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Update on Ardrossan Development

Ardrossan Estate’s would-be developer submitted a second application to Radnor Township last week to build homes.

(Photo: Bill Ecklund)
(Photo: Bill Ecklund)

Ardrossan Estate’s would-be developer submitted a second application to Radnor Township last week to build homes on what is called “Wheeler Field,” a 27-acre tract of land on Darby-Paoli Road.

According to the application, the land would be split into six residential lots, all being about 4 acres in size. The minimum required “common open space” that comes with an application of Conditional Use for Density Modification would be 3.81 acres. The zoning code’s density modification awards developers the ability build more densely populated developments if open space is preserved.

The Conditional Use requests are approved by Radnor’s Board of Commissioners. The commissioners can also place “reasonable” conditions of its choosing in its approval. If that request is granted the development still needs to go through the township’s Land Use process, including, if necessary, zoning relief from the Zoning Hearing Board.

It is common knowledge that some members of the board (and community) would like to preserve the “viewshed” at the corner of Newtown and Darby Paoli roads and preserve the land directly across the street that abuts The Willows.

Radnor has submitted a grant application to Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for $1 million. And in 2006 voters approved a $20 million bond referendum for open space, which was not attached to any particular property.

Edgar “Eddie” Scott III, grandson of Hope Montgomery Scott, is a principal of a company proposing to buy most of the land, which does not include the estate mansion and the 10 acres around it.

According to the application for Conditional Use for Density Modification for the 311-acre parcel, the residential lots were sited to “preserve viewsheds and maintain the character of the property.”

The proposed homes would not be visible from the road, but instead would be toward the interior of the 311-acre property,Scott told Main Line Media News. He also said he would welcome the township using open space funds to buy a portion of the land.

In the short amount of time this development has been made public, many people have commented on Radnor Patch. Here’s what some people have written:

Sara Pilling wrote "I attended the meeting last evening. Thinking only for myself, the 'elephant in the room' was the behind-the-scenes negotiations of/by RT's Open Space Committee with Mr. Scott. How much land/what parcels does this committee, acting on our behalf [as residents and therefore tax payers and we seem to have NO input] intend to commit funds to purchase?"

Lynn W. Feinman, ND writes "I am very sad about this, I wish Radnor could buy this land and perserve it...it is beautiful, and I love seeing the fields and cows everyday. I hear them from my backyard too."

Annie G writes "I too love driving by the open area....but this 'open space' is not something the taxpayers should continue to fund. We have lovely parks and I'm not sure all are used properly, especially the site on Lancaster Avenue with no parking."

Assaggiatore writes "If I had the money, I would buy every one of these new houses and tear them down."

Andrea August 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Take paradise and put up a parking lot. How shortsighted!
Phil Graham August 14, 2013 at 09:40 AM
Which tract is 'Wheeler Field'?
Phil Graham August 14, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Sam: I think you mean "principal"! These developers currently appear to have little or no principle.
Margie Rosenberg August 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM
No development! Open beautiful land makes our area so special and less crowded.

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