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Old 10-04-2017, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Danbury, CT
10 posts, read 9,580 times
Reputation: 11

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Color me completely confused....but what's the deal with Springfield Township in Delaware County, PA? I am researching the town from afar (real estate, school district) via Zillow and greatschools.org. And everything looks a little too good to be true. ? The schools are rated high, the houses look cute and well taken care of for their age, are a decent size and decent price, the taxes look reasonable-low. What am I missing?? Tell me the real deal.


Here's the situation:


I am a mom of two young kids (4yr and 1yr) and am obsessed with their health and welfare (restated: I worry ALOT about them and for them---this week's news isn't helping my level of anxiety about the world they are growing up in).


I am also a Pediatric RN and a wife to a LCSW. We are looking to move from Danbury, CT (with work commutes that bring us into Westchester Co, NY), due to the high COL, very lengthy commutes (due to traffic volume, not necessarily distance), and inability to afford a house in a good school district. Plus almost more importantly, we are looking to split the geographical difference between my parents (in VA) and my husband's parents (in Mass). We have the benefit of pretty ubiquitous careers, so we can (try? to) create the lifestyle we want, and try to find jobs to fit the location we choose. (We have some flexibility in when we will be moving and obviously need narrow down a general town to live in before we start looking for jobs).


The Philly suburbs looked like the perfect compromise between our families--until we actually started looking.


We looked a little in Chester (Exton, Downingtown, Paoli) and Montgomery counties (Collegeville) this past weekend and I got completely freaked out by the view of the Limerick Nuclear power plant and also stories about the "Leukemia/Toxic triangle" (Pottstown-->Doylestown--> limerick??) in the Montgomery County area. (Collegeville seemed totally cute until I learned about that toxic area). I am also concerned about the amount of superfund sites in the area. Perhaps I am overreacting. ? But being unfamiliar with the area, it just looks scary with these details.


Is Springfield Township run down, unsafe? Is it close to another nuclear power plant (I know there are quite a few in PA) or other environmental danger? Is traffic a nightmare? Why does it look so good on "paper" (internet paper)?


Please tell me straight.


I'm feeling the weight of this large decision, and am just wanting the safest, healthiest, wisest choice for my family.


Thanks for all your input.
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:37 PM
 
1,826 posts, read 1,643,426 times
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Springfield is definitely NOT run-down. There is a nicer side so to speak, but the "less nicer" side is still nice, less convenient, and respectably cheaper too. The school district is very respectable. It's not at the top tier of everything per se, but I don't feel it needs to be. Your children get out of if what they put in to it. I feel the snobbiness is not overly abundant either.

People also tend to get this Springfield mixed up with Springfield montco, also another nice Springfield.

I miss Moe's Grille. Why did it have to go out of business?
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Danbury, CT
10 posts, read 9,580 times
Reputation: 11
Chessimprov: thank you so much for your feedback. So why are the home prices more reasonable there? Maybe because it's not as "popular" as some towns in Chester CO that get more publicity?


There's a lot to be said for a good school system that is light on the pressure and snobbery-where kids can still enjoy the learning process instead of being pressured to perform.


Springfield in DelCo is not near any nuclear power plants, right? (unlike The Simpon's fictional Springfield)
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:16 PM
 
1,044 posts, read 643,836 times
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I don't mean to be harsh, but if the Limerick power plant freaks you out that much, this whole area may not be to your liking. What I'm trying to say is, in the very unlikely event of a major catastrophe at Limerick, being approximately 24 miles away in Springfield isn't going to do much for you. As it stands, you are just under 70 miles from a nuclear power plant where you live now. I understand the desire to mitigate as much risk as possible from your and your children's lives, but focus only on the things you can control, or you'll go nuts. My $0.02.

