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ABOUT THE COTTAGES AT STATE COLLEGE

Toll Brothers Campus Living is the student housing development division of Toll Brothers, Inc., the nation’s leading builder of luxury homes. Toll Brothers Campus Living is bringing the same quality, value, and service familiar to luxury home buyers throughout the country to new student housing communities. We use our luxury expertise to create vibrant communities that combine the energy of collegiate locations with convenient student-centric services and amenities.

Environmental Impact

 

Protecting the Area’s Resources

Toll Brothers Campus Living and our partners understand and respect how environmentally sensitive the region is and the need to protect Ferguson Township’s clean water. We have worked for several years, under the guidance of the State College Borough Water Authority and other experts in responsible land development, to ensure our proposed plan meets or exceeds local, state and federal regulations. For example:

  • 268 units is 65% fewer units than zoning permits
  • While the Planned Residential District permits 20 units/acre, Toll Brothers Campus Living proposes only 7 units/acre
  • The proposed community includes 243% more contiguous open space and 92% more recreational and leisure open space than is required
  • The plan also includes 921 trees and 2,019 shrubs, of which 242 trees and 1,282 shrubs will be located in the riparian area
  • The drainage way is being preserved and will be landscaped in a natural manner with native plants resulting in a significantly more environmentally friendly state than currently exists
  • Toll Brothers Campus Living plans to use Low Impact Development construction techniques such as retentive grading and disconnection of roof areas and construction of the large Bio-Swale on the western portion of the site
  • A sewage pumping station will be constructed as part of the project; the pumping station will be sized to meet not only the demands of the community but also the needs of the future Regional Park
  • Water and all other utilities will be extended along Blue Course Drive and will also meet the future needs of the Regional Park

 
Storm Water Management

Storm Water Management is a critical component of Toll Brothers Campus Living’s proposal for The Cottages at State College and will be designed to meet or exceed Ferguson Township and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations, including those of the Ferguson Water Quality Sensitive Zone. Having worked with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the past two decades, Toll Brothers’ storm water management program is one of the most rigorous among its peers. It proposes:

  • The storm sewers, inlets, rain gardens and detention basins will be installed within storm water easements; these easements will be owned and maintained by Toll Brothers, and Ferguson Township will have the uninterrupted right to enter and inspect all storm water easements
  • Recharging storm water on site into three different storm water infiltration basins with depths held to a maximum of 18”, which is half of the maximum 36” depth that the PA DEP requires, but this allows The Cottages to release less than one-third of the allowable storm water flows from the detention basins
  • Lining the larger volume detention basin with a thick membrane that, while not required by ordinance, will create a more secure basin
  • Using two separate Level Spreaders to disperse runoff to sheet flow, decreasing the susceptibility of erosion and allowing natural infiltration to occur
  • Using soil amendments to facilitate recharge, which improves the recharge capacity of soils

 

Community Fact Sheet

 

Overview

  • The Cottages at State College is a 40-acre student, cottage-living community with 268 units
  • 141 cottage-style buildings, made up of 16 different building types, plus a community
    clubhouse and maintenance shed
  • The building types will consist of (68) single dwelling unit buildings, as well as (53) two-
    attached, (13) four-attached and (7) six-attached unit buildings, to provide 1,093
    bedrooms in total
  • A trash compactor and recycling facility are located within the development
  • Cottages range from two to three story buildings

 
Community center includes:

  • Communal living/lounge rooms, game rooms, a full-service fitness center, indoor basketball court, indoor racquetball court, tanning rooms, computer lab and study rooms
  • Outdoor features may include a pool, hot tub, cabanas, grilling areas, volleyball court, and green space

 
Blue Course Drive

Main access to the community will be via the extension of Blue Course Drive, which will be constructed as part of the development. Blue Course Drive will include:

  • A landscaped median
  • On-street parking
  • CATA bus stops
  • Calming measures to slow the speed of vehicles using the road
  • A pedestrian sidewalk
  • And bike path (which will eventually provide access to both the Regional Park and the Musser Gap Preserve)

