MARPLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — A major step forward to creating the largest county-owned park in Delaware County. The former site of the Don Guanella School has been on the market for years, once owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
After several failed attempts at redevelopment, the county decided it will purchase the 213 acres. But not everyone is on board.READ MORE: President Biden To Visit Lehigh County On Wednesday, Visit Mack Trucks In Lower Macungie
This is the culmination of years of work to ensure this piece of land was protected. And tonight, the Council received a significant amount of support from the public.
A packed room, filled with people from the community, in support of Delaware County Council claiming the Don Guanella property through eminent domain.
The 213-acre parcel of land is still owned by the archdiocese.
“It’s fantastic back there. It’s a mystical place,” said Charles Protesto.
The county aims to create a public park and multi-use recreational trails, a boost for the environment.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police: Woman Pedestrian Struck, Killed By Chaotic Driver In Center City, Others Injured In Second Hit-And-Run
“Environmentally, it has two important streams on it that go into the Darby and into the Delaware that support incredibly important diverse ecosystems, all the way from macroinvertebrate, all the way up to the flora and fauna we’re used to seeing,” Councilmember Elaine Paul Schaefer said.
The site will be the largest county-owned park in Delaware County.
“This park will be utilized and enjoyed by Delaware County residents for generations to come,” Vice Chair Dr. Monica Taylor said.
It is expected to raise property value and, “there are a lot of small businesses that will benefit from it. People can come in, they can make a day of the park, they can go somewhere, get something to eat,” Protesto said.
But not everyone is for it.
“All they can see is the benefit of potential taxes coming in from any new business that might be located there,” Joe Finio said.MORE NEWS: CDC's New Mask Guidance In Schools Creates Tense Moments At Central Bucks Board Meeting
There will be a public hearing in about two weeks. If passed on July 7, it will take effect 10 days later.