Embattled residential developer Toll Brothers has lost its bid to build a housing development in Chester County, Pennsylvania, according to the PhillyVoice.
Toll Brothers Loses Bid To Build On Crebilly Farm
On December 30, 2017, town supervisors for Westtown Township voted unanimously to reject Toll Brothers’ application to develop a 317-unit residential property on Crebilly Farm, a large parcel of land north of the Brandywine Battlefield.
It was there, on Crebilly Farm, local advocates say, where initial spasms of violence broke out in 1777, ultimately sparking the Battle of the Brandywine. A loss for General George Washington, the defeat of revolutionaries at Brandywine forced a hasty retreat to Philadelphia, which was soon captured by British forces.
Neighbors for Crebilly, a grassroots group started to oppose the development, hailed the town supervisors’ decision as a victory. “Kudos to the supervisors for standing up to Toll and protecting our history, our environment, and our quality of life,” the organization said. Toll Brother’s plan was previously approved by Westtown Township’s planning commission. The company hasn’t yet announced whether it plans to appeal the supervisors’ rejection.
Toll Brothers Angers Residents, Philly Officials
In recent years, Horsham-based developer Toll Brothers has been hammered by residents and elected officials across the State. The company’s controversial proposal to build a residential high-rise in Philadelphia raised the ire of Mayor Jim Kenney, after the builder revised its plan without warning and chose to double the tower’s height.
Private Lawsuits Accuse Toll Of Shoddy Building
On a less-publicized, but no less-important scale, hundreds of homeowners across Pennsylvania say Toll Brothers’ “luxury” residential developments are anything but luxurious.
In a wave of civil lawsuits, families who live in Toll Brothers-made homes accuse the company of cutting corners in the construction of stucco-clad homes, leaving unsuspecting homeowners vulnerable to extensive water damage, dangerous mold growth and structural failure.
Echoing allegations made against local developer the David Cutler Group, homeowners claim that Toll Brothers has failed to follow industry standards and refused to fix allegedly glaring building mistakes. There’s considerable evidence, moreover, to suggest that this isn’t exclusively a problem with stucco-clad homes.
Inspector: Water Damage In Stucco, Brick Homes
In an October 2017 report for the Bucks County Courier Times, Rob Lunny, a building inspector who’s looked at nearly half of the Toll Brothers homes in the company’s Buckingham Forest development, says “the failures are due to improper water management, not building materials.” Alongside problems in stucco-clad homes, Lunny also found water damage hiding behind the walls of homes with brick exteriors.
Despite Protests, Penn State Closes Deal For Toll Brothers Student Housing
And in the Township of Ferguson, the developer’s contentious plan to build 264 units of luxury student housing on a plot of land owned by Penn State University caused an uproar among residents, who argued that the construction would imperil the community’s water supply.
After nearly half a year of protest, including 124 days in which activists occupied the property on Ferguson’s Whitehall Road, Toll Brothers and Penn State consummated the deal brokered initially in 2012 for a total of $13.5 million, the Centre Daily Times reports.
On December 22, 2017, Toll Brothers closed on the deal, paving the way for the developer to begin construction for a housing complex that will be called The Cottages at State College. The deal’s completion laid waste to the plans of advocates, collected under the heading of the Nittany Valley Water Coalition, who had tried to convince Toll Brothers to find another location for its development.