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  • Terry Rumsey

Save these 5 Special Spaces


In addition to advocating for the preservation of the 13.8-acre Broomall's Tract adjacent to Glen Providence Park, Keep Media Green urges Media Borough to make a plan to preserve the following 5 Special Spaces through outright purchase or conservation easement purchase. One effective way to ensure adequate funding for this investment would be to place a Green Space Referendum on the ballot authorizing the Borough to create a dedicated tax for an Open Space Preservation Fund. It could also be achieved by a legislated tax increase or a municipal bond.


Name of Special Space: Strine Tract (above)


Location: 300 East State Street


Current Owner: Commonwealth Real Estate Investors (CREI), which is a subsidiary of Media Real Estate, owned by William Strine.


Size: 0.95 Acre (almost one acre)


Special Features

  • The tract occupies an entire city block

  • Located at a gateway to the business district

  • A dozen mature trees live on the land

  • A special Magnolia Umbrella tree lives on the NW corner of the tract

  • Open grassy areas on the tract

  • Perfect location for centralized “Town Park” of Media

Threats

  • There is a binding legal agreement between the owner and Borough, an approved zoning designation, and an approved development plan that clears the way for CREI to build a 23-unit apartment complex on the property.



Opportunities

  • Keep Media Green met with a member of the Strine Family who indicated that the company had no immediate plans to begin construction and would consider selling the property to the Borough or County.

  • Borough Council indicated a willingness to explore a purchase and has conducted very preliminary talks with the Strine Family.



Name of Special Space: Centennial Woods


Size: 1.1 Acre


Location: 115 West 6th Street, extending west all the way to Centennial Avenue


Current Owner: The Green Family, a family who still lives in the neighborhood and has deep Media roots, and B&G Properties, LLC, Equity Owner. George Palomba, one of the owners of B&G Properties, LLC, also lives in the neighborhood.


Special Features

  • The tract has one of the last stands of significant woods left in any neighborhood in Media

  • Approximately 88 trees live on the land, including many mature trees

  • A special 100+ year-old Oak tree lives on the land

  • Home to neighborhood wildlife

  • A 1948 colonial revival house with historic value is located on the property


Threats

  • A plan to subdivide the property and build four single-family houses on quarter-acre lots has been submitted to Media Borough.

  • The development plan calls demolishing the old colonial revival house and removing 55 trees, including 15 mature trees.

  • The Media Borough code enforcement officer and engineer have determined that the property is zoning compliant and the plan to build is By-Right, which means it does not need approval by the Media Zoning Hearing Board.

Opportunities

  • The developer has requested five land development waivers from Media Borough.

  • The Delaware County Planning Commission has already reviewed the plan and found that it does not appear to be zoning compliant due to violation of Media’s steep slope protection ordinance.

  • The Delaware County Planning Commission has recommended that the plan be “revised and resubmitted.”

  • The final sale from the Green Family to B&G Properties, LLC is contingent upon approval of the waivers by Media Borough Council.

  • Keep Media Green has formally requested that Media Borough Council develop an offer to purchase a conservation easement or outright purchase of the property.

  • Keep Media Green has organized a coalition of neighbors and allies from throughout Media that has called on local officials to “Save the Centennial Woods.”

  • There was a strong turnout of neighbors and allies at recent public meetings.



Name of Special Space:The County Lots


Location: Orange Street, on the west side between Front Street and Third Street, across from the Delaware County Courthouse.


Current Owner: County of Delaware


Size: Estimated 1.5 Acres


Special Features

The County Lots are comprised of two separate 3/4 acre open lots, divided by Second Street, where a County parking garage and office building once stood. The structures were demolished in 2018, creating an intriguing and unusual open space in the heart of Media.

Threats

  • While there are currently no known threats of development on the County Lots, the lots are prime pieces of real estate in a white hot market. Also, Delaware County may eventually be tempted to use them as parking lots for the Media Courthouse and Government Center or as sites for another parking garage or office building(s).


Opportunities

  • Keep Media Green has engaged in informal discussions with several Delaware County Councilpersons about the possibility of turning at least one of the lots into a community farm or edible forest. While those ideas were not dismissed out of hand, neither were they embraced in any serious manner.

  • The current Delaware County Council is the most progressive, “green” Council in history. No one can predict the outcomes of future elections, so NOW is the time for Keep Media Green and our allies to develop and advocate for a plan to preserve one or both lots and transform them into green space.


Name of Special Space:Outside of the Inn


Location: 500-502 East Franklin Street, adjacent to the Media Inn & Suites and across from Rita’s Water Ice Stand.


Current Owner: Media Inn & Suites


Size: Estimated 3/4 Acre


Special Features

èThe two lots form a large, open, grass field that is a good candidate for a community garden or pocket park.


Threats

  • While there are currently no known threats of development on the land located at 500-502 East Franklin Street, the lots are prime pieces of real estate in a white hot market. This land seems to be just a forgotten field in Media, but we assume that developers are aware of every buildable vacant space in the Borough.


Opportunities

  • For now, the property seems to be off the radar. That may be short- lived, so NOW is the time for Keep Media Green and our allies to develop and advocate for a plan for the Borough to purchase the land and transform it into a community garden or pocket park.


Name of Special Space: Olive Tract


Location: 712 North Olive Street


Current Owner: Stephen L. and Margaret Barney


Size: Estimated 1.3 Acres


Special Features

  • The tract has one of the last stands of significant woods left in any neighborhood in Media.

  • Literally hundreds trees live on the land, including dozens of mature trees.

  • There are three uniquely spectacular trees that are at least 150 years old.

  • The property is a Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat.

  • There is a 1914 6-bedroom stucco house with English cottage features on the property.


Threats

  • The tract is located in a rapidly redeveloping area, where the 8th & Jackson Street development and now the proposed Centennial Woods development are threatening the tree canopy and character of the neighborhood.

  • B&G Properties is reported to be actively soliciting property owners in the neighborhood.


Opportunities

  • To our knowledge, there is no pending contract of sale on the property.

  • The fact that the current owner took the trouble to secure Backyard Wildlife Habitat Certification may indicate a desire to protect the woods.

  • Keep Media Green officially alerted Borough Council to the potential for preserving this tract on February 5, 2021 but received no response.

  • Many residents who are concerned about the Centennial Woods are also concerned about preserving the Olive Tract and would enthusiastically support Borough action to protect it.


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