Advocacy group pushes to limit local development

Advocacy+group+pushes+to+limit+local+development

As development throughout the Tredyffrin/Easttown School district and surrounding areas continues to trend upwards, a local group called TE United has organized to address their concerns regarding overdevelopment in Tredyffrin/Easttown district. 

TE United was originally founded when residents of the Russell Road neighborhood decided to protest the construction of an assisted living facility (ALF) across the street from their homes. Dan Leon, a co-founder of the group and father of seven children in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District, feels that the construction of a new ALF in the community is unnecessary and harmful to the neighborhood’s wellbeing. 

“Assisted Living Facilities are a serious problem because there are already four of them (in the area), and they’re not full. They want to put a fifth one, and the current four are already not making money,” Leon said. “If that fifth one that’s in your neighborhood across from your street goes out of business, the number one thing that happens with an ALF is that it is repurposed as a drug rehab; so now you have people that are not exactly what you would want in your neighborhood, certainly not across the street from your house.”

TE United is focused on the prevention of overdevelopment and large construction corporations that, according to the group’s founders, have quick exit strategies on the projects and little regard for community residents. However, the group is not against all development. Instead, Leon supports the renovation and expansion of school academic and athletic facilities that will directly benefit community members and students.  

“You can take it from an academic standpoint, or you could take it from an athletic standpoint. Conestoga is busy and there are a lot of students, but there’s not a lot of parking and classes are getting bigger,” Leon said. “We don’t have turf fields, so if it rains, practices are done. It’s not just about keeping Toll Brothers out, it’s about making sure your future is going to be well.”

Originally designed to voice the dissent of the residents of one street, the movement has since grown significantly. They now operate from their website, teunited.org, and a Facebook group that has gained over 600 members since its conception three months ago. In addition, TE United is putting up signs in resident’s yards as requested by some residents, and members are attending school board meetings and Planning Commission meetings in order to better represent their communities. 

Kevin Howell, another co-founder of the group and father of three children in the district, said, “By communicating and making sure people are aware, we’re making an impact.”

The group plans to organize more activities and hold more event-based campaigning. Howell hopes more people will understand their perspective on devleopment in the district. 

“We’re hoping to pass it to younger people who are going to be moving into the neighborhoods and raising their own kids,” Howell said. “We continue to welcome content and information from the entire TE community.”