Springfield, Delaware County is a very nice area. As chessimprov stated, there are nicer areas and "less nicer" areas, but the latter are easy to avoid. Just try to stay north of Baltimore Pike, the main thoroughfare.
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
5,153 posts, read 8,247,892 times
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I'd agree with the other posts. Springfield is a perfectly good town and the more reasonable home prices are not too good to be true -- as with many Philly suburbs, you're getting a fantastic value, particularly compared to obscenely overpriced NY Metro and Southern New England. There's just a very underrated balance to the area in terms of income/COL ratio.

In terms of your Limerick/superfund concerns:

1. My experience is that those unfamiliar with the presence of nuclear power plants have an irrational fear of them. Yes, they have risk associated with them for sure, and I can understand how they'd be jarring at first, but for those from or living in the area for years, they're a basically like an old couch--certainly you're aware of it, but it's simply part of the landscape.

2. There are some cancer clusters in the area, but that's more than likely related to post-industrial factors in certain suburban locales that's far more complex than simply pinpointing blame squarely on the nuke plant. Not to mention, my understanding is that cancer incidence rates are pretty uniformly high ACROSS the Northeastern US, including CT, so a bit illogical to conclude you'd assume a higher risk in PA.

3. There are absolutely some superfund sites in/around Philly, namely some post-industrial suburbs like Norristown and Pottstown, but they're very easily and entirely avoidable. You'd seriously have to seek them out to put yourself at risk for any health issue, as they tend to be, not shockingly, in very isolated or non-desirable areas. I've also NEVER heard of Collegeville containing a superfund site of any kind, as that's more of a secluded, leafy area. I'd double-check my research on that if I were you, or perhaps present your source so folks more familiar with the area can help you vet it.

Otherwise, I hope you don't let some isolated environment-averse pockets deter you. Millions of people manage to live healthy, wise and safe lives in the Philly metro everyday, so you more than likely would as well. Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:06 PM
 
26 posts, read 20,666 times
Reputation: 54
I agree with the others that you're being overly worried about Limerick. I get not wanting to live in the shadow of an industrial site but don't be overly analytical about it. The stress from trying to be uber-safe about everything will be more harmful than the things you're worrying about

RE: Springfield

I don't often hear low taxes and Springfield in the same sentence. Lately zillow is only giving a partial tax picture. Property taxes in PA consist of school, county, and township taxes. School is usually the highest and township the least. I think zillow displays township only. On a $250000 house you may be paying $6000+/year in Springfield. Look on redfin for a better tax estimate. In addition, many townships have a 1% income tax which applies if you live or work in one of those places.

In Delaware County, Newtown and Marple townships usually win out tax-wise. I'm not sure of your budget but many areas of Marple and Springfield cost about the same. Newtown Square can be pricey.

Try answering the questions for perspecive residents so people can better guide you. Springfield is a nice town no question but depending on your answers there may be better choices. For example, Springfield tends to be more densely populated with smaller lots than places in parts of Media/Rosetree and Newtown Square. That's an advantage for young kids going between houses but your neighbors are closer. Good or bad, you decide.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,794 posts, read 2,889,340 times
Reputation: 2919
Born and raised there. I could have had my parents' very nice, updated split-level (3 bedrooms, two full baths, large Mater Bedroom) in an area centrally located near shopping, hospitals, restaurants, major routes to Philly if needed/wanted, less than two hours to the NJ or DE beaches - but I was grieving over the loss of them (3 months apart) too heavily. I sometimes regret that decision.

On the downside, I do think the taxes are too high, but that's the way things are in Delaware County, PA. Also, traffic can be quite congested along Routes 320 and Baltimore Pike, but it doesn't seem to bother the many friends I have there.

I think one of the nicest things about the town is the variety of housing stock. I particularly like some of the unique old homes which are near the high school (Orchard Rd., and thereabouts), especially the Craftsman homes.

Springfield has a very solid school district as well which I attended and liked very much. It's surrounded by some very nice little towns such as Media (the county seat), Swarthmore and Broomall which are rather unique themselves.

