As of a recent ruling, the Lower Bucks Family YMCA will no longer move to the park land at Lake Caroline off Hood Boulevard in Falls Township.
The Bucks County Parks Preservation Foundation recently voted against the 48,000 square-foot facility due to the plans county-owned open space pursuit. The $16 million project would move the Oxford Valley Road location in Fairless Hills and include a gym, indoor pool, community space and additional room for staff.
The Parks Preservation Foundation passed the resolution with opposition from Bucks County Commissioner Chairman Charles Martin who expressed his reasoning about the decision to WBCB 1490 AM. Martin was the lone ‘nay’ vote in the building plan shut down.
“I was going to wait to see what the elected officials of Falls Township thought of the project,” Martin said. “After a lot of good decision, they (the Parks Preservation Foundation) thought that that was not an appropriate use for county open-space land.”
The YMCA project was proposed in Nov. to take about 14 acres from an 82-acre field on Hood Boulevard near the county’s Oxford Valley Pool. Martin said he respects the decision and has seen mixed reviews from residents of Falls on the building plans.
“You could debate one of the permitted uses for county open-space is recreation,” Martin added. “By some definition, this (YMCA) could be interpreted as recreation.”
Critics of the Lake Caroline plan see the construction affecting wildlife and causing floods. The flip side sees an improvement to the surrounding land and an asset for the Lower Bucks community.
According to reports, Zane Moore, President and CEO of Central and Lower Bucks Family YMCAs, is looking for new options, but not disclosing specifics.
Martin mentioned the “change of direction” in Falls Township gets their elected officials “off the hook a little bit” on this controversial project.
WBCB 1490 AM story: