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It’s Friday, June 30:  Who did it better? Last Roundup we reviewed the plans from Mitch’s. This week, we get our first look at the drawings for the new 128-unit Burger King apartment complex. To me, they are starting to look eerily similar and not necessarily in a good way. Although, I think I have a preference. Plus, drama over a baseball field, plans for a new and improved Oakbourne Park, and Restaurant Inspection reports for June. July starts tomorrow.

Who’s ready? Let’s catch up.

Large-scale Apartment Design: Who did it better? 

Another day, another massive complex to review. Before I went on vacation, we looked at plans for a 181-unit apartment complex at the corner of Market and Wayne (formerly Mitch’s Gym.) Now we have the drawings for the multi-family development planned for the corner of High and Price Streets (formerly the Burger King property) and I am sorry to say, they are all starting to look the same. 

Not to be confused, this is an elevation rendering for the Mitch’s apartments.

The developers behind Mitch’s (Eli Kahn and Gary Toll) cited Charleston, SC’s Loutrel Hotel as the design inspiration for the new project, but the interpretation, in my opinion, is lacking. At Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting the design was criticized for its heft and not adequately following the downtown design aesthetic. Meanwhile, residents continue to express concerns about increased traffic in the area, especially on narrow Potter Alley.

Residents are also pushing to add retail to the bottom floor rather than just high-end resident amenities – like, as one resident put it, “that fancy gym you can’t use.” You can find more on that project here and here

The Burger King property does include retail. It also includes another 128 luxury apartments. This is the second Planning Commission meeting held on this property and residents’ first chance to see the proposed designs.

Two rear courtyards will help break up the bulk of the building along Boxwood Alley. High, Price, and Dean Streets, however, will continue to be built out to the sidewalk. Two rear courtyards will help break up the bulk of the building along Boxwood Alley. High, Price, and Dean Streets, however, will continue to be built out to the sidewalk. The green space is to include raised-bed gardens that will be made available to residents of the complex.

Size continues to be a concern for residents in the neighborhood, as does traffic. Developers have agreed to do a traffic study on the impact on Dean and Church Streets, about a block from the property. That study, however, is not expected to be completed until the fall, and plans are on track to be approved at the August meeting of Borough Council. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2024 and will take approximately two years to complete. Once completed, developers expect the building to be 90 percent occupied within the first year. 

The other ongoing concern lies with character and the ability of these massive buildings to weave into the fabric of the Borough – or maybe even respectfully contrast? Right now, however, they are all starting to look the same. 

West Chester Restaurant Inspection Reports: June

Buddy’s Burgers

It’s that time of year again – the mass exodus. Students are gone. Summer hours are in effect. Beach houses are open and those that can, leave. Perhaps, this break has given restaurants a chance to catch up on necessary repairs and clean into the corners. Or maybe the Health Inspector is on vacation? Whatever the reason, now is the time to eat out with abandon because nearly every restaurant in town seems to be operating at the peak of health code standards. That is, except for the following. 

Boston Market, 726 W. Gay Street, out, 4 violations including a potential issue with the electrical system and stained ceiling tiles in the dining room indicating a potential leak in the roof or HVAC systems. This is the Market’s third inspection since May 30. They’ve been making progress but aren’t quite there yet. 

Buddy’s Burgers, Breasts & Fries, out, 7 violations including improperly reheating foods. Chili, cheese, and bacon appear to be among the main culprits. All of these were discarded at the time of the inspection and hopefully, plans were put in place to keep it from happening again. 

Wawa, 2 E. Rhodes Ave., out, 3 violations including self-service coffee and ICEE areas in need of cleaning and grease build-up and yellowing of ceiling tiles in the kitchen area. It seems several area Wawas were built without proper kitchen ventilation.

Wawa, 1195 Pottstown Pike, out, 3 violations including an ice machine, self-service coffee, coke, and Icee areas in need of cleaning. This Wawa too appears to be experiencing ventilation issues in the kitchen.

Wawa, 1010 West Chester Pike, out, 2 violations. This Wawa is out of compliance due to inadequate ventilation. According to the Health Inspector’s report, they should be submitting plans for a new hood today.

Finally, if you are a CTDI employee and can choose between Don’s Cafe and Bette’s Cafe, walk the extra footage and go to Bette’s.

You can find all reports here. Search by location for more detail. 


Ready the Grill for Some Good-For-You Red Snapper!  

Locally-sourced red snapper is a healthy and delicious grill option.

