Statement on St. Mary's Bill
On January 26th, I introduced Bill #170009 creating a proposed master plan for development of the former St Mary's church, its rectory, the former St Mary's School and its adjoining parking lot. My process is always facts first, opinion second and finally making a decision in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Since then, I have heard from many residents who feel very strongly about the future of their neighborhood who cited traffic, density and overdevelopment as areas of concern. Specifically, I listened intently on both March 7th and March 22nd as you expressed your viewpoint. I also hosted smaller stakeholder group meetings in hops of reaching a compromise between the developer, the Manayunk Neighborhood Council and the North Light Community Center. My goal was to broker compromise but it has become abundantly clear to me that this is not possible. During this process, I did not want to make whole decisions on half truths.
I respect the wishes of the community and your willingness to communicate important issues to me. To that end, I continue to work with the City Planning Commission and the Streets Department on a holistic plan to address parking and traffic issues. I encourage you to join our working group to find long term solutions. This development had [its] merits and may work in other areas, bit it was not right for this location. As it relates to the St Mary's bill, I will withdraw the bill at the next stated meeting of City Council on Thursday, May 18th. Thank you.