WHAT IS MCC (Merion Community Coalition)?
- A non-profit organization of residential property owners in Lower Merion with a shared goal: Proactively work with Saint Joseph's University (SJU) on issues relevant to its new "Sports Complexes" including three proposed new NCAA sports fields and three intramural fields that SJU plans to develop on their 38-acre Maguire Campus, formerly Episcopal Academy.
WHEN WAS MCC FORMED?
- MCC was formed in July 2008, when a group of residents informed other neighbors about the latest SJU plans for the transformation of the sports fields of the Maguire campus.
WHO ARE MCC MEMBERS?
- Primarily, MCC members are residents on the perimeter of the Maguire campus, between City Ave and N. Highland, and between Merion Road and Old Lancaster Road. The are also many MCC members in Bala Cynwyd as well as in other parts of Merion.
- Mothers and fathers, active professionals and retired people, young and old, newer and older residents, they have come together to ensure the University's development and use of the fields is carried out in a way that does not detrimentally impact the quality of life in the neighborhood.
WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES FOR MCC?
- Understand and address changes that will predictably negatively affect the desirable features of our neighborhood.
- SJU’s plans contain substantial changes with detrimental impacts in contradiction to statements SJU made before the Township Zoning Board (‘05-‘06) such as “For the most part, the uses will be very similar to the current Episcopal uses.”
- NOISE: The crowds and amplified sound will markedly impact the peace and quiet of our neighborhood particularly given the planned frequency of weekend use for intercollegiate games. MCC sound engineer states that everyone within a half-mile radius will be adversely affected
- WEEKEND USE: SJU initially stated that their games are mostly on weekdays, but it appears the vast majority (>80%) of the intercollegiate baseball, softball and field hockey games are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- TRAFFIC: Traffic and parking could be problematic unless well-directed to SJU lots by SJU security personnel. SJU traffic report and agreement with N Latchs Lane was prior to planning NCAA fields and to increasing bleacher capacity.
- PROPERTY VALUE: NCAA fields with bleachers, nets, PA, artificial turf will depress the value of properties within 2 or 3 blocks.
- STORMWATER: converting grassy sports
fields to artificial surfaces could significantly affect adjacent
properties. Also, the water level is particularly high already in some areas proximal to the fields "low point".
- LANDSCAPE / AESTHETICS: SJU's “Sports Complex” will substantially change the landscape and character of the neighborhood.
IS MCC REALLY TRYING TO PREVENT SJU STUDENTS FROM PLAYING SPORTS ON THE MAGUIRE CAMPUS?
- No, MCC is not trying to prevent SJU student from using the sports fields, but it is simply trying to ensure that the character of the neighborhood, the environment where their children are growing up and quality of life are preserved. Neighbors did not have any objections to Episcopal Academy playing sports on the fields and do not have objections with SJU using the sports fields as long as the use is consistent with that of EA.