Missing the point
My goodness, Mr. Crandall. I’ll be happy to give you an explanation to my supposedly maligning two “stellar” communities in my last letter. I am sorry that you completely missed the point of my letter and chose instead to harp on imaginary slights. (Letters, July 13, )
I guess two “stellar” communities (both of which I am quite fond) couldn’t possibly have anyone in them that might not pick up poop or might let their dog run free, barking incessantly and frightening other park users, could they?
I guess two stellar suburban communities couldn’t possibly have any rude, entitled dog owners living there, could they? (They all must live in Philadelphia.) Let the record show that I have had first hand, unpleasant experiences with two different dog owners, one from Blue Bell and the other from Wyndmoor and witnessed both breaking the law, on several occasions. So have the Philadelphia 14th District police. Is that enough of an explanation for you?
I have nothing against either Blue Bell, Wyndmoor or any other community.
New development doesn’t fit
Perhaps you remember the neighborhood hysteria last year when a developer purchased the historic mansion on the corner of Chestnut Hill Ave and Shawnee St. Within hours of the settlement, all the beautiful old trees on the property were suddenly chopped down.
It was a shocking sight. Irate neighbors immediately contacted the Chestnut Hill Conservancy to protest this brutal destruction and were informed that the intention of the buyer/developer was to raze the old house and construct five townhouses on the property.
After considerable legal battles between the developer, the City of Philadelphia, and the CH Conservancy, a compromise was reached and a plan was finally approved. The developer agreed to maintain and refurbish the original house and he would build two attached, townhouses on the cleared land. This work began a couple of months ago.
If you haven’t driven by recently, and you don’t mind being appalled, please have a look. Everyone who walks or drives by is shocked by the inappropriate proportions of this immense three-story building with practically no setback from the street and with only a few feet from neighbors on each side.
Even if finished with the finest of Wissahickon schist, they are much too imposing for this location. They do not line up with the other houses on the block and they leave no space for privacy of the adjacent neighbors.
The immediate nextdoor neighbors have lost their view of Chestnut Hill Ave because the side wall of this new construction is so tall and so deep. I don’t know who approved this design, but, as a nearby neighbor, I am appalled and saddened to see such blight in our lovely neighborhood.
Meanwhile, the historic house sits there looking forlorn and neglected as it continues to disintegrate, possibly beyond repair. I wish there were something to be done to stop this construction, but I don’t know what it would be, unless the builder could be found to be in violation of the terms of the contract.
And I can’t help but wonder why the Chestnut Hill Community Association gets so upset over a neighbor who wants a small parking pad in their front yard (last year on East Evergreen) or a fence being too high (several years ago on Willow Grove and Crittenden), and yet they will let a monstrosity like this destroy a corner property in the heart of Chestnut Hill. I would love an explanation, if there is one.