I have no doubt you and your family will like it there. Best of luck to you
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:35 AM
 
10,789 posts, read 6,566,963 times
Reputation: 3925
Quote:
Originally Posted by courtenia View Post
Color me completely confused....but what's the deal with Springfield Township in Delaware County, PA? I am researching the town from afar (real estate, school district) via Zillow and greatschools.org. And everything looks a little too good to be true. ? The schools are rated high, the houses look cute and well taken care of for their age, are a decent size and decent price, the taxes look reasonable-low. What am I missing?? Tell me the real deal.


Here's the situation:


I am a mom of two young kids (4yr and 1yr) and am obsessed with their health and welfare (restated: I worry ALOT about them and for them---this week's news isn't helping my level of anxiety about the world they are growing up in).




The Philly suburbs looked like the perfect compromise between our families--until we actually started looking.


We looked a little in Chester (Exton, Downingtown, Paoli) and Montgomery counties (Collegeville) this past weekend and I got completely freaked out by the view of the Limerick Nuclear power plant and also stories about the "Leukemia/Toxic triangle" (Pottstown-->Doylestown--> limerick??) in the Montgomery County area. (Collegeville seemed totally cute until I learned about that toxic area). I am also concerned about the amount of superfund sites in the area. Perhaps I am overreacting. ? But being unfamiliar with the area, it just looks scary with these details.


Is Springfield Township run down, unsafe? Is it close to another nuclear power plant (I know there are quite a few in PA) or other environmental danger? Is traffic a nightmare? Why does it look so good on "paper" (internet paper)?


Please tell me straight.


I'm feeling the weight of this large decision, and am just wanting the safest, healthiest, wisest choice for my family.


Thanks for all your input.
All I can offer is purely anecdotal. I have familial experience with Delaware Co going back to 1915. That's right over a century. No one, not my grandparents, my mother, aunts, cousins or sister or myself ever got cancer. I am almost 70 years old and that means I grew up during a period of time when pollution(all kinds) was a lot more apparent than it is now. This won't help your anxiety but is something to think about.

And, Springfield is not run down at all.

I would worry a lot more about your kids' exposure to ultra-violet light( the sun's radiation) than the Limerick plant.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Danbury, CT
10 posts, read 9,580 times
Reputation: 11
Flyers Girl : not harsh at all. I really appreciate the blatant honesty! Thank you.


Duderino: Yes, I think "My experience is that those unfamiliar with the presence of nuclear power plants have an irrational fear of them"...is what's going on here. I mean, I lived in NYC from 1999-2013. I visited the World Trade center site 2 days after the tragedy (had a visceral reaction to the chemicals in the air and the immensity of the sadness), and lived down the street from a superfund site in Brooklyn for 8 years. I'm not obsessing over that stuff, as it belongs in the category of my brain labeled as "familiar NYC jungle"---a jungle I was NOT afraid of. And of course those situations occurred before I had children, so my perspective on stuff was different. But I appreciate the measured but relaxed perspective of a "veteran" of Limerick. "I've also NEVER heard of Collegeville containing a superfund site of any kind, as that's more of a secluded, leafy area. I'd double-check my research on that if I were you, or perhaps present your source so folks more familiar with the area can help you vet it." --> I was looking at this site: Statistics For Greater Pottstown Area - Cancer Incidence Rates and I know that ACE group is all over the web---are they considered more fringe and not super-trustworthy? I couldn't really get a good feel for them. They definitely have a lot of shocking "facts" on their site...just seems like one horror after another. I tried to find what I was looking at with regards to Collegeville's environmental safety. And I don't know where I saw it...it might have been here: Moderator cut: Link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed But then when I look at the details of the superfund sites, they are all resolved. I might have just been concerned about the proximity to Pottstown, due to the ultimate fear of Pottstown that ACEreport site instilled in me.


