Bensalem Township municipal offices are located at 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem PA 19020; phone: 215-633-3600.
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For much of the post-World War II period, Bensalem Township [†] was a fast growing suburban community that experienced large population increases. From 1950 to 1980, the Township's population grew almost 500%. This explosive growth was easily accommodated since there was a large amount of undeveloped land that was developed for a variety of residential, commercial and industrial uses. During the 1980s, the population growth leveled off significantly, signaling an end to the large-scale increases that were experienced the last 30 years. Bensalem has established itself as a desirable place to live and conduct business, but the Township has evolved into a "mature" community. The Township works to balance existing development and potential redevelopment in order to preserve the quality of life expected by residents.
Two major stream systems and the Delaware River drain Bensalem Township. Neshaminy Creek, along with a system of natural drainage courses, drains approximately 60% of the Township while the Poquessing Creek and its tributaries drain much of the remainder of Bensalem. Soils have been classified according to subsurface drainage characteristics. Approximately two-thirds of the Township contains soils that are well drained.
Bensalem is made up of many neighborhoods, hamlets and developments, each having a unique identity and special characteristics. Communities such as Andalusia, Cornwell Heights and Eddington Park are located along Bristol Pike. Land uses near the Delaware River vary from industrial parks along State Road to the close-knit neighborhoods of Echo Beach and Torresdale Manor. Street Road includes many small- and large-scale commercial developments, as well as nearby residential developments such as Eddington Gardens, Nottingham Village and Linconia Park, among others. A mix of older residences and new subdivisions are evident in the Neshaminy Falls, Oakford and Trevose areas east of Brownsville Road,the boundary with Lower Southampton Township. North of Bristol Road and east of Hulmeville Road, various residential neighborhoods range from single-family homes to trailer parks. In addition, retail development, senior housing and designated open space areas are prevalent throughout the Township to serve the needs of this maturing community.
The 1995 Historic Sites Survey of Bensalem revealed the various historic resources located throughout the Township. The riverfront and its proximity to Philadelphia led to the construction of many large estates during the 18th and 19th centuries. These properties, as well as the open space available off of Street Road, can serve as a foundation to develop more passive uses along the riverfront. From the Andalusia property to the Dell and Pen Ryn properties, this area provides an outstanding collection of historic housing worthy of preservation.
† Comprehensive Plan, Bensalem Township, 2002, prepared by Schoor DePalma, Inc., www.pacounties.org, accessed May, 2018.