Embattled Pennsylvania home builder Toll Brothers has been granted preliminary approval to begin construction on a new 232-home residential development in the Township of East Allen. Dozens of families say the company’s stucco-clad homes were constructed in violation of building codes, allowing severe water damage to progress unchecked.
Toll Brothers Planning For East Allen Community
Toll Brothers, one of the nation’s largest luxury home builders, has received a provisional go-ahead from the East Allen Board of Supervisors to begin constructing a new residential community in the eastern Pennsylvania township. As The Morning Call reported on February 9, 2017, East Allen’s version of a city council granted Toll Brothers a conditional-use permit to use 100 acres bordering Route 512 for a proposed age-restricted development.
Currently zoned for agricultural use, the parcel will now be covered by a zoning amendment to authorize the construction of an age-qualified residential community. Assuming that East Allen approves the sale, Toll Brothers has agreed to purchase the land from Lehigh Valley turkey farmer and land developer David Jaindl, owner of Jaindl Farms.
Another Regency Development In Pennsylvania?
The proposed community, branded as Regency at Creekside Meadows, will comprise 232 homes. Mike Dougherty, senior project manager for the Toll Brothers development, told reporters that current plans call for:
- 142 single-family homes
- 36 duplex homes
- 54 triplex homes
The community is expected to feature a variety of amenities, including a bocce court, putting green, pool and community center. If completed, the East Allen development will become Toll Brothers’ 6th Pennsylvania community branded under the “Regency” line, which is reserved for age-restricted communities that cater to older residents. The East Allen Board of Supervisors’ approval is conditional on the requirement that 80% of the development’s occupied units will be home to at least one resident 55 years or older.
Dougherty says that Toll Brothers’ goal is to see the share of 55+ residents pushed to 100%. At the approval meeting, Board of Supervisors Chairman Roger Unangst expressed concern over the development’s potential impact on the Township’s school system, wondering, “What if the economy takes a 15-year nap, they can’t sell it to a bunch of starters, young kids who will put a burden on our schools[, can they]?” Real estate attorney and town solicitor Joseph Piperato III assured board members that such a scenario was impossible.
Developer At Forefront Of PA Stucco Complaints
While Toll Brothers has built dozens of communities in Pennsylvania, some home buyers have been less than impressed with the company’s craftsmanship. In fact, a recent exposé from 6ABC logged complaints from no less than 22 Toll Brothers homeowners who say significant water damage has ruined their properties and threatened their families’ lives.
In response to consumer complaints, Toll Brothers has announced that it will discontinue the use of stucco in homes built throughout the region. The company is already on the hook for $80.3 million in stucco-related repairs, 6ABC reports, although many homeowners may not have discovered their own water damage problems yet.
Moisture & Mold Threaten Homes Nationwide
It’s all part of a larger pattern, in which stucco-clad homes built within the last twenty years have been eaten away from the inside out by moisture and mold. Homeowners and industry experts alike blame the problem on faulty construction, coupled with the Northeast’s extreme weather fluctuations. Faced by extraordinary remediation bills, which can average over $100,000, some distraught families have been forced to file stucco lawsuits against developers and contractors.
Similar problems have been reported in New Jersey and New York, while homeowners in Florida and Minnesota have been dealing with defective construction issues of their own for nearly two decades.