Hearing on Ferguson Township student housing plan delayed

mcarroll@centredaily.comApril 19, 2014 

The developer of a proposed student housing complex in Ferguson Township is asking for more time before moving forward with a public hearing on the plans.

A public hearing set for Monday has been delayed after Toll Brothers, the developer, asked for more time to respond to comments Ferguson Township staff had on tentative plans for the project.

Maria Tranguch, director of planning and zoning, said that Toll Brothers submitted a more detailed tentative Planned Residential Development plan than was required, and it prompted the township to give more comments than usual. Those notes were sent out last week, and the developers have asked for more time to go through them.

Tranguch said in an email that the developer “wanted time to resolve some of the bigger comments prior to going before the planning commission and the public.”

Plans for the development were set to go before the township’s Planning Commission on April 14, but that was pulled from the agenda. They would have next been presented at a public hearing Monday before the township supervisors, but now that’s delayed.

The tentative plans submitted by Toll Brothers show a complex of apartment buildings and townhouses that will be constructed in two phases and include more than 1,500 beds when finished.

The community is planned for the intersection of Blue Course Drive and West Whitehall Road. Blue Course will be extended through the intersection, and that’s where the complex is set to be built, according to the plans.

Penn State owns the 38 acres where the community will be built.

The community is expected to include two four-story apartment buildings, each with more than 200 units and 600 beds. There also will be a number of four-bedroom townhouses and indoor and outdoor amenities.

A first phase of construction would include one of the buildings, “with four wings emanating from an amenity-laden central core,” as well as townhomes, according to the plans. The amenity center will include communal lounge rooms, a game room, a full service fitness center, tanning rooms, a small classroom and study rooms. Outdoor features could also include a pool, volleyball court and green space.

The second phase will have the same number of housing units.

The parcels are being developed as R-4 multi-family residential, the township’s densest residential housing zone. The complex is being developed under a PRD to provide flexibility needed to “allow for a unique and appealing architectural design, and allow the design of amenities and resources unique to student communities.”

Ferguson Township officials didn’t provide a time line for when the public hearing could be rescheduled.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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