Ok it is no secret how much I love Loch Aerie. I last wrote about her April 21, 2016 when I thought she had sold.
I had wondered what was going on because no one had heard anything. I saw lights on a few times at night over the summer and the lawn was getting cut.
Well guess what?
As per Vista Today Loch Aerie has sold again. Apparently they are reporting that the deal fell through and their real estate agent from Berkshire Hathaway Mike Diggin submitted an offer on behalf of Steven and Dana Poirier of Downingtown and it was accepted.
I was able to confirm Vista’s story via, what else? Social Media!
Why yay? I do not know these people but they want to rehab it and have a wedding venue and maybe it sounds like the husband’s office as well.
I remember them from auction day, they were across the room from me.
Anyway, that is all the news fit to print on 700 Lancaster Avenue, Malvern, PA.
Tip of the hat to Vista for getting the scoop. I enjoyed my brief stint writing for them, I just couldn’t do it for free so that writing experience was unfortunately short lived.
I see this as positive news for Loch Aerie. I look forward to their opening day.
Selfishly I hope the consider Frens & Frens out of West Chester for an architecture firm – they are the ones who restored Beechwood House in Bryn Mawr. I was on the Committee to Save Beechwood years ago – it is how I fell in love with Addison Hutton houses.
I will close with a video done on Beechwood for the restoration so people can se a modern adaptive reuse of an old mansion/home can work!
Now that it has been announced, I can say that I have known for a few years that Natural Lands Trust was working on saving Bryn Coed. I was asked to not say anything, so into the proverbial vault it went. But I can’t say it is untrue that developers were sniffing around Bryn Coed’s 1500+ acres can I ? After all, it is a magical piece of land that is almost mythical, isn’t it?
Here is the official press release:
Media, Pa. – Natural Lands Trust announced today a major milestone in the non-profit land conservation organization’s effort to preserve 1,505 acres in northern Chester County known as Bryn Coed Farms.
On September 28, 2016, Natural Lands Trust and the current property owners, the Dietrich family, executed an Agreement of Sale for the property. Natural Lands Trust now has six months to conduct due diligence, including Phase II environmental testing.
The fate of the property has been the subject of much speculation over the years as development pressures have increased in the region. Located primarily in West Vincent Township, Chester County, with portions also in East and West Pikeland Townships, the property is one of the largest remaining undeveloped, unprotected tracts of land in the Greater Philadelphia region. Under current zoning, nearly 700 homes could be built on the property if it is not placed under protection.
Natural Lands Trust has been working with the Dietrichs for more than five years to conserve the land.
“It is too early to celebrate, but we are optimistic that much of this iconic property can be conserved,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “It’s a complex deal with many moving parts, but Bryn Coed is certainly worth fighting to save. It’s a community and ecological treasure.”
If successful, the deal would result in a 400-plus-acre nature preserve with eight miles of hiking trails that will be owned and managed by Natural Lands Trust. The preserve will be open to visitors, free of charge, just like other nature preserves owned by the regional conservation group—including the 112-acre Binky Lee Preserve in nearby Chester Springs. In addition, West Vincent Township is considering Natural Lands Trust’s offer to establish a 72-acre municipal park on the property.
The remainder of the property would be divided into large conservation properties, preserved by conservation easements, and sold to private individuals.
“The amount of land that can be permanently protected as a Natural Lands Trust preserve is dependent on the amount of funding we can raise. The cost of preserving the entirety of such a vast and valuable property is beyond the currently available resources. We will be seeking support from the public in the weeks and months ahead,” Morrison added.
In 2003, the Dietrich brothers decided to divest themselves of the property. Various conservation and development options were explored but never came to a successful conclusion.
In recent years, several developers have been in negotiations with the Deitrichs, including Toll Brothers, which had proposed a 254-unit development on about one-quarter of the property.
Much of the property is actively farmed or in pasture. There are nearly 500 acres of mature woodlands on the property that are home to a myriad of songbirds and other wildlife. Generations of residents and visitors have enjoyed the pastoral views of Bryn Coed Farms.
The land also contains the headwaters to Pickering Creek, and is a high priority for source water protection. Bryn Coed Farms alone constitutes 17 percent of the remaining unprotected high-priority land in the Pickering Creek watershed.
Persons interested in receiving more information as the Bryn Coed Farms conservation effort progresses are invited to visit www.natlands.org/bryncoed and sign up for email updates. Those interested in learning more about the conservation properties that will be available for sale should contact Brian Sundermeir, Bryn Coed project manager, at 610-353-5587, ext. 237.
