Newtown Square Shopping Center & Ellis "Preserve"
In Sunday's Delco Times, in yet another "he said, she said story," the paper has again allowed Carlino to repeat the claim that they will save 166 acres. Aside from being inaccurate (it's 161 acres), it's demonstrably untrue. The Times fails again to note that the county and township would have to agree to purchase the acres, and no such agreement has been signed. Carlino would own the entire 213 acre site after purchasing it. After closing with the Archdiocese, there is nothing legally requiring Carlino to sell ANY land to anyone. A verbal assurance is not a contract or legally binding in court. They could say that they underestimated their sewer or road improvement costs and therefore need to build something else on all or part of those acres to cover their "unanticipated expenses." The community would of course object, but Carlino would just let Marc Kaplin take care of that.
Another misrepresentation we keep hearing in the paper is the size of the Don Guanella Village: that "they're just building a little bit extra. They keep calling it "38 acres" (to make the additional acreage they're proposing to build on sound smaller), something the Delco Times reports without checking. Google Earth puts the size of of the village at 34.6 acres not 38. Three acres might not sound like much, but a big box store could be snugly nestled on a plot that size. Before Carlino gets a chance to discredit Google Earth, keep in mind that all land planners use it daily.
Given the highly controlled, compartmentalized environment in which Carlino will push their proposal Monday night on the friendly turf of Cardinal O'Hara High School, we feel it's critically important to address in advance some of the inaccuracies, false assurances, and outright misrepresentations that have been and will be made by Carlino employees. It's going to be a lot like walking through an automobile showroom with highly trained sales people trying to sell you, the customer, a very expensive product. In this case, the expensive product will benefit Carlino and cost you in quality of life terms, property values, and your health.
Written by Ken Hemphill
Carlino's people have consistenly downplayed how big it actually is and minimized its impact
When you consider the actual facts along with Carlino's very devious last minute postcard mailer, it's clear that Carlino knows the traffic would be a nightmare, and they're going to spend a lot of money to convince you otherwise. Monday night, Carlino is hoping you go in with an open mind because they plan to hypnotize the community into accepting a lower quality of life so that they can build their regional shopping center.
"And a little extra" across the street, to use Peter Miller's words
Drexeline Shopping Center
May 20, 2018
On Monday, Carlino will significantly downplay the traffic impact of their "town center," telling you that "they're going to 'calm' traffic with some turn lanes and some 'adaptive signaling.'" Don't be fooled by this. Believe your own eyes. Believe your own experience driving on our already overburdened roads. Of course, the Delco Times makes no effort to pin Carlino down on any traffic issues. It's completely glossed over even though this is the single most important issue facing the community.
To give you some idea of the public relations full-court press that will be on display Monday night, consider what one employee for Carlino has said on facebook. Marie Keith, who works in some capacity for one of the developers (but who has presented herself on facebook as some sort of unbiased member of the community until we exposed her), said on facebook that PennDOT would be at Monday's O'Hara meeting. This sounded highly suspicious to us, so we checked, and sure enough, PennDOT had no knowledge of the O'Hara meeting and had no plans to attend. The regional director for PennDOT said that they've had some very preliminary meetings with Carlino and have seen a "preliminary scoping application," but they are still waiting for a submission from Carlino. PennDOT, the director said, has issued no permits and reached no conclusions as to Carlino's enormous shopping center. Keep in mind that Ms. Keith made this claim as she was asking people "to get the facts" before they signed our petition.
So how would Carlino's regional shopping center compare to other local centers?