State College

Toll Brothers seeks community input

Toll Brothers has set up a website site aimed at answering some of the common questions about the proposed Cottages at State College, as well as highlighting the changes already made to the plan.
Toll Brothers has set up a website site aimed at answering some of the common questions about the proposed Cottages at State College, as well as highlighting the changes already made to the plan. Centre Daily Times, file

Toll Brothers remains committed to building in Ferguson Township, and has reached out to the public for their input.

In June, Toll Brothers Campus Living Managing Director Charles Elliot reached out to the CDT to share the company’s point of view regarding the proposed Cottages at State College — a 268-unit development within the township geared toward the region’s student population.

The development has not been well-received by residents of Ferguson Township, who said potential for stormwater and construction runoff threatens the nearby Harter-Thomas Wellfields and the quality of water in the region. A group of residents filed suit against the township’s approval of the development plan, which was ruled in favor of the residents in July.

Toll Brothers appealed the ruling in August. The appeal continues to make its way through the Commonwealth Court.

Elliot again reached out to the CDT Friday saying Toll Brothers is willing to work with the residents of Ferguson Township and has provided a new venue for concerned residents to reach out to the company.

“If there are specific concerns from the community, changes they want to make, where we can involve them and work with the township ... we’re happy to sit down,” Elliot said in a telephone interview.

To aid this process, he said, Toll Brothers has set up www.cottagesatstatecollege.com, a site aimed at answering some of the common questions about the proposed development, as well as highlighting the changes already made to the plan. It also provides an email address — CottagesAtStateCollege@tollbrothers.com — for residents to share their concerns and ideas.

Only two people have contacted the developers so far, Elliot said, saying the public feedback has largely been directed toward the township and not the company itself. Toll Brothers, he said, is willing to work with the community, the township, Penn State and the water authority, but is unsure of what is being requested.

“Until we can understand what changes are being requested, and we realize these are complicated projects with competing concerns, we’re willing to make changes,” he said, “We just don’t know what’s being requested of us.”

The cottages project is expected to bring about $1.6 million in net revenue to the school district, he said, with the ability to contribute to future projects. The development had originally planned to bring water facilities to the proposed neighboring Whitehall Road Regional Park project.

“We would rather have a conversation to address concerns than have people say no development is needed in the area,” Elliot said. “When you look at the cost, more housing is needed in the State College area.”

Ferguson Township Manager Mark Kunkle was not available Friday to comment on the township’s position.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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