422 corridor???

None of this development is ever done with consideration to existing residents who pay taxes in an area.  None of this development is ever done with keeping all the OTHER plans in a municipality and neighboring municipalities in mind.  All of these developments show up on flat, out of context plans on a monitor at a zoning or planning meeting as if the are some sort of Valhalla complete with Elysian Fields.

Bishop Tube is no joke.  It’s literally a deadly toxic site.  So before they approve HUNDREDS of living units with variances that a lot of residents feel will further squeeze a getting over-developed township AND a school district and not for the positive, how about someone show folks that the place is cleaned up? Or publicly state (including to the media) exactly where the clean up is?

Yes, O’Neill has redeveloped many brownfields, built many units.  But should we forget Riverwalk Millennium in Conshohocken?  The multi-million dollar settlement to residents who lost everything and pets in that fire? Should we forget the battle in Massachusetts to keep him out of the Alewife forest? Sadly, in the end residents and nature lost that.  The silver maple forest was lost when approvals were given for the  Residences at Acorn Park, a $70 million, 299-unit apartment complex in the Belmont Uplands, which residents there did not want, did they? Or any of the developments in Lower Merion (Barker’s Mill and Rock Hill Road), a lot of which took years off the lives of residents attending meeting after meeting and what of the ones that never happened but stressed residents out?

And what about Portsmouth/Newport Rhode Island? Take a look at this:

Hard times for Carnegie Tower: Recession, soft market leaves luxury highrise in Portsmouth mostly empty

By Christine Dunn
 Providence Journal Staff Writer Posted Jul 24, 2015 at 7:31 PM

PORTSMOUTH — With their designer kitchens and baths, private elevators and balconies with soaring views of
Narragansett Bay, the luxury condominiums at the Carnegie Tower have undeniable glamour.

 But the 22-story tower, which opened in the summer of 2009, turned out to be a losing prospect for developer J. Brian O’Neill. The 79-unit tower opened when the housing market was in freefall, and in 2012, 77 of the condos remained unsold….Within a few months after the opening, several prospective buyers sued to get their deposits back. And in 2012, O’Neill had to refinance to avoid a planned tax sale of 77 tower condos by paying the Town of Portsmouth more than $2 million in back taxes. The final blow came in January, when the Pennsylvania-based builder turned over an estimated 68 of the condos to his creditors in a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure transaction.

 

Ok so look at that tower? Remind you of anything else? Perched on 202 at 29 in East Whiteland  perhaps? Royal Worthington? Everything looks the same no matter where it is.  Myabe if I was a Stepford wife I would be more appreciative, but I am not.

But what is more concerning is the occupancy as in truly how many live there and in other surrounding developments.  I also do not believe Eastside Flats in Malvern Borough is filled to capacity and what about that tower like thing on route 3 near Matlack? The Pointe or whatever? Any of the townhouse developments around? Atwater?

Pick a development. Pick a developer. There are so many, and that is kind of the point.  Is there a real need or an artificially created need? Look at an O’Neill development proposed for Haddonfield, NJ? Residential, mixed use, and a drug rehab? Look at the density of that plan. It’s not just here – at it’s most watered down, developers all have a formula for profit, they just keep applying the same formulas everywhere they go.  Toll Brothers is another example.  Pulte. Ryan. Benson. And so on and so forth

This is how the vision of completed Worthington goes. Does this look like the Chester County you want to see? It looks like the King of Prussia mall!

All of these living units add people to our roads. They add kids to the school district.  And no one ever talks about how that affects residents…until it is too late and communities are faced with a crisis.

I have no problem with developments that are thoughtfully planned with an existing community in mind.  Only you RARELY see that.

Bishop Tube is a scary hot mess. And obviously there are still issues keeping the site secure because I just found a 2017 You Tube video about Bishop Tube. I never trespassed when I photographed. I shot from the street only.

 

 

The people who need to pack the room on Monday, February 27 are the ones with legal standing as this is a zoning matter.  So that is at it’s most specific,  General Warren Village residents, and on the border Malvern Borough residents.  But I also encourage anyone who can, to go out and support these residents. That is the best thing a community can do when not all have standing.  Packed board rooms send a message.

Stand up for your communities.  If you don’t you will always get the short end of the development stick.  Bishop Tube needs to be cleaned up before development occurs.  It also needs less density.

Here is the January notice:

This photo was taken in 2010, long before I lived in Chester County. It was taken by d.coleman in June of 2010. I found it on Flickr. This is a screen shot of photo with attribution and description as found in yellow.
Photographers have been photographing Bishop Tube for years and I hear that high school kids find their way onto the site as well?

