The following was submitted to Radnor Patch for publication by Wayne resident Rob Murdocca.
Foxcatcher sale (now Liseter) = $68,675 per acre.
Leftover Ardrossan rumored data = $184,615-to-$307,692 per acre ($12 million to $20 million, divided 65 acres).
Radnor Township BOC still needs (i) Transparency, (ii) Fiscal Prudence, and (iii) Good Plan Design. As it stands currently, four BOC members have secretly steered a closed-room purchase of ‘leftover’ developer-undesirable land, at a price well in excess of what another ‘next in line’ buyer would pay, while still allowing the ‘non leftover’ majority piece of the property to be developed with poor design. So, the result is a poor process swiftly heading toward a bad result of the following:
(i) Lengthy opaque process followed by a short transparent period: The BOC will unveil its deal to purchase, I believe very soon on Monday October 28th, and then give the public not nearly enough time to study it to realize how bad the deal is -- more expensive than it should be, and a bad plan for the residents with regard to piece which Developer Eddie Scott will develop, and no plan yet shared on explaining any precise intended widespread public benefit/use of the purchase it wants to make (parkland? or simply a commuter view shed of little benefit to most of the Township citizens?).
(ii) BOC flouting its own policies: The BOC will ignore its own advice in its:
(a) Township's Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan recommending that the Township perform a referendum with regard to major ACQUISITIONS of PARKLAND -- as it stands now, they did a separate referendum 7 years ago (in 2006) for a debt fund for open space. That established a funding mechanism only. But it does not establish a 2013 people's choice for an acquisition of an identified property to be used for parkland. The BOC plans on ignoring the second step of its own recommended step of performing a referendum with regard to major ACQUISITIONS of PARKLAND.
(b) Township’s CBFAC Report recommendation with regard to moratorium on land acquisitions. The BOC created the CBFAC after the Bashore debacle.
(c) So far it appears the BOC also seems to be flouting its own January 28th, 2013 Resolution with regard to prudent policy on how to acquire property and inform its public.
Both “Foxcatcher” and “Ardrossan” properties are in prestigious areas, and are only ~2½ miles apart. The Foxcatcher/Liseter property in Newtown Square 19073 is next to both Episcopal Academy and Aronimink Golf Club. All of it was a ‘developer-desirable’ property – and sold for $68,675 per acre ($28.5 million for 415 acres).
If Radnor Township were to pay $68,675/acre (x 65 acres) for the leftover developer-undesirable pieces of Ardrossan, then it would equal less than $4.5 million. The rumored $12 million is a vast overpayment and waste of at least $7.5-to$15.5 million dollars of taxpayer money (your own money).
I believe neither Eddie Scott, nor his leftover land, are going anywhere if Radnor Township limited its offer/payment to no more than $4.5 million. (And this assumes a purchase has merit, but that is a valid separate debate.)
“Foxcatcher” is an extremely valid Comparable. And it was developer-desirable, much more so than the three pieces leftover from Ardrossan (totaling to 65 acres) several Board members want to buy from Developer Eddie Scott (of his remaining 311 acres).
If the 65 acres were useful land, the Developer Eddie Scott would be willing to develop it himself. But regardless, whether Radnor Township buys some property to block some development, Eddie Scott still is developing 266 acres. And also regardless, Radnor Township no longer will have a bucolic farm nor pretty cows. The point is, Radnor Township’s money will not “save Ardrossan” regardless.
Please do everything you can to stop your Ward Commissioners Jim Higgins (1st Ward), Bill Spingler (3rd Ward), Elaine Schaefer (4th Ward), and John Nagle (5th Ward) from casting a purchase vote for those leftover Ardrossan pieces. Further, now, while the offers are in play as we speak between the Township and Eddie Scott, please do everything you can to stop the BOC from offering more than an equated rate of $68,675/acres (and it should be even less than that).
My opinions and use of facts are meant to highlight the importance of every voter and every taxpayer to consider and require a complete and total expectation of fair transparency from its elected officials, and of responsible fiduciary governmental stewardship of its taxpayer money. My opinions and use of facts are neither "anti" or "pro" Ardrossan, and are neither "anti" or "pro" Democrat or Republican party.
Wayne, Radnor Township