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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.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why Bart Blatstein, Baker Properties and Don Pulver were interested in Coatesville

What attracted developers here to Coatesville was the possibility of Lukens Steel Company selling Heavy Industrial Zoned land in the center of Coatesville and along 2 major roadways to the RDA to be developed and re-zoned as Business Commercial and Residential 3.

The fact that the City of Coatesville is a transportation, commercial and social nexus in the center of development coming west from Philadelphia and coming east from Lancaster was the kicker.

A Zoning Overlay was developed over the heavy industry zoning to legally allow townhouse, condominium and commercial development such as office buildings, stores and restaurants on the industrial land.

When Lukens was sold we still held onto the possibility that the industrial land south of Rt-30 would be available. Bethlehem Steel allegedly did not even respond to the Cities attempts to communicate. International Steel Group bought the former Lukens Steel Company and they were interested in selling the land south of Rt. 30.

We had a Zoning Ordinances made into law for revitalizing the entire City by Tom Comitta, City of Coatesville Planning Commission, the RDA and others.

The Zoning included:
The Zoning Overlays for I-2 Heavy Industry steel company land in the 1st Ward; the “FLATS REDEVELOPMENT DISTRICT (FRD) OVERLAY DISTRICT ORDANCE”.
A Zoning Ordinance for the land on the north hill of Coatesville that Baker/Iacobucci was interested in developing was also made into law; the “HILLTOP NEITHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT (HND) OVERLAY DISTRICT ORDINANCE”.

When Mittal steel bought the steel company they decided they wanted to hold onto all of the land. It looked like all hope was lost. But then the owners of G.O. Carlson Steel Company made a very generous offer to the RDA and the City of Coatesville for the industrial land north of Rt. 30 and the redevelopment was still on.

If G.O. Carlson had not decided to make their land available at low cost to the RDA, Don Pulver’s hotel and any other interest in developing or revitalizing Coatesville would have disappeared along with the RDA. And a gas powered electric power generation plant would probably be under construction in the center of Coatesville right now.

Fortunately redevelopment for Coatesville is still in play. But we need to keep in mind that the Flats Redevelopment District Zoning Overlay that makes commercial and residential development legal over the Heavy Industry Zoning is still just that, an overlay. The land is still zoned for heavy industry and people are going to look for ways to bring heavy industry back to the land and I think, some may try to find ways line their pockets with kickbacks.

The possible” kickback” in the power plant could have been the public/private “Coatesville Power Authority” that would have had Billions of dollars in power leases going through it. 

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