Look, O’Neill to an extent is a visionary…and a gambler. But I think to succeed where he has succeeded you can’t have one with out the other. And yes, he has been extraordinarily generous with East Whiteland’s fire company, but why is it no one in East Whiteland (much like Tredyffrin and elsewhere in Chester County) can seem to hit a pause button on development or to actually fight for residents so that development is not so painful?  Because residents are the ones who pay the piper after the first blush of ratables is concerned.  Residents deal with the traffic, infrastructure issues, basic services and first responder (police/fire/EMT) issues, overcrowding in schools.

There are so many developers, so many plans. But we live here too.  And it is time for municipalities to hear us.  Here is hoping residents totally pack the zoning hearing board on Monday February 27 at 7:15 PM at East Whiteland Township.  And I hope the residents of General Warren Village represent.

The bottom line is something is going to get built on Bishop Tube. It’s a gross, toxic eyesore.  But what gets built, how the remediation goes, and so on still has to do with how the community feels.  If residents do not turn out, they will lose one of the few opportunities they have left to have a say.

My opinion is O’Neill can do this if he wanted do it with less density. Or he could offer another use for the property that wouldn’t impact residents so horribly.  But people have to turn up and speak out. Because look at it this way: if this plan gets approved and sold to yet another developer, the community needs to lock in the plans to the best that the community can get and stomach.  And most importantly to ensure the remediation is done the best it can be, right?

 


Categories: Pennsylvania

Villanova Hosting Comedy Show Focused On Addiction Recovery And Stigma Busting

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-02-23 16:45
Two area natives who created a Comedy Central web series about Delaware County will perform Saturday night in the Connelly Center.
Categories: Lower Merion

Main Line School Aide Showed Students Sexual Videos, Flashed Them: Police

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-02-23 14:34
This is the second employee at The Village accused of inappropriate actions recently, as one ex teacher is facing felony child sex charges.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco's U.S. Rep. Boyle To Hold Town Hall Meeting Series

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-02-23 13:45
Montgomery County's U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-13) will be holding a series of town hall meetings over the next several months.
Categories: Lower Merion

Best PA High Schools In 2017: Lower Merion Ranks 5th

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-02-23 13:29
Niche.com has ranked Lower Merion fifth on a list of the state's best public high schools. Congrats!
Categories: Lower Merion

Credit Card Stolen From Vehicle Used At City Avenue BP: Lower Merion Police

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-02-23 10:05
If you can ID the pictured suspect, contact Lower Merion Police immediately.
Categories: Lower Merion

Old Gulph Road In Lower Merion Closing Today

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-02-23 09:09
The township said emergency vehicles will have access to the area.
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Feb. 23

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-02-23 07:51
The Daily Numbers: 71, expected high temperature today.

10 a.m., how long dense fog advisory is in effect.

2 women charged in strong-arm robbery of Harrah’s players in the parking garage of the Chester casino.

2 day strike March 5-6 being threatened by nurses at DCMH if they don’t get a new contract.

10,000 dollar fine slapped on Chester funeral home and director by state board for operating without a license.

200 people who showed up at town forum in Media on the Affordable Care Act last night.

8 million dollar line of credit for Cheyney University put up by the state.

48-game home win streak for Villanova at the Pavilion snapped last night.

74-66 loss to Butler, 2nd time this year Butler has gotten better of ‘Cats.

7 point lead for ‘Nova with 10:30 remaining.

18 point run that powered Butler to win.

4-1 loss for Flyers last night vs. the Caps.

33 saves for Caps goalie Brayden Holtby

59-39 loss for Interboro boys to Shanahan in District 1 hoops.

74-59 win for Chester Clippers.

102 straight wins for UConn women.

90-45 rout of Temple women.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Kind of a tough night. Losses for Flyers, Villanova, Saint Joe and Temple.

I Don’t Get It: At some point I think the Pa. Pats - Meehan and Toomey - will have to sit down in a town hall style meeting with constituents.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the latest member of the Lansdowne Police Force. Welcome to Chapek, a K-9 officer.

Quote Box: “For our patients, we must win a fair contract that will ensure safety for the Delco community.”

- Angela Neopolitano, nurse at DCMH, where unionized workers are threatening 2-day strike if they don’t get a new deal.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Get Out And About In Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood: Check the Patch Calendar

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-02-23 07:40
The Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch Calendar has the goings-on. Check it out!
Categories: Lower Merion

New Listings: Homes for Sale in and around Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-02-23 07:22
Looking for a home? Or do you just like looking at what homes are on the market? Either way, here are the latest homes for sale in and around Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood...
Categories: Lower Merion

List Your Job on Patch!

