Who Wants The Land

16 applications were filed for free or reduced land at the closing Willow Grove Naval Air Station.

Who wants land
List of applicants who submitted requests for land at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station as a “public benefit conveyance,” which could be acquired for free or at a greatly reduced price:
  • Montgomery County
  • Bucks County Airport Authority
  • Horsham (three separate applications)
  • Horsham Water and Sewer Authority
  • Bucks County Housing Group
  • Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue
  • ACTS Retirement-Life Communities
  • ESI Equipment
  • Learn and Play Inc.
  • Hatboro-Horsham School District
  • Philadelphia Stand Down
  • ATG Learning Academy
  • The YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity
  • Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association
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7 Responses to Who Wants The Land

  1. Robert R. Widdop says:

    I personally do not believe that ACTS Retirement Community should be allowed to build unless they agree not to seek tax exempt status now or in the future. They must agree to pay taxes on the property and buildings.

    Horsham Township should persue commercial and business interst for the property as they will provide taxes without the need for additional schools or teachers. Although residential properties do provide taxes to the township and school district, the taxes never seem to cover the expense of additional teachers, school property or supplies, especially since our taxes are based on property value rather than the number of students that each residence will place into the school system.

  2. Mark Lawlor says:

    Clearly these entities are trying to capitalize on the present situation; however, I strongly encourage the advisory board and decision makers to quickly purge the many applicants and interested parties who cannot demonstrate without bias that their plan would actually improve the quality of life in our community of Horsham, and its surrounding communities. Let us not forget Gov. Rendell’s failed power play to takeover the base with absolutely no consideration for the community or the financial impact to the state or local residents. Ill conceived plans such as this will prolong the process and leave the community with little hope of any near term improvements. With Warrington Twp and the County now interested in preserving the airstrip, we need to challenge these positions and demand that they backup their plan with details including how their plans improve the quality of life for the community. Maybe Warrington needs to be reminded of the their old private airstrip that is now occupied by homes and ballfields. The county needs to be held to an even higher standard as their plan was backed by a “mothball” approach. How ridiculous is that for any govt authority to take advantage of a situation at the expense of the community, and without any plan whatsoever. Maybe these plans are not viable and simply represent the opinions of a few narrow minded politicians. It’s time to move forward without further delay and work hard to develop a comprehensive plan that clearly improves the community. Some ideas:
    1 – forget the airstrip as its value and purpose have long past
    2 – consider building a “town of Horsham” like the many new planned communities with an atmosphere like Doylestown or many other older communities making a comeback like Ambler
    3 – balance the plan with public parks, offices, college campus, restaurants, senior living communities, a range of housing, and other small town types of business and activities that become part of the fabric of the “town” and draw people
    4 – build a museum to recognize the history of the base and fill it with the planes that used to fly overhead for so many years
    5 – don’t allow developers to take over and capitalize on the many federal benefits of redevelopment at the expense of the community – lets not forget wall street greed
    6 – don’t allow the politicians to push their agenda

    Good dialog is needed to move this project in the right direction.
    Mark Lawlor

  3. Dolores Keeton says:

    I totally agree with Mark Lawlor. This is a prime piece of real estate that has a huge effect on property values to Horsham residents. We finally have a quite community without the disruptive noise of overhead aircraft which is a positive factor for any local property owner. As a mortgage banker I have had many contacts in the real estate field share the negative comments of their clients regarding purchasing a home in close proximity to the base. We now have an opportunity to add a revenue based attraction in our community to create jobs and add amenities that will attract the buying public from surrounding areas. Use the land to make Horsham’s ‘Lahaska’, a beautiful combination of well landscaped attractive surroundings with upscale dining and artisan shopping.

  4. David says:

    What revenue based attraction are you referring to? Or do you mean dining and shopping (retail), which RKG said there is an overabundance of?

    Even if housing is kept off the base other than the required low income housing, what will stop the land at the ends of the runway from becoming high density housing once the zoning is changed?

    Regarding the “huge” effect on property values, what will existing residential and commercial property values do when 900 acres plus all the extra land around the base is suddenly dumped on the market?

    • Hatboro Mike says:

      I’ll take a “Lahaska-type” development with limited dining choices and artisan shopping. Sounds perfect! Special niche shoppes and a restaurant or two would work. If you do it right (as in Lahaska), it won’t matter how “saturated” the market might be.

      I’ll take the worst that a high-density housing development could throw at me, rather than the alternative. And I don’t mind a short-term hit on my property value if 900 acres hits the market.

  5. Bob says:

    Mark’s idea sounds splendid, a common sense blend of every thing except an airstrip.Demolish the runway and Horsham will be in the top 10 of Best Places to Live.It is such a pleasure to be outside without hearing the constant noise that RESIDENTS have endured forever. Traffic gridlock around the base will be improved greatly with the 4 roads through the base. The air will be cleaner and RESIDENTS won’t have to live in fear when a plane takes off over their house at night in a rain or snow storm. Sounds like a no brainer to me.

  6. Carolyn Steiert says:

    Good Idea Bob and Mark! Most of Horsham’s traffic is pass thru. We don’t have nice malls or shopping. Everyone goes to Warrington! We need roads. It sometimes takes almost 20 minutes to go 1000 feet on Norristown Road

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