Local Analysis – Nether Providence Township

Local Analysis – Nether Providence Township

According to the Nether Providence, Rose Valley, Rutledge & Swarthmore Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan, “At the time of William Penn’s arrival in 1682, Providence County included today’s Nether Providence, Rose Valley, Media, and Upper Providence. Like many towns in this region, Nether Providence began as a farming community. By the 1720s, the community produced surplus crops which were shipped to New England, Canada, and Europe, and dairy farming became important to the region. The creeks proved valuable for powering mills and transporting finished goods, such as gunpowder, pottery, snuff, textiles, tools, grist, and dyes; there were six major mill complexes on Crum Creek and eight on Ridley Creek.

Residential development continued to prosper along transportation routes. After the first trolley began operation in 1893, three more companies laid track in the area, including the Red Arrow Line that later came under SEPTA’s ownership. Horace G. Twaddell’s 89-acre estate became “Pine Ridge,” William Howell’s 58-arcre property became “Bowling Green,” and Horace Furness’s 67-acre estate became “Heatherwold.” In 1910, “Garden City” was under construction with custom houses being built along Media Parkway; soon to follow was Lapidea Hills, built in honor of the Governor’s estate. By 1925, a building code was passed, and Nether Providence became the first township in Pennsylvania to adopt a zoning ordinance.

The primary land uses within the township are residential. The total of all residential land uses comprise 70.8% of the total land. Institutional land uses are the second largest category, at 9.7%, due to the significant amounts of land owned by the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District.

Presented as a “comparative” percentage, the approximated data depict the overall land use conditions:

Today, Nether Providence Township is considered one of the most livable communities in Delaware County.  It is conveniently located between Center City Philadelphia and Wilmington Delaware with easy access to I-95 and Route 476 (the Blue Route).  It is serviced by the SEPTA Rose Valley-Moylan and Wallingford Train stations and the SEPTA Route 101 trolley with stops in nearby media. Neighboring Media Borough, the Delaware County seat, offers a charming ambiance with brick sidewalks, tree shaded streets, and a trolley running down the main street. Shopping, dining, parks and entertainment abound in this town which welcomes new residents with its friendly atmosphere and motto ‘Everybody’s Hometown’.  In addition, there are numerous, close by outdoor attractions including Tyler Arboretum and Ridley Creek State Park.

Students in Rose Valley Borough are served by the prestigious Wallingford-Swarthmore School District.  According to the 2016 high school rankings by US News and World Report, the Strath Haven High School (Wallingford-Swarthmore School District) is ranked 7th in the state of Pennsylvania and 514th in the nation.”

According to the American Community Survey Demographic Profile from the 2010 US Census, the total population of Nether Providence Township was 13,706 with 5,300 total housing units. This is a slight increase from the 2000 census population count of 13,456 with 5,128 housing units.  Median household income per the 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates, was $102,729.  This is a dramatic 51% increase over reported median household income in 2000 of $68,059.