County Park in Marple Receives Support in Informal WHYY Facebook Survey

Part of the Don Guanella School property in Marple Township.
Image via Emmy Lee, WHYY.
The former Don Guanella School in Marple,

A proposed county park at the former Don Guanella School in Marple Township could face delays if the $21 million eminent domain offer from Delaware County isn’t accepted, writes Kenny Cooper for WHYY.

Delaware County Council condemned the property in July and has offered “Just equitable compensation” to the two owners of the land—the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Maple Glen Development LLC.

County Solicitor Bill Martin said if an agreed value for the land can’t be reached, a Board of View utilizing real estate experts would set a value, which could still be appealed to Common Pleas Court.

That means a settlement next year, or beyond if there’s litigation, Martin said.

Residents polled in an informal WHYY Facebook survey overwhelmingly supported a public park and green space.

Some suggested a skateboard park, an area for dogs and even using part of the land for a PECO natural gas reliability station now proposed at Sproul and Cedar Grove roads.

Ken Hemphill, with Save Marple Greenspace, said development must be restricted to prevent runoff.

“So we don’t want to see anything that increases storm water outflow from that site, because Darby, Eastwick, and Upper Darby suffer downstream,” he said.

Read more at WHYY about the proposed county park in Marple.

Go mountain biking through the Don Guanella property in this 2012 video.