 
Best Use of the Land

  • 268 units is 65% fewer than zoning permits.
  • While the Planned Residential District permits 20 units/acre, Toll Brothers Campus Living
    proposes only a density of 7 units/acre.
  • The proposed community includes 243% more contiguous open space and 92% more
    recreational and leisure open space than required.
  • The plan also includes 921 trees and 2,019 shrubs, of which 242 trees and 1,282 shrubs will be
    located in the riparian area.
  • A sewage pumping station will be constructed as part of the project; the pumping station will be
    sized to meet not only the demands of the community, but also the needs of the future Regional Park. Water and all other utilities will be extended along Blue Course Drive and will also meet the future needs of the Regional Park.
  • The storm sewers, inlets, rain gardens and detention basins will be installed within storm water easements; these easements will be owned and maintained by the Property Owner, and Ferguson Township will have the uninterrupted right to enter and inspect all storm water easements.
  • Storm Water Management will be designed to meet or exceed Ferguson Township and Pennsylvania DEP regulations; it will be conveyed via inlets and storm sewer to rain gardens and detention basins.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the current status of the proposed project? What does the recent decision, which ruled in favor of residents opposing The Cottages at State College, mean? Will Toll Brothers appeal?

In November 2015, the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve Toll Brothers Campus Living’s proposed Cottages at State College community. Following that vote, select community members filed a lawsuit against the Township and Toll Brothers challenging the Board’s decision. On July 18, 2016, the Court of Common Pleas ruled in favor of those opposing The Cottages at State College. While disappointed with the decision, we respect these challenges as part of the development process and are pursuing an appeal.

Toll Brothers Campus Living and our partners understand and respect how environmentally sensitive the region is as well as both the need to protect Ferguson Township’s clean water and its land use regulations. We have worked for several years to revise our plan under the guidance of the State College Borough Water Authority and other experts in responsible land development, addressing any concerns that may have initially been raised and adding many features above and beyond local or state requirements for water management and land use. We are confident in our proposal and look forward to continuing to try to bring responsible housing to the region.

     
    Will The Cottages at State College impact Ferguson Township and the nearby area’s drinking water?

    Toll Brothers has held open conversations with Ferguson Township Supervisors and State College Borough Water Authority to design a community that is protective of the local drinking water. Toll Brothers has met and exceeded all Pennsylvania DEP regulations, as well as criteria for the Ferguson Water Quality Sensitive Zone, for its storm water management system.

    In fact, according to the Centre Daily Times, State College Borough Water Authority (SCBWA) Vice Chairman Jeffrey Kern even stated, “The impact on our water is probably minimal, if any at all” (May 21, 2015). In another Centre Daily Times article (May 5, 2015), SCBWA Executive Director John Lichman said he is satisfied with the review the authority made of the plan.

       
      What about concerns the State College Borough Water Authority raised or the guidance it provided?

      Toll Brothers Campus Living and our partners have addressed all of the State College Borough Water Authority’s (SCBWA) questions and initial concerns about the proposed project, implementing many features above and beyond local or state regulations.

      In fact, we have worked for several years to develop our plan under the guidance of the SCBWA, the Township and independent consultants for both agencies as well as other experts in responsible land development. Our partnership with the SCBWA has even been suggested as the model for how responsible developers and local experts should work together.

      The final Cottages at State College proposal meets or exceeds all Pennsylvania DEP regulations, as well as criteria for the Ferguson Water Quality Sensitive Zone, for its storm water management system.

         
        Is this site suitable for a housing development?

        Yes; in fact, the site is currently zoned for and would allow a much denser, higher-volume housing development than is proposed in The Cottages at State College plan. Our proposed community includes 65% fewer units than the zoning permits, with 243% more contiguous open space and 92% more recreational and leisure open space than required.

        There is a genuine need for new, high-quality housing options for State College students, and our proposal addresses that need while also respecting the need to be sensitive to and protective of the area’s natural resources and clean water.

           
          Who reviewed Toll Brothers’ plan and proposal? What authorities or agencies provided feedback or guidance?

          Toll Brothers Campus Living and our partners have worked for several years to develop our plan under the guidance of the State College Borough Water Authority, the Township and independent consultants for both agencies as well as other experts in responsible land development, adding many features above and beyond local or state regulations.

          Independent consultants for the water authority, township and Toll Brothers, including a civil engineer, geotechnical engineer and hydrologist, held multiple meetings with the Ferguson Township and State College Borough Water Authority staff to review the design of the project; the plan has been revised in accordance with suggestions made by the Township’s consultants, and while many of the suggestions were not required by local or state regulations, they have been implemented to enhance the safety and functionality of the project.

          Ferguson Township’s Board of Supervisors reviewed the final proposal and unanimously voted for its approval on November 16, 2015.

             
            How can I trust Toll Brothers will be a responsible developer?

