Ridley church has sights on Barn­aby’s on MacDade

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Bar­bara Ormsby Times Cor­re­spon­dent

“I wanted to pro­vide an up­date on the Barn­aby’s mat­ter. The Cer­tifi­cate of Oc­cu­pancy ap­pli­ca­tion from New Des­tiny Chris­tian Cen­ter Inc. is still un­der re­view by our zon­ing of­fi­cer. Should this ap­pli­ca­tion not meet our zon­ing reg­u­la­tions, it will be de­nied.

If it is de­nied, the ap­pli­cant then has a right to ap­peal to the zon­ing hear­ing board for re­lief if they choose to. The ear­li­est a meet­ing would be held on the mat­ter would be March 13. Noth­ing on this mat­ter will be pre­sented to the zon­ing hear­ing board at its Feb. 13 meet­ing.”

— Ridley Town­ship Board of Com­mis­sion­ers Pres­i­dent

Bob Willert

RIDLEY TOWN­SHIP >> A restau­rant and one-time night­club that has been a fix­ture on MacDade Boule­vard for decades may soon be­come a church, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion re­ceived by town­ship of­fi­cials.

Barn­aby’s and Her­itage Ball­rooms are slated to be­come the New Des­tiny Chris­tian Cen­ter if all zon­ing re­quire­ments are met. The pro­posed church fa­cil­ity has met with some on­line op­po­si­tion from many res­i­dents of the com­mu­nity. The prop­erty is lo­cated in a C-2 (com­mer­cial) Zon­ing Dis­trict.

“We re­ceived an ap­pli­ca­tion (from the church) and it is up for re­view by our zon­ing of­fi­cer,” Board of Com­mis­sion­ers Pres­i­dent Bob Willert said. “If we deny it, they (church of­fi­cials) will go to the zon­ing hear­ing board to ap­peal the de­ci­sion.”

Willert said it has been the com­mis­sion­ers de­sire to “spruce up” MacDade Boule­vard with eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment such as re­tail or restau­rant estab­lish­ments, adding that the sta­tus of a church at the lo­ca­tion means the town­ship and Ridley School Dis­trict would lose real es­tate tax rev­enue.

On Fri­day Willert posted the fol­low­ing state­ment on Face­book: “I wanted to pro­vide an up­date on the Barn­aby’s mat­ter. The Cer­tifi­cate of Oc­cu­pancy ap­pli­ca­tion from New Des­tiny Chris­tian Cen­ter Inc. is still un­der re­view by our zon­ing of­fi­cer. Should this ap­pli­ca­tion not meet our zon­ing reg­u­la­tions, it will be de­nied. If it is de­nied, the ap­pli­cant then has a right to ap­peal to the zon­ing hear­ing board for re­lief if they choose to. The ear­li­est a meet­ing would be held on the mat­ter would be March 13. Noth­ing on this mat­ter will be pre­sented to the zon­ing hear­ing board at its Feb. 13 meet­ing.”

“It is just a sim­ple pur­chase of a build­ing,” New Des­tiny Chris­tian Cen­ter Pas­tor David Verdec­chia said on Fri­day. “We are a Chris­tian church.”

The pas­tor de­clined fur­ther com­ment.

Calls for com­ment on the sale of the more than 28,000 square­foot restau­rant and ad­ja­cent ball­rooms were not re­turned to the Daily Times by the own­ers.

Long be­fore Barn­aby’s and Her­itage Ball­rooms oc­cu­pied the site, the build­ing was known as the MacDade House and the Car­ni­val Room. In 1968 the late Robert F. Kennedy and his wife, Ethel, stopped at the MacDade House for a rally the day after Kennedy an­nounced he was run­ning for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion for pres­i­dent.

The Car­ni­val Room was a pop­u­lar night­club and for a short time op­er­ated as a teenage night­club. The banquet rooms of the es­tab­lish­ment were known for their political din­ners. The Her­itage main ball­room was on the agenda for a speech by U.S. Sen. Marco Ru­bio six years ago when he ap­peared at the town­ship’s an­nual Repub­li­can din­ner to speak on be­half of GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mitt Rom­ney.

PETE BANNAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP

Barn­aby’s of Amer­ica on McDade Boule­vard in Ridley Town­ship.

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