Less Trees In Swarthmore And More Tension If Condo Plan Passes
By Bob Small
This has been a time of tensions in Swarthmore. First of all, there’s the proposed five-story Condominium on 110 Park Ave., Swarthmore’s main drag (we only have one main drag) that would displace two main stores, and the tenants above , would cause traffic day-and-night mares, and cost $700,000 per Condo, etc. along with demolition of an historic building. There is the possibility of financial advantages if we can trust the Borough to tax equitably.
At the very same time, PECO is telling the residents of Swarthmore, that they will have 96 less trees because of towers needed for 5G. The state government bowing down to PECO was in a previous post of mine, from late August. Swarthmore has been a 30-year “Tree City USA” , one of only 3,400 in the US and surely one of the smallest, with a 2020 population of only 6,734.
In the meantime, there’s also been a grassroots push for affordable housing, which runs counter to the condominium being proposed by long-time Swarthmoreans Bill Cumby and Don Delson, dubbed by some as “the Donstrosity”. Continually rising taxes for those who have a “fixed income” have forced some Swarthmoreans out of Swarthmore and, just a few so far, temporary residence on the sidewalk of Park Avenue. Others have sold their houses, moving into one of the few apartment buildings still in Swarthmore Borough limits.
There has been a great deal of organization on all three issues with one of the most successful being the Save our Swarthmore group who organized for the Dec. 15 Swarthmore Planning Commission which had to be adjourned after 15 minutes when over 100 citizens showed up , most in opposition to the proposed condo. More on that in a future post. This s a short video clip from that meeting.
We were unable to attend that event because we were 80 miles away in Lancaster at the 30th Annual Bill of Rights Dinner (Bill of Rights Bicentennial Commitee) which we have attended for at least half those years. We had been avoiding large crowds due to Covid but we felt we needed to be here to support this group and to see some persons we hadn’t seen since 2019 , It was the right decision and there ‘s a great deal to post on that in the future, also.