Fire up the grill. We have a new fish for you! Red snapper is a relatively firm fish native to the Atlantic Ocean. It can be roasted or sauteed but is excellent over an open flame. 

Seasoned with paprika, onion, and garlic powder, this mildly sweet fish comes to life against the smokey notes of the grill. Add a dash of cayenne pepper if you like a little heat. Just remember, leave the skin on to help keep the fish together on the grill.  

Low in sodium and saturated fat and high in Omega 3 fatty acids, this saltwater fish is not only delicious, but it’s also good for you. So, why not add a few fillets to your Fourth of July BBQ lineup?

Hannum Seafood & Produce Market at 443 Hannum Avenue is well-stocked with both red snapper filets and whole fish options. Shop the area’s freshest fish Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays until 7 p.m.


Multiple burglaries reported in the southeast section of the borough.

Multiple burglaries are under investigation in West Chester. West Chester police are seeking assistance identifying an individual wanted for questioning in conjunction with three burglaries that occurred in the southeast section of the Borough on June 17. The first two were reported in the 500 block of S. Walnut around 1:30 a.m. and the third in the 100 block of Magnolia Street around 3 a.m. The individual in question is described as a black male with ear-length dreadlocks. If you have any information about these incidents contact the West Chester Police Department at 610-696-2700.

In West Goshen, police are looking for multiple male suspects wanted in a brazen act of vehicle theft. According to the police report, last Thursday five individuals drove to the 800 block of Lincoln Avenue in a black Honda Accord and stole the following vehicles – a Black 2021 Can-Am Maverick and a 2016 Black Chevy Suburban. No images of the suspects are available but you can see the vehicles involved in this post.

If you have any information regarding the theft, contact Detective Edwards at 484-723-2296

It’s like a bad game of Clue.  We don’t know who, but we know it was with a pipe at 100 W. Market Street. West Chester police are seeking the identities of four individuals caught on camera damaging private property. If you are ready to help solve this case of criminal mischief, give the WCPD a call at 610-696-2700. 

Drive carefully. Local police and fire departments have responded to a slew of vehicle accidents over the last two weeks beginning with an early morning crash on June 15 that killed a West Chester man. Subsequently, there was an accident on Sunday involving two vehicles on Downingtown Pike in East Bradford that injured five people and two separate incidents on Tuesday morning involving entrapment in West Goshen. Then on Thursday, someone flipped their car on Rosedale Avenue. I can never seem to make that light at New Street so, I have no idea how you get going fast enough to make that happen.

No details were provided on the cause of the accidents but please slow down and drive with care. 

Save your dollars for a rainy day. West Chester’s ongoing storm sewer leak cost Borough residents $22,874.87 last week. “The problem is proving to be complex to solve and we still haven’t solved it,” Borough Manager Sean Mettrick told Borough Council last week. The Borough has been reaching out to potential culprits but, as it turns out, a lot of properties dump into this stormwater drain. “So, it’s an ongoing running tab?” one Councilman asked.  “It’s an ongoing running problem,” Mr. Mettrick replied. The costs, he clarified, are ongoing, but they have been much less since the initial set-up charges were incurred. 

Also, approved last week the purchase of a sewer camera tractor at a cost of $19,000. Unfortunately, it is not going to help with the current crisis but should be useful should it happen again. 

Keep it moo-ving. East Bradford residents woke to find a herd of escaped cows in their yard last week. 

This is not your funeral home calling. Westtown-East Goshen Regional police are warning of a bereavement scam circulating in the area. 


Revised design for 732 S. Matlack. A drastic change from the original concept.

As noted above the plan review process for new developments can be frustrating to put it mildly, (it’s gotten so bad, there’s a new Facebook Group dedicated to just this topic) but there are wins. So this week, a shout-out to West Chester’s Planning Commission, Borough Council, and the developers of 732 S. Matlack Street. The project is to build a four-condominium unit on the parcels of 732 and 734 S. Matlack. 

The original design, as you’ll recall, featured a brick and gray shake exterior with a single central unit and four small porticos to signify each unit’s entrance. It was a look many felt out of place among the street’s brick twins with large front porches. 

“I think we are losing our historic charm with some of these modern-looking structures we are putting up,” Councilwoman Lisa Dorsey told developers at the time. They agreed to take a second look at the design.

Last week, the Borough Council had a chance to review the revised design which is traditional rather than modern. It features a milder color palette, shuttered windows, full front porches and a line of dormer windows along the top.  

