27 April 2011

Hi

Following the monologues of Jim Wendelgass claiming I was mistaken (which I have proved to be misrepresentation of what I said), then the rally of Clare Quinn to do the same (again, a gross misrepresentation), then it was Pam Brown's turn at my investigative research. Below is her transcript and my reply. This information will astound the reader.

PAM BROWN TRANSCRIPT 3/7/2011

I'd like to send a message to Chickenman and his band of devout followers. You have maligned me personally and professionally with your unrelenting assault on my character and integrity. You secretly photographed my home. You involve my child in one of your ridiculous rants.  You claim to check and re-check the facts yet you continue to spew nothing but fiction.  Your malicious, false, cowardly, and libelous accusations are unwarranted.  Because, unlike Barry Dilibero, my dealings with the township have been honest and legal, and it is time for you to either shut up or summon the courage to make these claims to our faces.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have promised that there was more to the Pam Brown Property and her building of the house on deed restricted ground, that you the taxpayer paid for, where the covenants specifically state that in order to build a residential dwelling, one Transferrable Development right must be retained which PAM BROWN DID NOT. I still contend that there is no right to build an accessory dwelling on this property.  There is no mention in the restrictive covenant of an ANY development being allowed.  In researching other TDR purchases, some do include language that allows an accessory dwelling…Pam's does not.

So, let's talk about Pam Brown's honest and legal dealings with the township. We have already discussed the legality of Pam Brown's house on conserved property paid for with the taxpayers money. The position of Pam, Clare and Jim is that you can build another residential dwelling on the property as long as it is masked as an “accessory dwelling”, even though the Restrictive Covenant states otherwise. (The legal document concerning the covenants I have already presented in a prior e-mail and is filed in the Chester County Courthouse).

So, let's examine this legal “Accessory Dwelling”, shall we?

2003 Ordinance, using the fully updated one before the new one was adopted in October 2010. This is what was used when Pam built the house.

Here are the definitions that are relevant to the subject:

Accessory Dwelling: A dwelling whose use is secondary to that of the principal dwelling or building on the same lot, including but not limited to accessory apartment, elder cottage, tenant house or carriage house.
Development: Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to the construction, reconstruction, renovation, repair, expansion, or alteration of buildings or structures; the placement of manufactured homes; streets and other paving; utilities; storage of equipment or materials, filling, grading and excavation; mining; dredging; drilling operations; and the subdivision of land.
Development Rights: The right to construct a specified amount of development according to the West Vincent Zoning Ordinance.
Floor Area: The total enclosed area in horizontal planes or floors of all buildings or structures.
Floor area, habitable: The total of all floors within a dwelling which are contained within walls and actually used for habitation, exclusive of unfinished basements, open porches, garages, attics, and accessory buildings and structures

Here is the valid Zoning Ordinance during the timeline for the development of Pam Brown's house which pertains to “Accessory Dwellings”.

Section 2201 Accessory Buildings, Structures, and Dwelling Units:  
E. Accessory Dwellings

Where accessory dwellings, including but not limited to accessory apartments, elder cottages, carriage houses, tenant houses or other accessory dwelling unit types are permitted, the following provisions shall apply:

The floor area of the accessory dwelling units shall not exceed 1500 sq. ft.; however, on lots of ten (10) acres or more, one of the accessory dwelling units may contain up to 2000 sq. ft. of floor area.

Where is all this leading? Pam has 10 acres but built a house far larger than the 2000 sq ft allowed by the Township Ordinances. The Chester County assessment office lists just the LIVING AREA square footage at 2061 square feet. The assessment office uses the calculation of "Living Area" for taxing purposes, but the ordinance regarding allowable dwelling size refers to FLOOR AREA. Read the definition above which explains it to mean all enclosed floor area, not just living or habitable floor area. If the township ordinances had wanted it to be the living space area, it would have specified "Floor Area, habitable" as opposed to "Floor Area". The "Floor Area" calculation on buildings includes all enclosed horizontal planes in a building.  I have attached the information from the Chester County Assessment Office reflecting the size, dimensions, etc., of her house to this e-mail.

I have done a simple calculation of just the first floor square footage, including the garage and it totals 2390 square feet (I deducted the Open Front Porch). Then add in the FULL BASEMENT which is under Section “D” and the Main Dwelling (remember, all floors or horizontal planes) of the Assessment drawing (confirmed by the Assessment office personnel) is another 1790 square feet. Plus, the upstairs “attic” which is really a second floor of a Cape Cod, of which, this second floor is “partially finished” according to the Assessment Office. Using the calculation supplied by Chester County, add another 895 square feet. This gives a total of 5075 sq ft for this house. Remember, just her FIRST FLOOR EXCEEDS THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE SQUARE FOOTAGE ALLOWED BY ZONING. This house is 2.5 times the size it is allowed to be. I didn't write the regs, I'm just reading them. If my calculations are wrong, they are based strictly from what is supplied by Chester County Assessment Office. If there is a measurement problem, I can only work with the government documentation that exists. If anyone has anything else, please forward it to me. I may be off by a few hundred square feet, but remember, this document already says that just the Living Space alone is 2061 square feet.

5075 total sq ft is definitely not a Rancher on a slab foundation.

So, when Pam Brown says, “... my dealings with the township have been honest and legal, and it is time for you to either shut up or summon the courage to make these claims to our faces.”, that really isn't honest, and what she did wasn't really legal. When Jim Wendelgass, township manager states that, “She worked very closely with the township personnel to build an accessory dwelling....”, that makes the Township complicit for her actions in violating both the the fact that she constructed a building where she couldn't, and then she builds a house that is grossly over-sized according to the regulations. Remember this is all on a property that your Open Space tax dollars paid to preserve.

Read the attachment, everything is there. You, the citizen of West Vincent can get this same information from Chester County Assessment and from the 2003 Ordinance Book available in the Township building. It is all Open Records.

I will re-iterate, this is a person that is a conservationist, works for French & Pickering Conservation Trust and her boss at the Trust is Clare Quinn, a Supervisor of West Vincent Township.

There is more on this subject but that will have to wait for another day.

As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know. If you would like to see what I have written previously, just click on http://groups.google.com/group/west-vincent-infos/topics.  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.   Especially though, if you don't want to continue to receive my mails, please tell me. I'll take you off the list and confirm that I have done so.   Just hit reply to this email or write to chestercountynews@gmail.com

Remember to vote Tuesday, May 17 for better oversight in West Vincent. If you need an Absentee Ballot, simply go to this link http://www.chesco.org/election/lib/election/pdf/absentee_app.pdf, fill out the form and mail it in. You need about 2 weeks to receive it and deliver back to Voter Services.

Best wishes

Chickenman
West Vincent Infos