Friends of Worcester has participated in preserving and conserving areas historically. See what we've done below! You can also click here to view the Historic Timeline.
In 1997, residents were anxiously watching a proposal by Amoco to build a gas station and convenience store on the Worcester corner of Township Line and North Wales Roads. Friends of Worcester received the support of hundreds of residents in its effort to resist this development of the site. By 1999, Amoco was ready to appear before Worcester's Zoning Board to secure the necessary approvals. Despite overwhelming opposition from Friends of Worcester and individual residents, however, the Zoning Board approved the variances, allowing the development to go forward. The Board of Supervisors and two residents appealed this decision, and eventually Amoco abandoned the fight.
In the late 1990s, Worcester residents became aware that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission was studying ways to relieve traffic congestion along the turnpike and local feeder roads between the Lansdale and Plymouth Meeting interchanges. The Commission proposed the creation of "slip ramps" that would allow traffic to enter and exit the turnpike between these two interchanges. Three of the proposed slip ramp locations were in or on the edge of Worcester Township -- Schultz Road near Morris Road, Valley Forge Road just north of Morris Road, and Morris Road between Schultz & Valley Forge Roads. A series of public meetings was held, and Friends of Worcester kept township residents informed through our newsletter as plans for the slip ramp were alternately sidelined and then resumed.
In 2002, the Commission presented a plan to build two slip ramps on Schultz Road, one in each direction. Friends of Worcester mounted a public information campaign through our newsletter and word of mouth to encourage residents to attend the Turnpike Commission's public meetings and to contact local and state elected officials about the slip ramp. "Stop the Slip Ramp" signs sprouted on residents' lawns. At one public meeting, FOW officers presented a petition against the plan which had been signed by hundreds of township residents. Lansdale Borough, the Montgomery County Planning Commission, and many area businesses such as Ford Electronics and Merck voiced their support for the slip ramp, but Worcester residents argued that our township's rural roads are ill-equipped to handle the expected increase of 4000 to 5000 cars per day. Even worse, easy access to the turnpike would encourage still more residential development in Worcester.
In 2004, the proposed slip ramp still appeared on Montgomery County's draft Transportation Plan, and once again Friends of Worcester sent representatives to public meetings to oppose a slip ramp in Worcester. The Turnpike Commission has now announced the cancellation of its plans for the slip ramp, but given the history of this proposal, Friends of Worcester will continue to work with our local and state elected officials to make sure that a slip ramp will never be built in Worcester
In 2002, CVS decided to build a 14,800 square foot drug store at the corner of Trooper Road and Germantown Pike, opposite the tiny, historic Norriton Presbyterian Church. The proposal included drive-through service, 24-hour operation, an oversized parking lot, and large, illuminated signs, all of which required numerous zoning variances. The building alone was more than twice the size allowed by Worcester's commercial ordinance.
Friends of Worcester mounted a petition on our web site for residents to register their outrage at a development proposal that was so out of keeping with the other historic buildings at that intersection. Comments by residents included this one: "Build it, and I will NEVER use it!" FOW attended meetings, reviewed drawings, distributed flyers and yard signs, and encouraged residents to attend public meetings. By the fall of 2003, CVS had abandoned its plans for a mega-pharmacy on this site.