“Kudos on the design. This is night and day,” said Councilwoman Dorsey of the revised plans. The project was approved five to one. (You can’t please all the people, all the time.)

Also, this week a round of applause to West Chester’s Police Department. Fourteen different officers received medals of commendation at last week’s West Chester Borough Council meeting. A list of those recognized can be found here.  

Although not mentioned specifically, I am sure it is in part the work of those officers along with the downtown business district and easy access to Philadelphia that catapulted West Chester to one of the state’s best college towns – at least according to WorldAtlas.com. While I am generally not swayed by these broad “best of” lists – Pennsylvania is home to more than 150 colleges and universities, so being among the top seven is pretty impressive.  

Speaking of impressive, high fives to Westtown grad Dereck Lively II. The 7-1 Center, last seen on the courts of Duke’s Cameron Stadium, was selected 12th overall in last week’s NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks.  Read the backstory on the single mom who helped steer his basketball career.

Finally, cheers to the Shop on Market Street on three years at that location. Stop in, wish them well, and say, hello – they are celebrating with a new “girl barber.” 


Oakbourne Mansion in a slight smoke haze.

In about a year, Westtown is hoping to say hello, to one heck of a park. Construction got underway earlier this month on a $6 million Oakbourne Park upgrade – think everything from new pickleball courts to a picnic pavilion to more bathrooms and a new playground. They are also upgrading the tennis and basketball facilities, improving parking and water drainage, and planning for over 4 miles of walking trails. 

“Westtown is really excited about making sure that Oakbourne remains the crown jewel of the township for generations to come,” Township Manager Jonathan Atshul told the Daily Local. The upgrades are being paid for by a combination of grants, bonds, and the Township’s remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money. 

Also, looking forward to new outdoor spaces – East High School. This week the school announced it has completed construction on a new outdoor classroom. Research has shown that outdoor learning can benefit students’ mental health and help them stay on task – both wins for high school students. With construction complete, the team has plans to finish it off with artwork and garden boxes.  

In addition to outdoor classrooms, West Chester Area School District may soon be scrambling to set up classrooms at the new Clock Tower reform school in Glenn Mills. In a story that broke while I was on vacation, the district is hoping to push back the July 1 opening (yes, tomorrow) of the reform facility by at least a year so it can get its finances situated and the new classrooms staffed. Early expectations are for between 5 and 25 students. 

If the delay is not granted, courts could begin ordering juveniles to the facility as early as tomorrow. There was a very nice story in the Daily Local on the whole situation last week – you can find it here.   

And finally, it’s, thank God, I mean, hello, to a new roof at Borough Hall. After some contractor back and forth the $748,225 bid was awarded to the ARC Roofing. Construction to replace the leaking roof began earlier this month

“It’s very disappointing.”

West Chester Councilman Bernie Flynn on actions at the Hoopes Park baseball diamond.


The West Chester Adult Baseball League as been using the Hoopes field since 1956. The league experienced a change in leadership a few years ago.

Last week West Chester Borough Council voted unanimously to say goodbye to the West Chester Adult Baseball League. The long-time patrons of the Hoopes Park baseball diamond have worn out their welcome with local residents – including Mayor Lilian DeBaptiste who lives in a nearby neighborhood. The original complaint stemmed from parking as players and spectators often spill into side streets rather than park in a Hoopes Park parking lot designated for their use. In all fairness to players and their fans, said parking lot is adjacent to the first base line, and thus, a prime recipient of foul balls.  

Parking, however, it turns out is not the only concern. An investigation by Ward 7 Councilwoman Lisa Dorsey also found allegations of: 

  • Rude behavior by players and fans
  • Trash left strewn all over the field
  • Installation of a set of steps without prior Borough Council approval
  • Public urination (in the Hoopes Park fields) 
  • Installation of an irrigation system without prior Borough Council approval
  • Regular watering of the field at Borough expense without prior approval  

“It feels like blatant negligence of the rental agreement,” Lisa Dorsey said after pointing out it wasn’t much of an agreement at that. The team has been operating under a standard event lease with a back-field handshake agreement that the league will maintain the fields for a discounted usage fee. The team pays $1 a month from May to August to use the field. That’s four whole dollars.

It was not only the league that was in the hot seat, Parks & Rec Director Keith Kurowski also got an earful.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Councilman Bernie Flynn regarding Keith’s handling of the situation. “I stopped short of asking for your resignation.”

