Friday, July 8, 2016

Who will pay for save Don Guanella tract?

Yesterday on our editorial page, we talked about the push to preserve the 213 acres or pristine open space that surrounds the former home of the Don Guanella School in Marple Township.

It is owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. But they are looking to sell it. They had a deal in place with a developer who envisioned a massive residential and retail center he dubbed Cardinal Crossing.

That idea didn't fly. The community mobilized against the plan, packing township meetings to voice their opposition. They formed a group called Save Marple Greenspace to take up the fight.

County planners weighed in against the development. The township followed suit.

Last week the archdiocese nixed its agreement of sale with developer Bruce Goodman.

The question is what happens now?

The archdiocese says the tract will go back on the market.

Save Marple Greenspace went to County Council this week to urge them to put a referendum on the November ballot on the possibility of floating a bond measure to buy the ground.

One Republican state House candidate is even imploring the archdiocese to donate the land. Don't think that's happening anytime soon. About that possibility of a bond issue.

The county would be wise to listen to the words of Michael Burns. He's a Haverford resident and member of the Interboro School Board. He makes the point - which has been made in this county before - that such a measure falls inordinately on those who can least afford it, and who likely would get little in the form of a direct benefit.

You can read our editorial here.

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