            The Cottages at State College team is a collaboration of experts in responsible land development, quality construction and exceptional property management, responsible for the design, site development, construction and management of award-winning communities across the United States.

            Toll Brothers Campus Living and our partners understand and respect how environmentally sensitive the region is and the need to protect Ferguson Township’s clean water. We have worked several years under the guidance of the State College Borough Water Authority, its independent consultants, Ferguson Township and its independent consultants as well as other experts in responsible land development, to add many features – specifically addressing water protection concerns – above and beyond local or state regulations.

            Additionally, Toll Brothers has been recognized as the sixth “World’s Most Admired Companies®” (according to FORTUNE Magazine’s 2016 Survey*) across all industries in quality of products/services offered, ranked after Apple, Walt Disney, Amazon, Alphabet and Nordstrom, and before Netflix and Facebook.

            *FORTUNE Magazine’s survey of the “World’s Most Admired Companies®” for 2016 began with over 1,500 companies across more than 50 industries, and asked over 4,000 executives, directors, and analysts to rate companies in their own industry on nine criteria (Go to http://fortune.com/worlds-most-admired-companies/ for the full methodology.) From FORTUNE Magazine, March 1, 2016 ©2016 Time Inc. FORTUNE and The World’s Most Admired Companies are registered trademarks of Time Inc. and are used under license. FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, Toll Brothers, Inc.

               
              What are some of the sustainable efforts Toll Brothers will make in developing this property?

              Toll Brothers is promoting several sustainability efforts, including:

              • The proposed community includes 243% more contiguous open space than required.
              • The proposed community includes 92% more recreational and leisure open space than required.
              • Removing 30 acres of farmland out of the drainage area which uses pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers adjacent to and right in the drainage way.
              • A commitment to only using aquatic labeled herbicides and pesticides applied by a licensed applicator that have been submitted to the water authority for review.
              • High-quality construction materials, such as brick, stone and hardiplank will be used.
              • The on-site community center is designed to be efficient, environmentally friendly, and meet LEED Certification Standards.
              • A trash compactor and recycling facility will be located within the development.
              • We are also contributing $800,000 to support the future Regional Park, which will be accessed through The Cottages at State College community.

               
              What is the economic impact of this project?

              Cottages at State College development will create an economic impact of nearly $1.6 million – including a $1.5 million annual tax benefit to the local school district. In addition, Toll Brothers Campus Living is also investing close to $2.1 million dollars in improving the area surrounding the proposed community, including road and traffic improvements as well as an $800,000 contribution to help Ferguson Township fund its portion of the planned Regional Park.

                 
                Why do we need more student housing?

                There is a genuine need for new, high-quality, well-managed housing options for State College students. In fact, in a study done by Danter Company to analyze student housing in State College, the researchers found there are currently no vacancies among the purpose-built student housing developments built after 2000 and only 1-2% vacancies in those built in the 1990s. This is among the lowest vacancy rates Danter Company has seen in roughly 60 student housing studies completed throughout the U.S. in the last 12 months.

                Enrollment at Penn State University (PSU) totaled 47,307 students in fall 2015, an overall increase from 2005 of 16.2%. Yet, the University only has a housing capacity of 13,642, meaning approximately 70% of the university’s full-time students (45,410) – including graduate and undergraduate – currently must reside in off-campus accommodations.

                   
                  How will The Cottages at State College be designed specifically for students?

                  There is a genuine need for new, high-quality housing options for State College students, and this plan has been designed to meet that need while attracting respectful residents.
                  Future students who reside at The Cottages will enjoy a neighborhood of a variety of housing options with convenient parking and transportation to State College. There will also be indoor and outdoor resort-style amenities like a community center with basketball and racquetball courts, game rooms and study areas, as well as a pool, grilling area and volleyball court.

                     
                    How will this community impact traffic patterns in the area?

                    The traffic impact of and parking demands for a student community are significantly different than a typical residential development, since students are given limited on-campus parking options and rely heavily on Public Transit. Working with Trans Associates to study the traffic and parking needs of a student housing project, Toll Brothers has proposed more parking than is required by zoning to help ensure all parking needs are contained on site and do not impact the surrounding neighborhoods. All residents of The Cottages will receive complimentary CATA passes to commute to school.

                    Additionally, Toll Brothers included all transportation needs, as requested by Ferguson Township Supervisors, in its plan. Toll Brothers will also install a traffic signal at the intersection of Blue Course Drive and Bristol Avenue for the community’s use.

                       


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