The Falls Township Supervisors are now considering changing the zoning and giving variances to a developer for a proposed housing project on what used to be St. Joseph the Worker Church. This need not happen and would be a tragedy if it did. We really don’t require any more land development in Fallsington or Levittown. What we need is to preserve the precious few acres of land left and make it open space.
I don’t know how many of our tax dollars have been spent in the courageous attempt at keeping open space in Bucks County. I’ve always supported efforts to try and save as much open space in our beautiful county as possible. Because, maybe, like you, I’ve always believed that our county should remain as true to the historical roots of our past as possible, without denying our destiny as a place to live and worship, to raise a family and enjoy the fruits of sound education, secure and safe neighborhoods, and enjoying our God-given blessings of fertile fields and the fruits of our own labor. Yet, where has the bulk of our taxpayer money for open space been spent? Certainly not in lower Bucks County. I’m not criticizing other townships for being proactive; I’m just asking a question.
It’s the job of each municipality’s planning and zoning boards to curb unnecessary development, to make sure it works within the framework of the communities we live in. After all, when Bill Levitt planned our communities, here in lower Buck County, he did, in his genius, allocate appropriate open space. And it was a masterpiece of both architectural and community planning because there was space to live and to grow. Space to saddle your banana-bike seat and explore the little world you lived in: space to make friends and come to the realization that the people from North Park and Vermillion Hills, Thornridge and Birch Valley, not to mention Historic Fallsington, weren’t that different after all.
We truly felt a sense of freedom and enjoyed our childhood. St. Joe’s was always the place to go to play ball and laugh, hang out, possibly hide behind the auditorium and experience our first kiss or just hold hands with our best girl and wait for the pizza ovens, before bingo, to fire up on a Saturday night and beg for a slice.
The church is closed now. The times being what they are dictate it. I understand – lament it, mind you, but I understand and accept. But, what a beautiful gift it would be for the Township of Falls and our leadership to give to the people of our little and perfect community to keep the property of St. Joseph the Worker as open space. Imagine the possibilities: it could be made part of the township’s park system; it could house a new home for a township municipal building that really is out of place on Lincoln Highway. A portion of the land could be used as a learning center for organic agriculture, so that our children will come to truly appreciate their God-given responsibility to be stewards of our earth and what that means to future generations (what better legacy could be left by the former stewards of St. Joseph the Worker?).
But, more importantly, the real estate at St. Joe’s would provide a real and enduring legacy for generations to come as a promise made by ourselves to do the right thing for, not just our children, but our for grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Dorothy Vislosky, the paramour of Falls Township politics, whether you agreed or disagreed with her, was right about one thing. She believed a beloved bedroom community, like Falls Township, should protect itself against aggressive overdevelopment. If Dorothy was alive today, I really don’t think the question as to whether St. Joseph the Worker should be kept intact as open space would even be an issue. It would be a no-brainer; because, for posterity, it’s the right thing to do.
Let you supervisors know how you feel about it. Everyone in Falls Township has a stake in this. Stand up and let your voice be heard.