As of now, the West Chester Baseball Field’s lease has been terminated – and I believe Keith still has his job. A new agreement will need to be drafted and agreed to by both parties before anyone is saying, “Play ball” in Hoopes Park.  

Also, while I was away, Borough Council said goodbye to its COVID vaccination requirement for employees. “I think it’s appropriate that we update our vaccine policy to not require [COVID] inoculation for employees,” Borough Council President Michael Stefano said, citing the end of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency as the reason for the change in course.  

While I believe the policy was created with the best of intentions, in the end, it proved a costly hill for the borough to die on. The borough reportedly spent more than $100,000 in legal fees defending the policy that ultimately resulted in one additional vaccination. The policy has been in place since October 2021.

Speaking of taking things away, the Borough is looking to tighten eligibility for its parking permit program. Last week Borough Council held a hearing and changed its parking ordinance to exclude future residents of 410 S. High Street (Burger King) from participating in the parking permit program. Similar restrictions have been put on the new condos on Matlack Street and it is reported Parking Director Ramsey Reiner is looking to institute a broader change that will exclude all new developments.  

Finally, say goodbye to a Super Wawa in the Parkway Shopping Center. West Goshen Planning Commission denied the Media-based company the variance needed to increase the store’s retail footprint beyond that already allowed by the township.  They did, however, approve other aspects of the project including a reduced front yard setback. 

Pay it forward.

Noise from fireworks displays is the top reported fear by dog owners.

“July 4th is my least favorite holiday,” says Jen Louis, owner of PetCare Group, a local pet-sitting organization. “It’s brutal.” In a Finnish study of 13,700 dog owners, 70 percent of respondents reported their dogs became anxious during loud fireworks displays. It was the top reported fear.

“Mostly dogs are affected by fireworks, but cats often get scared as well,” says Jen. “Caged pets like rabbits are also not fond of fireworks.” 

While there is always a push to limit fireworks displays, it is unlikely you’ll be able to avoid them completely. So for the inevitable explosions, Jen has some tips to get through the night (ok, probably more likely, the week.)  

“We always recommend people keep dogs and cats in a safe place when they know fireworks are going to happen: a closed room, a crate if dogs are used to it, with windows closed and shades drawn to help muffle the noise. A TV on to help drown out the sound is also helpful,” she says. 

“There’s something called a Thundershirt that helps some dogs, too. It’s almost like a compression jacket that helps provide sensory stimulus and in turn, calms the dog,” she says. 

Jen also recommends pets be microchipped and have on a collar with proper identification in case they run. “It’s best to not leave your pet alone during fireworks if you know your pet is anxious with them. They’ll need your company to make them feel safe.” 

Thanks, Jen for the tips! 

Also, the West Chester Area School District would like you to know, their summer free food partnership with the West Chester Food Cupboard is back! Any family with school-aged children is eligible to pick up free food on Thursdays afternoons from 4 to 7 p.m. at the West Chester Food Cupboard on Bolmar Avenue. Those interested in participating in the program can find more information here.

And feeling civic-minded as of late? Lucky you: the Borough of West Chester is seeking volunteers to fill open positions on its Civil Service and Tree Commissions. The Civil Service Commission advises on the hiring of police personnel and the Tree Commission advises on, well, trees – and they could use some advocates. If you are interested, send your resume to Dana DiDomenico. Deadline to apply is July 12.

The freakin’ weekend.

Happy Fourth of July!

What are you up to this weekend? We are visiting some family for a Fourth of July picnic. I think I will bring my beloved pretzel salad. Don’t let that Jello topper put you off – it’s delicious and very summery. (Tip, if you attempt to make it – make sure the first two layers are thoroughly chilled before you move to the Jello. Otherwise, it drops to the bottom and ruins the whole thing.) 

Since next week is a holiday week – there will be no new Roundup on Friday, but, don’t fret, there is plenty to do if you are sticking around here (and plenty to discuss when I get back. I already have a list.) 

Downtown West Chester is hosting the second performance in its First Friday Concert series. Music begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Courthouse. There will also be a Pickleball Pop-up in front of the Post Office – a perfect time to get your questions answered about this exploding sport. And several retailers are hosting a “Before the Beach” shopping event this weekend. No specifics were given but I hear sales are involved. 

Then next week, the Friends of Marshall Square Park are hosting their second summer concert. It will be on Thursday night. Music starts at 6:30. Food trucks arrive at 5 p.m. And Saturday, July 8,  Everhart Park is hosting Horace Pippin Day with cake, children’s activities, and a selfie station at the red “Pippin’s Bench.” 

