Residents divided over shopping center plan in Delaware County

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    A plan to build a shopping complex including a supermarket and a fitness center has sparked debate among some suburban Philadelphia residents.

    The 56-acre parcel in Brookhaven Borough, Delaware County, is now covered with woods and a baseball field. A development plan would turn more than half of the lot into a shopping center.

    Daniel Gallo, who has lived in Brookhaven for 25 years, said he’s worried about the development plan overtaking  “the last large green space in Brookhaven.”

    Stormwater runoff the development could cause and the potential traffic hazards for children at a nearby school are other reasons Gallo is worried.

    Borough solicitor Mike Maddren knows some residents object to the project.

    “We were recently presented a petition with close to 450 names in favor,” he said. “We’ve been presented petitions with somewhere in the 200s against.”

    If the controversial project gets a red light, Maddren said, there could be consequences that some residents will not be happy about.

    “If this development doesn’t go through, there’s a chance that the Giant [supermarket] in town will leave the borough altogether,” he said.

    Giant store officials want to move out of their current location in the area, according to Maddren; under the plan, that new grocery store would be part of the development.

    Maddren said the existing baseball field would be relocated to another spot nearby.

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