In the wake of yesterday’s report that Philadelphia’s Union League will be one of the bidders at the May 20th auction of the Woodcrest Country Club, Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn and the Township Council announced that they too will bid for the club. As explanation, Cahn and members of the Council sent a letter to neighbors outlining their priorities.
First and foremost, we believe that the property should not be developed; it should remain as a golf course, or be preserved as open space that can be enjoyed by our entire community now and for generations to come.
This is why, the mayor writes, they have decided to participate in the upcoming auction “within the limits of the law.” That means the Camden County Board of Freeholders would need to dip into the County’s Open Space and Recreation Trust Fund so that the township could afford to buy the club, but that’s not like taking a few bucks from the petty cash drawer. “This is a complicated process,” he writes, and “the clock is ticking.” (One could argue that the clock has been ticking for some time.)
In the letter, the mayor says that if the township and county are outbid, “we do not and will not support any change in zoning from the property’s current institutional designation.” Lest those sound like fightin’ words to, say, folks at the Union League:
We hope this discussion will never be necessary – as we are now focused on preserving this property for the benefit and enjoyment of our residents today, and for generations to come.
We want to stress that this is not just about a golf course. The Mayor and Council are committed to protecting our neighborhoods, and to preserving one of the largest parcels of open space in our community.
We stand united in this cause, and we are watching very closely as the situation progresses.
• Mayor, Council hope to purchase Woodcrest Country Club [Cherry Hill Township]