State College

Toll Brothers appeals court decision

According to Centre County Court, Springton Pointe LP — an intervenor on behalf of Toll Brothers — has filed an appeal of county Judge Jonathan D. Grine’s decision that Ferguson Township supervisors “committed an error of law by approving the final PRD plan,” reversing the board’s decision to allow Toll Brothers to build a 264-unit student housing development along Whitehall Road.
According to Centre County Court, Springton Pointe LP — an intervenor on behalf of Toll Brothers — has filed an appeal of county Judge Jonathan D. Grine’s decision that Ferguson Township supervisors “committed an error of law by approving the final PRD plan,” reversing the board’s decision to allow Toll Brothers to build a 264-unit student housing development along Whitehall Road. Centre Daily Times, file

The intervenor on behalf of Toll Brothers has filed an appeal to a July ruling that vacated the township approval of a student housing project.

Ferguson Township supervisors in November approved the final planned residential development plan for the Toll Brothers’ Cottages at State College — a 264-unit development covering 32 acres at the intersection of West Whitehall Road and Blue Course Drive. The plan had come under fire several times by residents who were concerned the construction and development would threaten nearby drinking water wellfields.

Residents filed an appeal, claiming concerns about the effect of the plan on daily quality of life, businesses, properties, drinking water, health, traffic and the community. A motion to quash the appeal in March was denied by county Judge Jonathan D. Grine, who ruled that the residents’ appeal was both timely and had standing.

The suit went before Grine again on July 13, with Grine ruling five days later that the Board of Supervisors “committed an error of law by approving the final PRD plan,” reversing the board’s decision.

According to the Centre County Court of Common Pleas, Springton Pointe LP — an intervenor on behalf of the Toll Brothers — filed an appeal of the decision Monday.

The Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors also held a normally scheduled meeting Monday in which several township residents requested that the board not attempt to appeal the decision.

Resident Kelli Hoover, who was also named as an appellant in the original suit, said she felt it was time for the board to take the judge at his word and stop fighting the residents who opposed the development in the first place.

“I hope that (the board) will pay attention to what the citizens want,” she said. “You made an error in the law, and I think it’s time to just accept that.”

Township solicitor Joseph Green announced at the meeting that Springton Pointe had made the appeal and he would be providing an opinion to the board regarding its options, saying the board may not be required to make a filing of its own.

In his opinion, he said, the township will likely be involved in the appeal due to the township’s role as a party in the suit, and it’s likely the board will take an executive session during the next scheduled meeting Aug. 15 to discuss its options. Any recommendations to the board will be publicly reported.

Chairman Steve Miller said the issue of appeal will be a matter of discussion at future meetings.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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