Natural Lands Trust is the region’s largest land conservation organization and is dedicated to protecting the forests, fields, streams, and wetlands that are essential to the sustainability of life in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Since its founding in 1953, Natural Lands Trust has preserved more than 100,000 acres, including 43 nature preserves totaling nearly 22,000 acres. Today, some 2.5 million people live within five miles of land under the organization’s protection. For more information, visit www.natlands.org.
So, this is not yet quite a done deal. There are three municipalities and a lot of due diligence and environmental testing. From what I am reading, not all of the land will be conserved (it’s a little unclear) , but one can hope and no matter what this is a heck of a lot more than anyone expected.
As I understand it, The NLT-owned preserve will be a “big chunk ” of Bryn Coed. The remainder will be large conservation lots with easements on them and trail easements as well. The size of the preserve can grow if Natural Lands Trust gets more money towards the project.
To David Robinson and his family who own Crebilly, why can’t you look at something like this? You can afford to.
Ok I just wanted to put this out there as some thought my post from the other evening was fabricated. I do my homework, and it doesn’t get much more official than the press release from Natural Lands Trust. And this is THEIR hard work and no one else’s (because I know some who will try to take credit, and well it is not theirs to take.)
BRAVO NLT! This is why I am a member and big believer in the Natural Lands Trust, they do not just talk the talk, they walk the walk. (Brian O’Leary and the Chester County Planning Commission could learn something here, just saying.)
I am a member of Natural Lands Trust, and proudly so. Please consider a membership. This is me asking incidentally, not them. Go out and enjoy the glorious weekend this weekend. This surely is an awesome way to start it!
I am prefacing ALL comments with I have NOTHING against baseball or any local little league organizations. That is NOT what this is about. What this is about is LIGHT POLLUTION. And the right residents have to not have where they live lit up at night like noontime sun for extended periods of time.
In August, the Great Valley Little League was coming before East Whiteland Zoning for a variance:
****Appeal No. 2016-17 Application of Great Valley Little League for a variance from the 35-foot height limitation for all outdoor illumination fixtures for recreational and sports lighting, in order to construct and utilize four illumination fixtures (two poles at 70 feet in height, and two poles at 60 feet in height) in order to illuminate a little league baseball field on its property located at 1300 West King Road (UPI 42-6-40.1-E) in an R- 1 Residential Zoning District of the Township.*****
I will admit I found it distinctly ODD at the time that the neighbors around there said nothing. And well they got their variance but under not institutional lighting, not residential lighting, but I was told under commercial lighting like they are on Route 30 or Rout 100 in a business district and NOT where they actually are….a residential area.
So, given the zoning hearing was in the dead of summer, and the notice was kind of posted last minute on the actual field, it doesn’t surprise me that the Zoning Hearing Board just approved the poles with not much of a thought to residents within the legal notice zone and those who are not but are still affected by BIG LIGHTS that cause that thing called LIGHT POLLUTION.
So the Little League strategy obviously was to go first to Zoning for the relief they sought and then to go to Planning for conditional approval, do I have that right? They thought no one would be bothered?
Some neighbors showed up at the East Whiteland September Planning Meeting and Planning delayed any action on the conditional use because they (GVLL/Great Valley Little League) apparently had not engaged the immediate neighbors. It was reported to me that neighbors said they followed the advice of the Township? What does that mean and who advised them in particular? Zoning? Supervisor? Staff? Apparently, then the guy in charge of the GVLL (or whomever was at the meeting) stated that he can build lights in the parking lot by right or something to that affect. (Of course, he was granted a sweetheart variance, correct?)
Ok regardless of whether or not it is BY RIGHT or NOT, they have neighbors, including people RIGHT across King who also get inconvenienced by their storm water runoff at times, or I am told. And given the runoff I have driven through over there, I believe it.
Also notable: some East Whiteland ordinance I am told allows lights like this to be on 40 nights over 365 nights (1 year), which has people concerned that GVLL might try to say they are entitled to use the lights 40 Nights over their 90 Day Season, or essentially continually Memorial Day to Labor Day?? Ummm shouldn’t the interpretation be based upon a pro-rated or perhaps 9.86 nights? If they go for a broad interpretation is that FAIR to those of us who live within the light area that basically there will basically be a Northern Lights effect ALL summer long?
How can we trust the Great Valley Little League will buy lights with the best possible shielding and so on? The answer is you can’t. Who will babysit them for compliance in operating the lights and address the non-compliance? I can tell you from past experience municipalities push that off on residents (just ask the Radnor Township residents who deal with Villanova stadium and field lights.)
