Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lost without Wood's

Let's get this conversation started faster than a ProV1 off the head of a Nike Sumo driver.

Wood's Golf Center, excuse me, Woody's, has been a destination point for our family for years.
We heard the rumors about Einstein looking at it as a possible site for a new home for Montgomery Hospital, but I was hoping it was all just that, rumors. Turns out the rumors were true.

The Wood family has a right to do with their property whatever they wish. Let's get that on the record right now.

But...life without Woody's?

I find it hard to believe Einstein would want to build a hospital a couple of miles down the road from Mercy Suburban, but I don't know the hospital business. That's the first bogey.
I do know a little bit about traffic, though, and I don't believe that stretch of Germantown Pike can handle a hospital without some major reconstruction. That's a double bogey for sure.

Let's hear from East Norriton residents and supervisors. Is this what you want?
Maybe the township could step up and buy Woody's. West Norriton owns Jeffersonville, East Norriton should have its own slice of paradise, right?

OK, all of this is coming from an admitted golf addict, but seriously, there has to be some other place to put a new hospital besides a nice place to take a walk, even if it is sometimes spoiled (my apologies to Mr. Clemens).

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been to Wood's many times. It's a nice place, but with the state hospital across the street, there's really no need to mourn the loss of open space (I'm sure that will be the first or second argument the anti-change naysayers will make).

As for Germantown Pike, now more than ever is the time for the road to be widened to 4 lanes from North Wales Road, at least up to Park Avenue, if not all the way to Methacton. It's time for us to acknowledge the fact that we are in suburbia.

Sick in East Norriton said...

Shame on the East Norriton Board of Supervisors if they don't go after Woodies for their Montgomery County open space grant. I do believe it is in their open space plan for aquisition. Both the Lower Providence Board of Supervisors and the West Norriton Commissioners of yesteryear had the brains and good sense to buy their respective golf courses to prevent development and save the precious open space they sit on. What a shame if the East Norriton Supervisors lose this chance to save some of theirs.

This is a poor place to put a hospital with all the current traffic woes at this location. But what the hey, common sense should not play a part in this decision!

Virginia said...

Germantown Pike is the main drag through East Norriton. Wood’s golf course is the only landmark that gives it character. Otherwise, EN is just a bed room community with commercial strip malls. The Farm Park planning committee wants to put more roads and construction across from Woods – so the Farm Park adjacent to Germantown Pike will also be the usual combination of asphalt and cement instead of a bucolic retreat. Even though greenery and open space sustain property values, EN township supervisors want tax revenue, they see open space as an expense.

During rush hour it took me 15 minutes to drive from North Wales road to Whitehall Rd on Germantown Pike. It takes less than 5 late at night. I told my clients (Wyeth and Omnicare) that I could only be on site from 10 AM to 3 PM , otherwise I would spend many billable hours sitting in traffic on the Pike. To be accessible, a major hospital would require that Germantown Pike be widened to two lanes in each direction. More public transportation and another traffic stop would be needed. The latter will make driving on Germantown Pike like driving in parts of North Philly where one has to stop at every corner to get anywhere.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any comments in your fine paper yet from the owners of the golf center. Why is that?

That off my chest, I hope the hospital doesn't move there, either. Recreation -- and especially affordable recreation -- should be valued in our community, by the residents and by those we elect to serve the community.

Homer Jay said...

Montgomery County needs a first class medical facility on a major roadway. East Norriton can try for open space money, but a hospital with all those doctors and nurses paying earned income tax to East Norriton would be better for the residents in the long run.

Mercy Suburban is adequate, but not distinguished.

We need a first class medical facility in central montco.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is assuming that the Wood family WANTS to sell -
Did you notice that there is nothing about or from the Wood family in any of these articles.
The township supervisors and the Einstien Hospital are making all the plans and this family business of 50 years that has provided much enjoyment and recreation is being pushed out.

Rick Williams said...

Tax revenue benefits for East Norriton will be minimal.

Earned Income Tax is paid to the worker's home municipality if an EIT has been enacted.

Property taxes could decrease if the hospital is granted tax exempt status. Woody's pays reduced property taxes now, but collects amusement taxes and pays business privilege and mercantile taxes to the township.

A major tax revenue increase would be the $52 EMS tax collected from workers each year - a hospital has more employees than a golf course.

Sandra Lee said...

I have lived in East Norriton for 17 years and I'm vehemently opposed to Einstein building a new hospital on the Woody's property. Germantown Pike is congested enough from North Wales Road west and besides; why should we get stuck with Whitpain's castoffs?

Anonymous said...

You're kidding yourself if you think all this is happening without anyone talking with the Wood family. Of course the family is talking. Who says their business is yours? They have a right to sell their land.

Do some people think the Wood family is made of money and they have the ability to just give this land to ENT to be used as a park? This land is their 401(k), and they, like everyone else, have a need and a right to retire.

To think that people are "sick" because this land will become "gasp" a hospital - that's sick to me. If you think a countrified place with no street lighting like East Norriton Twp is too urban and congested, you should move a lot further out. You also need to see a little more of the world.