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-02-23 07:16
Find a new job or post a job opening on the all new Patch Jobs!
Categories: Lower Merion

Voices raised with ACA concerns are not going away

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-02-23 06:53
The debate over the Affordable Care Act - and Republicans’ vow to repeal it - rages on.

Town hall meetings are being held across the country as citizens realize what is at stake.

Last night several hundreds people turned out for a discussion of the ACA in Media sponsored by a group called Organizing for Action.

They wanted to hear from U.S. Rep. Pat. Meehan. He was invited - they even had a chair for him - but he did not attend. Some Republicans are trying to pass off these events as blatant political events being organized by progressive groups opposed to Republican policy.

I don’t doubt that some of those in attendance were in fact political operatives.

But not all of them. Probably not even most of them.

Instead what you are hearing is citizens, many of whom dealing with life-threatening illnesses, who are scared to death that they are going to lose their health benefits.

Meehan, like many moderate Republicans, has toned down the rhetoric on the health care debate. He’s now talking about ,”rescue and repair,” as opposed to “repeal and replace” when it comes to Obamacare.

But Republicans have yet to put forth their idea for a replacement plan.

Those voices out there wondering about the future of their healthcare are only going to get louder.

You can read our coverage of last night’s hearing here.

TIME TO FIX THE REDISTRICTING MESS

Speaking of Rep. Meehan, have you looked at a map of the 7th District lately.

It looks like one of your kids was turned loose with the fingerpaints.

The 7th District, which includes most of Delaware County, now also zigs and zags its way into Montgomery, Berks and even Lancaster counties. It spans parts of five counties altogether.

Yes, it’s a mess.

Two Pennsylvania legislators - one Democrat and one Republican - want to fix it before the next census is due in 2020. You can read our editorial on the issue here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Roundtable on abortion bills today at Swarthmore

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-02-23 06:20
The heated debate over a controversial abortion bill making its way through the state Legislature is headed to Delaware County today.

State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-161, of Swarthmore will host a roundtable discussion on Senate Bill 3 at Swarthmore college at 2 p.m. Among those attending will be Gov. Tom Wolf.

Senate Bill 3 would change the existing abortion laws in the state, banning elective procedures after 20 weeks, instead of the 24-week limit now in place. It passed the Senate, with both Delco senators splitting along party lines. Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-26, and Sen. Tom Killion, R-9, voted in favor; Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, and Sen. Anthony Williams, D-1, voted against.

State Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren/Crawford/Forest, introduced a companion bill in the House on Tuesday. House Bill 77 mirrors SB 3 in being one of the most restrictive abortion ban in the country.

Krueger-Braneky and Wolf will hear testimony from medical professionals, midwives, high-risk OBGYNs and individuals with personal stories relating to abortion from Delaware County.

The roundtable is slated for 2 p.m. in Bond Memorial Hall at Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave.

We'll be there to cover it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Heavy fog hits region overnight

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-02-23 04:43
You will need extra time for the morning commute.

I just drove into the office and I can tell you there is a heavy fog out there.

The National Weather Service has issued a dense fog advisory for the entire region until 10 a.m.

The roads also are wet, meaning the morning commute should be fairly eventful.

Plan on it taking longer to get where you are going.

The good news? Not only is it not snow, but it's not even all that cold. The warm temps are what is responsible for the heavy layer of fog that descended on the region overnight.

Later this morning the fog is expected to burn off and we're actually headed for a spring-like 71 degrees later today.

Get the full forecast here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Philly Band Hop Along Among WXPN's 2017 Festival Headliners

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2017-02-22 15:51
The band will join indie rock juggernaut Wilco and folk singer-songwriter Conor Oberst at the BB&T Pavilion July 28.
Categories: Lower Merion

KOP Man Smuggled Undocumented Immigrants Into Country For Money: U.S. Attorney

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2017-02-22 13:44
A King of Prussia man was arrested for accepting tens of thousands of dollars to help smuggle undocumented Turkish immigrants into the U.S.
Categories: Lower Merion

Friends' Central Rejects Ultimatum From Suspended Teachers' Attorney

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2017-02-22 13:07
Two teachers were suspended after a Palestinian speaker was scheduled to come to the Quaker school.
Categories: Lower Merion

Vehicle Stolen From Lower Merion Garage: Police

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2017-02-22 12:19
A 2015 Range Rover was stolen early Tuesday morning, police said.
Categories: Lower Merion

Major Pennsylvania Companies Announce Layoffs, Store Closings

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2017-02-22 12:05
Several major companies in Pennsylvania have announced store closings and layoffs that will leave hundreds without work.
Categories: Lower Merion

Missing Woman In Easttown Located: Police

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2017-02-22 10:11
Elizabeth Hunter Hooper was found Wednesday afternoon after being last seen Tuesday afternoon.
Categories: Lower Merion