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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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."