Anonymous said...

Here's a concept, why not build the new hospital on existing NSH ground? Aren't there vacant buildings back there that can be torn down and redeveloped into the hospital -- probably at a less expensive cost for Einstein?

Just a thought...

SaltyDog said...

Why not let East Norriton buy Woody's, they'd still save the open space, keep the recreation for the residents and bring in needed revenue for the county and township. Then build the hospital on the opposite side of Germantown Pike on a piece of cornfield equivalent to the size of Woody's. That way the open space issue would be a wash and we could have a state of the art medical facility in central MontCo. What a prestigious plum for the county and local community as a whole, with all those new jobs and property tax relief for the residents to boot.

Anonymous said...

Ever wonder why kids get in trouble because there is not much for these kids to do in the area and any recreational we do have is taken away. Woody's is a great place to spend a couple hours with your family and do something fun.

I hope Woody's remains where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

Maybe with a hospital on Germantown Pike, the enhanced road improvements would eliminate the traffic congestion.

celticwarrior said...

The Woods family isn't a charity, and they have the right to sell their land if they want to, to whomever they want to, and there isn't enough grant money in the world to compete with the dollars deep-pocketed developers have available to them. That development will likely come with traffic improvements to Germantown Pike paid for by the developer. Just like Lower Providence had the brains to buy their own golf course, they had the brains to get developers to pay for their badly needed traffic improvements in Audubon, too. Of course if a private family or organization wants to ante up the bucks to buy the land instead of developers, then THEY can keep it open space. Otherwise they should mind their own business.

Anonymous said...

How about a hospital with a rooftop mini golf course? No, seriously I like the idea of building on the existing NSH grounds. Doesn't it make more sense to have the hospitals located together...they might be able to save alot of $$ by joint purchasing and offering expanded health care services to their patients. NSH could use a little sprucing up. Besides, I would miss all of the make believe dinosaurs and pirate ships.

Stay in Norristown said...

Being an EN resident for 30 years, I'm extremely opposed to the hospital being on Woods Golf site. Why not use some of the un-used space at the State Hospital? I'm not saying that the Woods family shouldn't sell, that's their right. But let's face it people, EN already has a hospital and we don't need any more traffic in that area. A hospital is needed in Norristown, and they shouldn't be planning to move...they should fix up what they got! I'm disappointed with our EN Board.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but I haven't read anywhere in your esteemed publication that Woods Golf Center is up for sale, nor have I read any comments from the owners. All I've read is "rumor" that Einstein has been looking at the property, comments from the township bigwigs, and outcry from the community.

Why can't the place just stay a golf course?

Anonymous said...

I'm a teenager who lives in EN, and I think it's definitely not a good idea to get rid of woody's. What do they want people to do in the summer at night....go all the way to king of prussia or oaks?... I think you can understand what kids would do.

Anonymous said...

Just a question for all you people telling the township to buy Woody's? Where do you think that money will come from? Are you willing to have your taxes go up to save the golf course? Didn't think so.

I will miss the golf course too. It has been a part of my life for 23 years but it is going. You can't blame the Wood's family for what they are doing. You know every single one of you would do the same thing if you were in their situation.

The golf course is gone but think about other alternatives going in there. Would you rather see houses go in and see your school taxes go up? Or See a Wal-Mart or Home Depot go in? The traffic for that would be much worse than it would for a hospital.

Also think about all those people who need first class medical treatment and now won't have to go into the city. This is a great move for the community and I feel anyone who wants it to stay "Just so their kids have a place to hang out" are just being selfish and not thinking of what is in the best interest for the public in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Please, stop all the bleeding heart stuff about Woody's. The owner of Woody's has the right to sell his property and from what I understand the zoning is correct for sale to Einstein. Can the township afford to buy the property for the 30+ million dollars? Who would run the Wood's operation if that came to pass. I don't think we want government running this or any other business. I was a resident of West Norriton Twp for many years before moving to East Norriton. Jeffersonville Golf Course was a drain on the township for many years. Let's say good bye to Wood's. It's been nice but we need a good suburban hospital to serve our communities needs.

Greg Anders said...

The traffic is growing as it is a mathmatic progression and stay tuned... it is going to get worse, everywhere.
The Hospital is to have 3000 jobs, how often do you hear that... now a days.
This is minor... you want to see a real problem, watch "Gaslands" on HBO this month... wait until our water is unsuitable for consumption... it is coming!
I welcome the Hospital and I have been here for 62 years! When East Norriton was a Hamlet! Five policeman and one stop sign in Coleston.
If Grace Fry, born on Swede Road and a grad of PENN in the early 20s, were here today... she'd say, "Take What Is"!

Anonymous said...

Everyone, you are missing the whole main factor to this project of Einstein. I worked in the township of East Norriton, they are one of my clients for the business I work for. When the property was passed down from the owner to his children he signed the deed and made it so that nothing can be done to the property except to sell it to a Medical Corporation. Therefore East Norriton could not purchase this land because of the restrictions. I hope this helps and clears up some of the rumors. Remember I have seen the deed and have talked to the supervisors in the office daily.