"It's going to be one Victorian house after another and then a series of supposed Victorian (style) townhouses," Pilson said. "I think most of the people in Ridley Park didn't know about this until they walked along East Ridley Avenue and saw the demolition."
The large stone home, a former convent used by Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters, was within the borough's historic district, according to resident John Naugle.
"Right now we're going to be embarking on a very controversial zoning battle," said Naugle, who encouraged the council to support the formation of a Landmark Ordinance to protect historic homes.
According to Petrie, developers Robert Leonard and Peter N. Zarro plan to build seven townhouses on the 100-by-200-foot site, which is zoned R-1 residential. The developers are seeking a variance that will increase the density permitted on the property, he said.
Resident Jim Lynam also urged the council to support the ordinance. "We are with haste in tearing down landmarks," Lynam said.
After Lynam's comments, the council voted, 6-0, to authorize the borough Historic and Planning Commissions to draw up a Landmark Ordinance using information from the borough's 1980 Comprehensive Plan.
In other business Tuesday, Council Vice President Joseph Brancato announced
plans to resign his post after five years on the council. But, after his resignation speech, the council voted unanimously to deny acceptance of the resignation.
After the meeting, Brancato said he thought some "new blood" might be progressive for the council but said he would run again after the show of support. His term expires Dec. 31.