March 18, 2015

Board vote approves contested Delco development

The Concord Township Board of Supervisors will vote on a proposal to develop 230 acres of open space

Environment Development
030215_SaveTheValley_Carroll-1.jpg Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Jason Hoover, executive director of Save the Valley, stands on a plot of land where the Vineyard Commons development is proposed.

The Concord Township Board of Supervisors voted in favor of a controversial proposal to develop 230 acres of open space in Delaware County on Wednesday night.

The board considered the preliminary plans for Vineyard Commons, a housing development proposed for open space bordering First State National Historic Park.

Eastern States Development, of Wilmington, Del., and McKee-Concord Homes LP, of Springfield, plan to construct 163 houses on a 230-acre parcel being sold by Woodlawn Trustees, a nonprofit real estate company dedicated to preserving open space, orderly development and affordable housing. 

Several community groups have fought the project for nearly three years, wishing to see the land preserved for generations to come. For decades, Woodlawn has permitted the public to recreate on the open space. 

The property is part of Beaver Valley, a scenic area straddling the Delaware and Pennsylvania borders. Thousands of acres in the valley were owned by Woodlawn, including 1,100 preserved by the national park. The region has served as a hotspot for hikers, bikers and horseback riders.