There are several ways that we can work together to preserve the history and character of Llanerch.
Haverford Township Historic Resources Survey
The simplest way to protect future homes from being demolished is for Llanerch residents to ask to have their houses placed on the Historic Resource Survey list which is maintained by the Haverford Township Historic Commission. Once on the Historic Resource Survey, your home would be forever protected from demolition (unless the board of commissioners granted a waiver, for example, if your home suffered a serious fire that made it too difficult to salvage).
Open Space Easements
When new homes are built in Llanerch, they are built on what had been side yards for 100 years, and some on lots where an old home was torn down. We seek to stop this kind of development, because the loss of open space and trees alone will change the character of Llanerch, as where was once a gracious lawn we will have an oversized house without the character of our older homes.
Fortunately, many of these side lots have deed restrictions, and those deed restrictions are protected through our Township ordinance. Llanerch residents could also place an open space easement on their property. We will be exploring ways that owners of side lots might be compensated if they designate the lot permanently as open space.
Llanerch Conservation District
We recently met with the Delaware County Heritage Commission (DCHC) to gather information about historical and conservation districts and how they might help protect Llanerch from unbridled development. In 1994, the DCHC published a report on the historical resources of Delaware County, and at that time identified the Llanerch neighborhood as a site which would be well served by a conservation district.
A conservation district created by Llanerch residents could be structured in many different ways, with varying degrees of oversight and jurisdiction. It could cover all houses, or just ones of a certain age. It could cover all of Llanerch, or just the original development (Township Line to Llandillo). It could merely protect against demolition, or include major exterior renovations, as well. It could also ensure that any new homes that were built would fit in well with the neighborhood.
As we learn more about the options available to us, we will be soliciting input from you, and we’ll be inviting you to attend open meetings as we explore the possibilities. We know there will be plenty of questions, comments, and opinions on how to proceed, and we look forward to having you join the discussion about Llanerch and how best to keep our neighborhood the beautiful place it was meant to be.
We have been working with the Haverford Township Tree Tenders Program to keep our streets green and lined with trees! They have planted over 30 trees in Llanerch over the past eight years, both in the Llanerch business district and in our neighborhood.
Many of the largest trees in Llanerch have been lost over the past 25 years. For the most part, they have reached the end of their expected life cycle, since most were planted 75-100 years ago when our neighborhood was developed. While the Township has planted replacement street trees over the years, the species have generally been small and medium-sized varieties, such as the Bradford Pear, Flowering Plum, Crabapple, and Kwanzan Cherry.
Large-species trees enhance the environment exponentially over smaller varieties. Every leaf on a tree creates oxygen and filters pollutants in the air. Each foot of shade-providing canopy reduces the work of air conditioners in the summer. Each inch of root mass improves storm water management and the filtration of water-borne pollutants. In addition to environmental benefits, the grandeur of large trees is critical to maintaining a sense of history and place in Llanerch, enhancing the quality of life and raising property values.
Haverford Township Tree Tenders, an all-volunteer tree planting group will be working with the Township on replacing our largest trees. Each spring we will offer free trees to residents who will plant the largest sized shade trees (50’ or taller at maturity) in their front yard. Please contact Jeanne Angell at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a free front yard tree in 2016.
We founded the Llanerch Advocacy Group (LAG) when a developer and a realtor were trying to demolish the existing home at 101 Tenby Road (shown above). We tried to stop the demolition by having the house added to the Township Historic Resources list, and while this was approved by the Historic Commission, there was not enough time to stop to stop the demolition.
The developers sought to build two new homes on the property which is deed restricted to one home, and purchased the home after being informed of the deed restriction. Located on a corner lot, the original home was prominent in the neighborhood and it added substantially to the character of the community. The destruction of 101 Tenby Road and construction of two new homes would destroy community characteristics, add congestion, adversely impact the environment, devalue neighboring properties and continue the loss of open space in the neighborhood which is unwanted by the majority of Llanerch residents.
Several residents brought the issue to court to uphold the deed restriction and won the case. While we are saddened by the loss of the historic home, we are pleased that an appropriately spacious yard is paired with the one large home that the developers built. We applaud the effort of these residents to keep open space in the neighborhood, and we have supported them in their cause.