Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Safety Issues at Henry Avenue, Mt. Pleasant . . . Is Developer Responsible for Securing Construction Site?

At the Town Hall Meeting this week, Mt. Pleasant residents had several concerns in addition to the college student-landlord issues. I addressed the vacant lot at 958 Mt. Pleasant Road in yesterday’s post and sent a related email to the Board of Supervisors and Township Manager Mimi Gleason (with link to the post on Community Matters). I am pleased to report that I received a response from Mimi with the following information:

(1) Township staff is following up with the complaints about 958 Mount Pleasant Avenue. So far, we have not gotten a response from the property owner, but are continuing to work on it.

(2) Staff from the Chester County Health Department also was at the site this week. As far as we know, they have not issued any kind of decision yet.

(3) Staff from the PA Department of Environmental Protection are supposed to inspect the property next week.

(4) Now that the complaints about 958 Mount Pleasant Avenue have been brought to the Township’s attention, we will do everything we can to address the situation.

Thank you to our Township Manager for her follow-up with the Mt. Pleasant Ave. vacant lot; I am sure that we will begin to see a clean-up in that area.

One of the other concerns that surfaced at the Mt. Pleasant Town Hall Meeting was the vacant houses at the end of Henry Ave., the future site development to include 8 townhouses & 1 family home. Developer F & H Main Line has an approved land development plan. Much to the chagrin of neighboring Mt. Pleasant Road residents, whose homes back up to the construction site, the property was completely clear-cut and specimen trees were not saved. According to these neighbors, specimen trees were to be saved and unfortunately that did not occur.

Community members are concerned about the vacant houses that have been left accessible by the developer. Although the vacant houses are slated for demolition, there does not seem to be a timeline. In the meantime, the houses have not been boarded up — the windows and doors are open and are encouraging the local kids to run in and out. There are no posted ‘keep out’ signs nor is there any fencing surrounding the construction site.

Note: I created a set of photos that I feel highlight the Henry Ave. development site — the clear-cutting of the property and the safety issues surrounding the vacant buildings.

Click here to review the photos with comments on Flickr. If you prefer a slideshow presentation, click here.

Please review the photos and then offer your comment. Do you think that the vacant buildings post a safety concern to the community? Does the developer bear a responsibility to secure the site from the public? Do you think that the township is responsible to make sure that the developer secures the site? In my opinion, accessibility to these vacant houses is a serious accident waiting to happen, would you agree?

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  1. These homes were not in this condition when the developer purchased them. They weren’t in the best condition but definitely NOT like this. They were occupied pretty much up until they were sold.

    Certainly not blighted or dangerous.

  2. Pattye, Thanks for this. You proved that a picture is worth a thousand words. I did not know we had such blight in our township. It is a disgrace that it is allowed to continue.

  3. These photos are disgraceful!! Pattye, thank you for taking the photos and posting them. Is this going to be one of those situations were the township says it’s not their problem? Is anyone going to make the developer be responsible? Where are our elected officials when it comes to helping Mt. Pleasant residents — right it’s Mt. Pleasant not St. Davids. Last time I checked Mt. Pleasant is in the same township as St. Davids, isn’t it? Which supervisor serves the Mt. Pleasant residents? Is it Olson?

      1. And WHERE was supervisor Olson when the meeting with the residents occurred? He of all supervisors should have been present.
        The newspaper stated it was in fact HIS district.

  4. Those pictures are truly disturbing. I frequently drive by the Mt. Pleasant area but have never really thought of it as being different than any other neighborhood. This shows the ugly truth – the township has negligected this area.

    Those who own, and possess, the properties which have the collapsing structures, piles of debris, rodents, etc. are certainly responsible for their upkeep. You are right – these are an accident waiting to happen. I’ll go a step further, they have already harmed residents in the area – i.e. the rodent issue. If these owners are unwilling to correct these issues on their own, the township should take the next step – have the properties declared nuisances. I speak in general terms but the township should have the ability to seek equitable relief – court orders to force the owners to abate the nuisance, pay money damages, etc.

