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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Building up in cities makes the preservation of countryside and history possible.

Building up in cities makes the preservation of countryside and history possible.
Our Chester County Planning Commission has correctly theorized in Landscapes that to preserve our countryside, we need to build and develop in our existing municipalities.
Coatesville has about 12,000 residents. It once had 20,000. That’s because a family of 4 was average, now about 1.5 is average. But the infrastructure is in place to support 20,000 residents.
Right now Coatesville has the best real estate bargains in Chester County. That’s going to change rapidly. Coatesville is on the way to becoming the most desirable place to live in Chester County. Real Estate companies are already trying to buy up properties near the future SEPTA train station at 3rd Avenue and Fleetwood Street.
I think we can get to or top 20,000 residents with our current 6 or 7 story height limit to residential buildings and avoid gentrification. But if development pressure continues because more people want to live here we are going to need skyscrapers to keep Coatesville from becoming an upper class/upper middle class only place to live. (The "Flats" zoning overlay allows unlimited building height.) 
Skyscrapers are expensive to build but height has its own economies of scale. And most importantly, although skyscraper condos and offices may have high prices they keep the rest of a desirable area more affordable.
Ideally cities are places to live, work and play where people from all backgrounds can interact.  A cosmopolitan city is the ideal but building height regulations and making areas “historic” as a means to limit development can make a city exclusive to the wealthy.   That’s what I got out of this article in “The Atlantic”:
Besides making cities more affordable and architecturally interesting, tall buildings are greener than sprawl, and they foster social capital and creativity. Yet some urban planners and preservationists seem to have a misplaced fear of heights that yields damaging restrictions on how tall a building can be. From New York to Paris to Mumbai, there’s a powerful case for building up, not out.

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