Today I emailed every trustee to ask that Penn State withdraw its land from the Toll Brothers development deal. To build high-density housing over the State College drinking water catchment area is contrary to Penn State’s Strategic Plan (2016-2020): Ensuring a Sustainable Future.
In this plan, PSU says it wants to be “a leader in creating comprehensive solutions to mitigate the dangers of climate change and address the challenges of providing safe and abundant water, clean and renewable energy sources, and plentiful and nutritious food.” This area now experiences deluge-type rain events on a regular basis, and protection of our water supply is more critical than ever.
The suggestion that the land be withdrawn from sale will be met with the response that “Toll Brothers will sue Penn State for breach of contract.” PSU should convey to Toll Brothers that they will stand on the principles in the strategic plan and that the sale is not in the interest of the Penn State community. If Toll Brothers wants to be a local player in student housing, they will agreeably find a more suitable location.
The community is united in opposition to the current Toll Brothers plan as evidenced by the thousands who have spoken out. We are looking to Penn State for leadership in helping to create a sustainable, healthy future for our area, build good will in the community, and become a model for town-gown relations. Taking the land off the market is the only remaining course of action.
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Terry Melton, State College