Township Council Moves To Buy Two Parcels Of Land
The Township Council Feb. 14 introduced ordinances earmarking more than $650,000 to purchase two pieces of property.
The ordinances will have a public hearing and final adoption vote at the council’s Feb. 28 meeting.
One ordinance allocates $511,600 from the Open Space Trust Fund to buy a lot on Bunker Hill Road known as the Craig Property.
Township Councilman Ted Chase (D-Ward 1) said the property was left to the D&R Greenway Land Trust by its last owner, the late Virginia Craig.
The trust approached the township about buying the roughly 71-acre parcel for preservation because Craig’s will allowed for its sale, but did not specify that it had to preserved, he said.
Through the deal, the township will buy the basic property, while the trust retains the development rights, Chase said.
“This is a good deal, they’re giving it to us for a small fraction of what it would go for in the open market,” he said.
Mayor Phil Kramer disagreed with the decision to buy the property.
“I opposed the purchase” for strategic reasons, Kramer said. “I don’t think D&R will sell it for development. I think we could have preserved it without spending any money.”
“I admit I’m paying chess here, but I just think we don’t need to spend the money because the D&R Greenway would be embarrassed to develop it,” he said. “I’m going to vote yes on introduction, but no on second reading.”
Township attorney Lou Rainone told Kramer that “we were advised by them that they were not going to hold this land for preservation.”
The second parcel of land, 17 Waldorf Street, may be used to expand the parking lot for the township baseball complex, Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said.
He said the lot – for which the township is paying $145,600 from the Open Space Trust Fund – could also house a Tot Lot, to give the baseball parents with young children some place to go with the youngsters while their siblings play baseball.
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