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Yardley officials urge Lower Makefield to preserve land adjacent to borough


Yardley Borough officials are trying to interest their counterparts in neighboring Lower Makefield Township in purchasing a property adjacent to the borough to preserve as open space.

Borough officials discussed the matter at the Nov. 15 council meeting and said the owner of a property on McKinley Drive in Lower Makefield bordering Yardley and the Delaware Canal wants to move and sell the parcel to an entity that would preserve it from development.

If purchased by Lower Makefield, the 6.4-acre tract would combine with three adjacent acres the township already owns to form 9.4 acres of continuous open space, the Yardley officials added.

“This property is in a crucial location adjacent to existing open space while bordering Yardley Borough and the historic Delaware Canal,” Yardley Borough Council member David Appelbaum wrote in a letter on behalf of council to the Lower Makefield board of supervisors.

“It begins exactly at the endpoint of the forthcoming final phase of the (borough’s) North Main Street sidewalk program,” he continued. “(The owner’s) proposal for the sale of his property for open space would be vital to creating a future natural trail.”

In combination with other projects in both Yardley and Lower Makefield “this property would serve as a key component of interconnection while preserving a natural buffer for our mutual residents,” Appelbaum added in the letter.

“This strikes us as a rare opportunity to do something that residents and visitors to our region will enjoy for generations to come. Therefore, we express our support and encouragement to move forward and preserve this property as an open space.”

Lower Makefield board of supervisors Chairman James McCartney said the board had no comment at this time.

In other actions from the Nov. 15 Yardley meeting, council approved the purchase for $26,308 of a Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle from Stars & Stripes Harley-Davidson in Langhorne.

The purchase should allow Yardley police to begin some motorcycle patrols once officers who would be driving the motorcycle complete formal training from Philadelphia Police, borough Chief Joseph D. Kelly III said.

Some patrols using the motorcycle would have several advantages, including the ability to negotiate certain traffic situations easier than cars, he added. The motorcycle is being funded from a state grant obtained with the help of state Sen. Steve Santarsiero.

Council also approved applying for a $50,000 Keystone Community Grant to help fund the Mary Yardley Bridge replacement, and applying for $942,503 from a PennDOT grant program to fund the third and final phase of the North Main Street sidewalk installation program.