And finally, thank you to this week’s Community Sponsor the Kit Anstey Real Estate Team. The “#1 team to know,” Kit Anstey’s team makes it their mission to provide the ultimate in personal service and sales results. Follow them on Facebook for the latest news and insider tips!

Kit Anstey Real Estate Team

Nationally-ranked Kit Anstey Real Estate team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors specializes in residential real estate in West Chester and surrounding areas. Kit Anstey, a West Chester resident, loves being a part of the bustling Borough. Kit’s team was the winner of the 2022 Readers’ Choice by the Daily Local News as Best Realtors of Chester County. Watch their West Chester video!

View the full list of our amazing Community Sponsors here. Want to get your business out in front of this wonderful community? I don’t blame you. Community Sponsorships are full but limited ad space remains in June and July. Send me an email if you are interested and I’ll send you details.

Enjoy getting these updates each week? Enjoying not having to click down a dozen annoying pop-up ads just to read? Me too! I figure if all readers paid just $10/year I can keep this going and ads limited. Donate here! (Please and thank you!)

Mark your calendars:

  • July 1 – 8 – Gabrielle Vitollo: Unrestrained, Church Street Gallery, gallery hours Wed-Sat. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. This solo exhibition by artist Gabrielle Vitollo features paintings of florals and satellite images expressively executed with techniques similar to abstract paintings.
  • July 1 – West Chester Grower’s Market, 201 N. Church St. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Local seasonal produce and craft goodies. Open sun or rain! Just don’t forget to bring your bags!
  • July 6 – Music at Marshall, Marshall Square Park, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Free concert in the park presented by the Friends of Marshall Square Park. Musical guests, Slingshot. Food trucks arrive at 5 p.m. Face painting available from 6:15 – 8:15 p.m.
  • July 6 – An Evening with Pippin, 327 W. Gay Street, 6 – 8 p.m. Remarks begin at 6:15 p.m. followed by a projection display of Horace Pippin paintings.
  • July 8 – West Chester Grower’s Market, 201 N. Church St. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Local seasonal produce and craft goodies. Open sun or rain! Just don’t forget to bring your bags!
  • July 8 – Horace Pippin Day, Everhart Park, 2 – 5 p.m. There will be a photo display of Pippin’s works as well as a selfie station at the red “Pippin Bench”, children’s activities and cake. This event is free and open to the public.
  • July 9 – Split Rail Tavern’s 8th Anniversary Celebration, 15 N. Walnut St. Expect live music and giveaways all day.
  • July 9 – West Goshen Summer Concert Series, Hagerty Amphitheater, West Goshen Park, 6:30 p.m. In event of rain, concerts will be moved to Fugett Middle School Auditorium. A donation for the West Chester Food Cupboard is encouraged. Music: De Tierra Caliente
  • July 13 – East Bradford Summer Concert Series, East Bradford Park, 7 p.m. Music: Little Red Rooster Blues Band

Psst. Like to plan ahead? Check out the new Summer Event Guide full of photos and videos from West Chester’s favorite summer events or visit the Calendar page for events through September!

That’s it. Stay safe, stay healthy, and have a happy and patriotic Fourth of July weekend! I will see you in two! 

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One thought on “West Chester Weekly News Roundup: June 30, 2023

  1. Couple things here. I’m pretty sure the people that moved into the neighborhood near Hoopes Park moved in after 1956(that is when Adult Baseball started at Hoopes Park). 67 years ago.
    Rude behavior by players? Did a second baseman yell at a neighbor? This sounds a lot like people who move to S Matlack Street and complain about the college kids. Ridiculous. I’m pretty sure sharp mayor could have used her A-B-C-D (Arts, Balance, Clean & Green, Diversity) plan that she ran on to come to a compromise with the team. I have no dog in this fight, I am not a player in the league, I live up the street and it has never bothered me. But to just end 67 years of tradition (in a town that talks about all their history) without finding a compromise sounds to me like a borough council and mayor that have some personal issues with the WC Adult Baseball League.
    Pretty weak. P.S. All the people that are mad about the Burger King and Mitch’s spot are the same dopes that said no to 44 W Gay and Chestnut Square apartments which I can tell you any sane individual would say are definite benefits to the town.
    Or let’s leave a dilapidated fast food joint, an old gym, old car rental joint and old auto shop in the place of progress. Sounds like a great idea that most of these folks on borough council would applaud.

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