No one living near that field moved there so they could live next door to the little league version of Citizen’s Bank Park.
AGAIN, I am NOT anti-Little League. What I object to is residents NOT really being part of the process FAIRLY. We live here and like it or not, the Little League folks come and go. I doubt they would want bright lights shining in their windows at night. Acting in good faith is a big deal, kind of like good sportsmanship.
So that being said OCTOBER 19th at East Whiteland’s Township Building at 7 PM located at 209 Conestoga Rd, Frazer, PA 19355 there will be a meeting with neighbors. GVLL has apparently sent out a mass e-mail to their membership instructing parents to show up with kids in uniform. It is their right, but they are trying to unduly influence East Whiteland and discourage neighbors from speaking up.
That is not right. And this is not an issue of health of the young, this is a reasonable expectation of quiet enjoyment issue that is a tangible right of homeowners. And the issues caused by light pollution are real and well documented.
The issues with the little league where the lights are concerned include:
- The number of nights per week that games can be played (currently not limited)
- The hours of operation (Currently 10 pm weeknights and 11 pm weekends)
- The use of the PA system including the VOLUME level and how late into the evening it can be used (currently 8 pm)
- Light spillage
- The future need to light the parking lot
- Extended season, tournament play, increased traffic and non-league use of playing fields (OR RENTING OUT THE FIELDS TO WHOMEVER FOR WHATEVER)
This October 19th meeting is really important so if you can show up to support the neighbors that would be awesome.
NO ONE IS ANTI-CHILD SPORTS or ANTI-LITTLE LEAGUE. These neighbors got dealt a poor hand and no one is sticking up for them and they have rights TOO. These people leave the little league fields on King Road and go home. They won’t be having stadium lights shining in their windows at night. Truthfully, they do not care. They just want their lights.
Interestingly I was told but can’t prove the numbers are down on little league membership with Great Valley Little League? If this is true, is this a wise financial decision?
Now as the GVLL/Great Valley Little League is asking for things, how will they address pre-existing issues? These issues include:
- Traffic. The way people pull in and out of that field can be a problem, so why is it they do not have police being paid to direct traffic, or are out there safely directing people in and out? It is King Road, it’s BUSY.
- Storm water runoff. Even a small cloud burst causes GIANT puddles. A normal rain event causes flooding on King Road in front of their fields. When it is a heavy rain event, the water accumulation can be significant.
Anyway, that is the scoop. Not anti-baseball. Not anti-kids. Not anti-little league. But what on earth did Great Valley Little League think was going to happen if they tried to sneak/shove this through? These people are supposed to be teaching kids good sportsmanship and fair play among other things, right?
People who are interested in all the new construction in the Chester Springs area should be made to attempt a morning commute during the week versus cruising through on a Saturday or Sunday.
I felt like I was in Manhattan this morning – cars well past Montgomery School on Route 113 trying to get through the intersection with Route 401, a couple miles worth of hideous, now everyday traffic.
God bless those who have to get to work OUTSIDE of Chester Springs. And to think of the nearly 250 homes not yet occupied as part of Byers Station Phase 2 and roughly same number of Pulte homes going up near Ludwigs Corner????
This is insanity!!!
Perhaps worth a post. Biggest problem when the the massive amount of developing going on is the market for them- the buyers. They have no idea the poor quality of these homes along with what it is really like to get around these 2 lane roads. Uh!!!
And indeed, so worth a post!
Why this is so good to see come to life isn’t so people can be miserable in traffic, it’s instead so people can know what their future holds every time they see one of these plans proposed wherever it is they live.
When these plans are proposed in your municipalities, they are cute little Lego land box drawings on a big flat piece of paper. The drawings are shown with these buildings with nothing around them, so you can’t visualize the reality of these developments for the most part. You get stuck waiting for the developments to be built and then there’s nothing you can do.
And my favorite is the trick that even a curse out here where they talk about how people aren’t going to be using their cars, they will use special Jetson spaceships and public transportation. Everything is going to be “walkable”. Of course how they can say that with a straight face and parts of Chester County were you still have to drive miles to get to a grocery store cracks me up.
A lot of the “highways” out here are glorified country roads. They weren’t meant for this volume of humanity. Then you look at roads like 202 which are a nightmare even with improvements.
So anyway, just more food for thought. Especially if you were thinking about areas like over around Crebilly, and that’s not just because of the Toll Brothers proposed building on that land. It’s quite simply put: just adding all the plans up.
What do you get if you add up all the developments large and small from one end of Chester county to the other? To me that prospect is frightening and very very sad.