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Gulph Mills
Civic Assoc.

P.O. Box 60364
King of Prussia, PA 19406


About the Gulph Mills Civic Association

The Gulph Mills Civic Association, a non-partisan civic advocacy group (the oldest in the Township), exists for the sole purpose of allowing the residents of the Gulph Mills area a more powerful voice in the affairs of Upper Merion Township.

In 1952, approximately 50 residents from the Gulph Mills area formed the Gulph Mills Civic Association (GMCA). Several Gulph Mills homes had already been removed due to construction of the first section of the Schuylkill Expressway from King of Prussia towards City Line. The local construction was extensive, as it involved both (1) cutting a deep notch thru the existing Rebel Hill Road, forming what is now Union Hill and Rebel Hill Roads, and (2) the engineering challenge of fabricating a raised highway high above the village of Gulph Mills.

This group of residents was deeply concerned about the harsh impact this major roadway was putting upon the natural beauty and historical significance of "The Gulph." The Association quickly bonded owners of mill workers homes with those of the estate homes, and became a social as well as a civic organization.

Early Activities

Their first significant project was the 1953 construction of the Continental Army Memorial Fountain, in dedication to the soldiers of the Continental Army (located mid way between the Hanging Rock and the Picket Post restaurant, now known as Savona). The fountain was fed by a spring, located near the summit of Rebel Hill. The spring was destroyed by development that took place in the 1980's near the top of the hill.

The Association then joined with the neighboring West End Civic Association (residents living on the south slope of Rebel Hill) in an effort to prevent a series of proposed developments initially for a high rise hotel complex and finally for a trailer park, to be located on the summit of Rebel Hill. Their struggle with the various development proposals lasted for more that fifteen years. During this time, the GMCA raised and spent in excess of $35K in legal fees and consultant services to contest the development proposals. At the same time, three of the Associations directors were subjected to million-dollar law suits by the developer for claimed development delays.

Consistent Advocate

The GMCA has been a consistent advocate of maintaining the existing Upper Merion Township residential Ordinances and local zoning classifications. The Association has remained opposed to applications for commercial rezoning within "The Gulph," and has worked with developers and U.M. Township with this objective in mind. Two successful examples of this are the utilization of the Philabosian estate by the Armenian sisters academy and the resolution of erecting the Trinity Church cellular phone antennae.

The Association was an early proponent for the establishment of Township Steep Slope and Cluster Ordinances to encourage open space in land developments. The resulting Ordinances were effective in the development of both Denbigh and the Enclave developments.

Over the years, the Association has joined with other civic and historical organizations to address local and regional issues. It was a participating party in both the Acorn and Reale legal challenges to rezoning the Valley Forge Golf Course, and the primary plaintiff in actions taken by U.M. Township and the courts against the corrupt and irresponsible operation of the Montgomery County Landfills.

Recent Work

Recent activities of the Association have included successfully opposing the proposed changes to the existing U.M. township R-A Zoning Ordnance, which could have resulted in the relocation of the Gulph Mills Golf Club.

The Association continues to stay abreast of local and regional planning and governmental actions with regard to their effect on our community, and to inform and coordinate resident's responses. Its success depends upon the support and input from you, the residents of "the Gulph."

 
 

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