Imagine if you will the ability to make such a gesture, but on a grander scale, benefiting an entire community – and imagine, too, what it might be like to have the good fortune to receive such an honor.
position after they gathered last week together with officials from J.P. Mascaro, Inc. and their donor entity, MB Investments, in a public meeting to hear informal plans for the proposed construction of donated ball fields on a parcel of land long coveted by LPT as a potential acquisition for park space.
members listened, along with township supervisors*, to the pitch detailing the conceptual plan made by William Fox, general counsel for the organization. Fox was joined by Pasquale “Pat” Mascaro, Jr and John Marsh, their in-house engineer, who provided specifics and answered questions about the plan.
the Open Space Plan was the 38-acre parcel at 2759 Woodland Avenue, not far from Woodland Elementary School and sandwiched between Miami and Lauman Avenues, also known as the “Downes property”. This property is in Zone D of the Plan, an area of the Township recognized as having a deficit of usable open space, trails and park space compared to the rest of the municipality.
purchased in 2009 the Downes family and Mascaro mutually agreed to the placement of a 25-year deed restriction on the property mandating that it not be developed for “at least” that initial 25 years [see letter, here]. Athough six years into that moratorium as of 2015, the company indicated it would enter into a 20 to 25 year lease agreement with the Township when the facilities are complete so technically, the fields will be restricted for far longer. In addition, Fox told me subsequent to the meeting, from a practical standpoint, the company has no interest in dishonoring Frank Mascaro’s name by not honoring those terms, tearing down the fields, or by trying to develop the property anytime soon, if ever. As Fox pointed out, the company owns numerous other properties in other locations and does not need to monetize this one.
|5/14 Childress field dedication/photo courtesy JP Mascaro|
by essentially the same team who brought the handsome new Robert Childress Memorial Field to life at Methacton High School, is estimated to take 3-6 months to complete.
three ball fields (one tournament-grade), will potentially provide for multi-player families in the Methacton Baseball league what those playing for Audubon Recreation Association (ARA) already have – several fields in close proximity to each other. Currently, ARA has 7 fields in one location and with these fields, Methacton will have 5 fields within walking distance – 2 at Woodland and 3 here. Currently, Methacton baseball parents have to traverse 7 fields scattered between Eagleville and Woodland Elementary schools, and at Heebner Field in Worcester. Parents with more than one child playing baseball and softball at a time have to figure out how to bend the time-space continuum to attend more than one game for multiple offspring.
Lauman Avenue resident Lynette Leong could think about was how she’d purchased her property so she could see the constellations at night and wild animals during the day, and now primary among her concerns wondered whether Mascaro, in developing the plan, had considered the environmental impacts on things like well water, and that they are encroaching on wildlife habitat.
this Board's and prior supervisors’ determination this is an appropriate use in a residential area.
“Houses backing to a park or open
space generally draw a higher sale price. The concerns for many are with the parking situation. Take Warrior Field for example. The parking is inadequate and creates an issue on Landis Mill Road. That does not help property values. The moral of the story is...If they're going to do it, do it right”.
*For informal 'staff solicitor' meetings, generally only 2 supervisors attend so as not to have a quorum. However, four of the supervisors attended this meeting - two in an official capacity and two who did not participate. Supervisor Jill Zimmerman was not present.