The West Chester Area School District is seeking to sell some of its acreage on the Rustin High School campus to a developer to build 50 houses. The property is located at 1100 Shiloh Road, West Chester PA.
We, the undersigned, oppose the subdivision and ultimate sale and development of the Rustin High School property for the above stated purpose. The density proposed will put up to 4 homes on each acre (houses averaging 3500 to 3800 square feet), when other homes in the area have one acre and in many cases more than an acre. This out of scale development will completely change the character of this neighborhood.
We are in favor of helping to preserve community character and open space and preventing out-of-scale development on Shiloh Road in Westtown.
I live nearby Rustin and agree this is an out of scale neighborhood. All developments in Westtown should be a minimum of 1 acre per house.
KEEP THE OPEN SPACE! It will be too much traffic on that road, more accidents and not good for the school kids to have a development there!
Currently, the West Chester community is making an effort to save what is left of their open space with support of the borough council. This final meeting is Dec 4th. Here is how they are proceeding:
They are moving to take the property through eminent domain. Below is what is written on their website and facebook page explaining this and how they are raising money through open space grants and through donations for the 1.2 million dollar property.
This is taken from their Facebook page:
“All, thank you so much for your support so far. While Borough Council had their solicitor put together the paperwork for eminent domain, they will only move forward as long as the funding can be done without impacting the tax payer. Visit our newly done website at “
http://www.savethebarclaygrounds.org/donationpledgesguarantees/ to learn more
A link to their website fundraising
This is part of the website to raise money to buy back the property:
The Fundraising Challenge
How much money is needed to save the Barclay Grounds?
It is currently anticipated that the total purchase price for the Barclay Grounds will be somewhere in the region of $1.2 million dollars. The final amount will depend on negotiations between the Borough of West Chester and the developers – and will be based on the fair market value appraisal for the property.
Where is the money expected to come from?
West Chester Borough Council have said that they do not wish to increase the tax burden on the residents in order to purchase the Barclay Grounds. So it is proposed to finance the purchase of the property through a combination of County and State open space and historical preservation grants – and donations by members of the public. Based on advice received from experts in these matters it appears that grants from the County and State approximating $1,050,000 could be applied for, requiring public donations to make up the remaining $150,000.
Make a Pledge
When will the money have to be raised by?
By December 4th $150,000 in (contingent) public pledges and $1,050,000 in (collateralized) guarantees must be raised. West Chester Borough Council has set a “special meeting” for December 4th (6:00 pm in Council Chambers, Borough Hall, 2nd Floor, 401 E. Gay St.) to consider whether to pass an ordinance requiring the Borough to purchase the property from the developers. In order to pass that ordinance the Council wants to know that it will not be at risk of having to increase the burden on the tax payers to pay for the property. This creates a complicated situation because the deadlines for applying for State and County 2013 grant monies have now passed. So the grants would have to be applied for from the County and State 2014 funds and the “application windows” for those grants will not open until early in 2014 - with any grant monies awarded being available later in the year. So, private citizens will not only have to make (contingent) pledges (see definition below) in the amount of $150,000 by December 4th but will also have to make guarantees (that they support with “collateral”) totaling $1,050,000 that, in the event that the State and/or County do not allocate all the grant moneys applied for, will cover any shortfall. So, by December 4th $150,000 in (contingent) public pledges and $1,050,000 in (collateralized) guarantees must be raised.
What is a “contingent pledge” - and why are they needed?
A “contingent pledge” is a pledge to donate money to help purchase the Barclay Grounds that would only have to be fulfilled if the Borough Council passes the ordinance to acquire the Barclay Grounds. By making “contingent pledges” individuals can assure Council that they will provide the money when the Council passes the ordinance – but not pay the money until this occurs. This way, if the Council decides not to enact the ordinance the individual does not need to provide the money. This also prevents a situation from arising where money has to be returned to an individual if the ordinance is not enacted – or from such money not being recoverable in such a situation.
What is a “collateralized guarantee” - and why are they needed?
In order to pass the ordinance requiring the Borough to purchase the Barclay Grounds the Council has stated that it wishes to know that the purchase price is available and that it will not be at risk of having to increase the burden on the tax payers to pay for the property. Since the deadlines for applying for State and County 2013 grant monies have now passed, private citizens need to provide the Council with guarantees (that they back with “collateral”) totaling $1,050,000 [that, in the event that the State and/or County do not allocate the grant moneys applied for, will be used to cover any shortfall]. The guarantees do not require the individuals to provide cash unless the grants from the State and Council fall short of expectations – which will not be known until well into 2014. Instead they will pledge collateral (e.g. securities or another saleable asset such as a building) of sufficient value that, if necessary, could be sold to provide the cash needed to cover any grant shortfall. It should be noted that, if any grant shortfall does occur, it may only be a part of the grant moneys applied for, so the full amount of the guarantee would not be payable. In such a situation the guarantor may not need to liquidate the collateral (e.g. sell a building) to provide the cash, as the shortfall may be much smaller than the amount guaranteed and something they could cover out of their current cash reserves.
How can I donate?
Until it is known whether or not Borough Council has passed the ordinance to purchase the Barclay Grounds it is advised that individuals do not make donations but instead make “contingent pledges” of the amount that they wish to donate assuming that the Council passes the ordinance. Once the Council passes the ordinance individuals who have made contingent pledges would then make the money pledged available directly to the Borough. The Borough has stated that it will put donations noted as being for the Barclay Grounds into the Capital Fund and account for these separately so that they do not get co-mingled and used for any other purpose.
Make a Pledge
Will my donation be tax deductible?
Moneys donated to a municipality in this way may be tax deductible. You should, however, check with your tax accountant to confirm the tax-deductibility of the donation before making one, if you wish to take a tax deduction for the amount donated.
Cynthia Coffman, West Chester, PA, United States2 weeks ago
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