Residents Fighting Development In Delco Get Small Victory - KMSP-TV

Residents Fighting Development In Delco Get Small Victory

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CONCORD TWP., Pa. -

"They just keep buying time. It's 60 days here and 60 days there. It's a small victory," said Brian Hathaway.

He's one of hundreds of residents who left a meeting at Garnett Valley Middle School hesitant to claim what appeared to be a victory.

Robin Hathaway isn't celebrating at all. She said, "We're expecting them to just break it up into smaller pieces to draw it out and wear us down so we don't oppose as much."

The developer, Woodlawn Trustees, wants to build single family homes, a senior community, and big-box retail store on hundreds of acres of land right now zoned as wild refuge.

The land surrounds Beaver Valley Road in Concord Township. People live, farm, bike, hike trails and board horses there.

Residents protested outside the meeting but went inside to learn the developer has withdrawn its application for now.

"He said, 'I hope you'll understand all the good things we do so when we come back with our alternative plan you'll be willing to listen to it.' That is not a victory at all. That's a delay," said Anne Mueller.

Woodlawn Trustees owns much of the land it wants to have rezoned. They claim a new plan in the works will protect delicate areas and keep nature trails.

Vernon Green spoke for the developer and said, "The proposal is being made so the land can be developed in a way that would require a substantial amount of land be held aside and not be developed."

The issue is still unsettling to people like Ann Neilson.

"Our hearts are breaking at the thought of it," she said.

Neilson has lived 20 years here and fears the plan will force her and others out.

"We would basically be the farmhouse in the middle of a neighborhood, which is not what we want," Neilson said.

When the developer files a new application it will be posted on the township website. Board members say it will be at least 60 days before any hearings are held.

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