Bless you WaffleCone for your opening my eyes in regards to the info available on Zillow vs sites like RedFin. Indeed I was seeing taxes for ~300K$ homes in Sprinfield (delco) at 900$/yr...I thought at was just amazing! But if that's just a portion of a broader 6K$ tax mishmash...well, THAT makes sense. I"ll check out Red Fin for some more realistic ideas of what to expect. Even so, it's about on par with other places in the area, for nice homes.


soulsurv : I'm sorry about your parents. Losses never come at a good time. I can understand your hindsight regret about the home. Sounds lovely. I appreciate your info re: "traffic" although that term is always relative depending on your experience! If your friends in the area don't seem to mind it, then perhaps it's tolerable. I think it also has a lot to do with your destination. I've been perusing jobs and saw a CHOP location in Sprinfield and found a house for sale 0.8mi away. That sure beats my current commute of 27mi each way. If I was in a traffic jam for 0.8mi I'd just enjoy the extra NPR time. Or heck, maybe I'd figure out a bicycle route! Reassurance on the solid school system is much appreciated as is the info (names) on other little towns in the area. [right now we'd be renting at first and it looks like Springfield has nothing to rent! So exploration of adjacent towns will be helpful]. After looking at Chester co and Montgomery co I had wrongly assumed that anything closer to Philly was financially, or qualitatively off limits...glad to know that's not necessarily true.


kyb01: your anecdote is very valuable to me. *thank you*! With the statistic that 1 in 4 Americans will develop some kind of cancer in their lifetime, the stories on that ACEreport website might not be that geographically significant--might just be how modern life is across the US. I suppose there are bigger risks that Limerick, with simply driving in a car everyday. And yes, we are big believers in sun screen, and hats, and sunglasses, etc. Thank you.


I am just so grateful for the info from you all and willingness to share. Thank you ALL for your time. I really appreciate it!!!!

Last edited by Yac; 10-10-2017 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
5,153 posts, read 8,247,892 times
Reputation: 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by courtenia View Post
F I was looking at this site: Statistics For Greater Pottstown Area - Cancer Incidence Rates and I know that ACE group is all over the web---are they considered more fringe and not super-trustworthy? I couldn't really get a good feel for them. They definitely have a lot of shocking "facts" on their site...just seems like one horror after another. I tried to find what I was looking at with regards to Collegeville's environmental safety. And I don't know where I saw it...it might have been here: Moderator cut: Link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed But then when I look at the details of the superfund sites, they are all resolved. I might have just been concerned about the proximity to Pottstown, due to the ultimate fear of Pottstown that ACEreport site instilled in me.
I completely understand where you're coming from, however I'd personally consider those statistics very one-sided and presented in a very misleading way, not to mention very outdated (1998 is nearly 20 years ago!). I'd just point out that this interesting map feature from the National Cancer Institute documents different cancer types and rates, across demographics down to the county-level, and what I've found is that the two types of cancers most associated with radiation--thyroid and leukemia--are honestly all over the map with no necessary "rhyme or reason," although thyroid cancer very interestingly does show a very clear Northeastern US pattern: https://www.statecancerprofiles.canc...&1&5&0#results

I've also read that cancer incidence rates can be very much tied to screening--meaning, obviously that the lack of screening leads to many unreported cases that could explain "lower" cancer rates, especially in neighboring areas to high-cancer rate areas with no obvious reason for those lower rates.

I hope I haven't rambled too much come off as dismissive, because I completely sympathize with environmental health concerns, and given the choice I think the vast majority of folks would prefer energy sources or place to live that have absolutely no questions or any concerns whatsoever about health risks. Unfortunately, there are new discoveries all the time about foods that we eat or materials that we use/interact with in everyday life that are no longer considered safe, as well, so it's a concern that never ends.

It's also clear that some try to put together facts, either advertently or inadvertently, to fit a particular worldview. In the end, we all just have to make our own conclusions, and no one can fault you for that.

Last edited by Yac; 10-10-2017 at 08:06 AM..
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