    As was mentioned, whoever the supervisor is who is responsible for representing this district should take an active role (I believe it’s Olson but I’m not positive). He had no issue going to bat for St. Davids, this should be no different. Every resident of this township has the right to live in their home under conditions much better than those found in Mt. Pleasant right now. I have confidences that Mimi will take this seriously, hopefully the Supervisors will follow suit.

    The assertion, in a previous thread, that Christine Johnson or any other resident there should bear the responsibility of speaking with the landlords is ridiculous. She is not asking for the government to do everything for her – she is asking that they perform their core function which is ensuring the health, welfare and safety of all residents.

  5. These pictures say it all! Complete neglect in Tredyffrin. I’m emailing every resident that I know in Tredyffrin and sending them the link — people need to see these pictures. We need to hold our elected officials accountable – if Mt. Pleasant is Paul Olson’s territory, than he needs to do something to fix it! This problem didn’t just happen yesterday, people like Christine Johnson have repeatedly talked about it at supervisors meeting but they don’t give a damn. Warren Kampf is an at-large supervisor so I suggest that he might want to fix his backyard before he thinks about taking himself to Harrisburg!

  6. Mazie Hall’s old house was demolished this morning.
    Very bittersweet. We went down to look and saw a giant turkey vulture perched on a tree branch overlooking the pile of rubble. He was well fed today.

    1. Well that was quick action on part the the township, wasn’t it? You are right, bittersweet. What about the other houses — were they also taken down? I will drive over to Mt. Pleasant for some follow-up photos. Thanks for the update Christine.

  7. Pattye, Thank you for bringing this to my attention. This is a travesty for anyone who claims Tredyffrin Township home. No one should have to live next to this. Beyond the obvious safety concerns, I see a lack of respect here for our Mt. Pleasant neighbors that is offensive. Once again, we have a neighborhood issue that transends politics. Regardless of party affiliation, let’s all get on board here to make life in Mt Pleasant what it should be. Pattye, what’s our line of attack? James Bailey. Committeman Republican Party M-4.

    1. Jim,
      Your reaction is exactly what we need to restore the quality of life for our Mt. Pleasant neighbors. Awareness that these problems exist in Tredyffrin is the first step. I received an email tonight from Donna Shipman, a Mt. Pleasant resident who organized the Town Hall Meeting — she attached the residents ‘call to action’ schedule for her community. We all need to support Donna and Christine Johnson (another Mt. Pleasant resident who has repeatedly spoken out at BOS meetings asking for help). There have been emails between Mimi and myself this week and she seems committed to getting the township staff directed towards helping solve some of the these issues. In a few weeks there is a ‘clean-up Tredyffrin’ weekend, and I am going to suggest that Mt. Pleasant be placed on the list for volunteer help.

      Thanks for caring Jim. You are right, Mt. Pleasant issues are about the community and should transcend politics. However, I have to say that my emails to Mimi (which contained my concerns and Mt. Pleasant photos) were also sent to the members of the BOS. I only received responses from Mimi. Not that the supervisors are required to respond to me; but our elected officials do need to make Mt. Pleasant and its residents a priority.

  8. Pattye,
    Great blog/website!

    This is very sad indeed. My roots go back to Mt. Pleasant.
    My Dad and at least one of his siblings were born in Mt Pleasant….back in the day….Dad will be 90 this year.
    I have ancestors buried in the Chapel cemetery!

    Several of my Conestoga HS classmates were raised in Mt. Pleasant and I forwarded your info to them. They were shocked.

    Keep up the great work.

    1. Thanks Alan. Mt. Pleasant is an important part of our township history and one that should be honored. By bringing an awareness to the issues, I am hopeful that the residents of Mt. Pleasant will begin to see positive change to their neighborhood. Mt. Pleasant will be on tomorrow night’s Board of Supervisors meeting agenda and I look forward to improving updates.

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