The Ferguson Township supervisors on Monday granted a 90-day extension for the Toll Brothers development plan to be recorded, setting a new deadline of May 7.
Except, the developer didn’t ask for one. And Ron Lucas, a lawyer representing Toll Brothers subsidiary Springton Pointe LP, said it doesn’t need one.
Toll Brothers’ Cottages at State College student housing development was challenged in court and protested by the community.
The Cottages is slated to be built on more than 40 acres along West Whitehall Road near Blue Course Drive. The development will house about 1,000 residents in 268 units.
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In November, the court battle ended when the state Supreme Court denied a petition for allowance of appeal by a group of residents.
Township Manager David Pribulka said that decision started the “shot clock” of 90 days for the developer to meet the conditions of its final expected residential development plan approval (granted by the board of supervisors in November 2015) and record the plan.
A provision in Ferguson Township’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance allows the board to render a decision disapproving a conditionally approved plan where the conditions are not satisfied within 90 days of the vote on the plan by the supervisors. The township adopted a policy in 1996 that permits the board to grant up to three 90-day extensions to a conditionally approved plan.
Steve Miller, board vice chairman, said the purpose of that is to keep land development plans moving, rather than sitting on the shelf for years.
Lucas, of Stevens & Lee, argued that the developer has 90 days after meeting all of the conditions to record the plan.
The township has no authority under the state’s Municipal Planning Code to set time limits on meeting the conditions, he said.
“We want to proceed with our development,” Lucas said. “It’s been approved by the courts. The plan was approved by the township. We’re working on the conditions of approval. There is no time limit to meet those.”
Among the conditions that the developer needs to meet is the construction of a traffic signal at Bristol Avenue and Blue Course Drive.
But, the township hasn’t yet been able to meet its obligation to acquire the right-of-way for that signal, Pribulka said.