Penn State’s pre-meeting letter

From: “Kissinger, Kurt”
Date: Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 10:23 PM
To: Kelli Hoover, Mark Huncik, Terry Melton
Cc: Charima Young, Zack Moore, Steve Watson, Rob Cooper

Subject: Penn State Lands

Good evening,

I’m sending the following information in advance of our discussion [scheduled for July 25] in order to provide some context to University-owned lands in College/Patton Townships referenced during our meeting last month. Within the general vicinity of Fox Hollow Road and the airport, there are a number of considerations that could influence the feasibility of finding a 46 acre area to accommodate the proposed land use.

As illustrated on the aerial image, much of the University-owned land around this area is limited due to several existing factors:

  • Big Hollow, which is a sensitive environmental/groundwater area
  • The Spray Fields/Living Filter, which are a critical water recharge aspect of the wastewater treatment process (eliminates the need for stream discharge)
  • Current and planned airport property and areas of FAA restrictions

Other factors that would need to be addressed with regard to potential development:


  • University-owned land in this area is mostly zoned as part of the University Planned District – primarily UPD Subdistricts 11, 14, and 15.  Subdistrict 11 is generally described as follows: This Subdistrict contains the majority of the intense field related agricultural activities that take place at University Park and their support facilities. It is and will remain very open with building density and impervious surface being kept at low rates. Subdistrict 14 is generally described as: This Subdistrict contains some of the less intensely developed areas of the campus and is of predominantly agricultural use. And Subdistrict 15 is reserved for effluent spray fields.
  • These zoning subdistricts are regulated by general and designated uses.  One of the Designated Uses not permitted in these Subdistricts is “Non-Student Housing”, which is basically understood as housing not owned and operated by the University.  Use of any of these lands for the proposed housing use would require rezoning.
  • University owned land north of Fox Hill Road near Patton/Benner Township line is zoned Planned Airport District, Mixed Use Area (area from Fox Hill Road back 1200’ is defined as Non-Residential Area).  This zoning requires master plan approval and a mix of commercial uses along with residential use, therefore it would require rezoning to accommodate the uses as proposed.
  • Rezoning timeframe: College Township’s planner stated that for a simple and universally supported change it would take about 6 months.  A typical zoning is more in the range of a year, with more complex and controversial rezonings (such as the Hilltop Development on East College Ave) taking 2 years+.

Regional Growth Boundary

  • The desire to locate the proposed use within the RGB would eliminate sites beyond the Patton Township line (any areas from airport to the east in Benner Twp).

Proximity to Wells

  • The Big Hollow drainage way contains several wells.
  • The parcel immediately to the east of the land north of Fox Hill Road is the location of the Alexander Well Field.

Stormwater Management

  • Investments have been made along Fox Hollow Road to enhance important stormwater drainage and recharge areas.  This stormwater area is integral to a comprehensive approach to manage stormwater in the Fox Hollow Drainage basin.

Existing and Future Uses (beyond areas noted above)

  • Agricultural fields to the west of Fox Hollow Road are part of the equine research facility.  Taking these fields off-line would require relocation of their use, along with a possible need to relocate additional agricultural support, operations, and animal housing facilities.  This would necessitate additional financial and land development impacts for other locations.

We look forward to meeting with you and discussing these considerations in greater detail while listening to your ideas and suggestions in preparation for our meeting on August 2 with representatives from Toll Brothers.



Posted by Katherine Watt