Just off of Blue Course Dr. and Whitehall Rd. in Ferguson Township sits 44 acres of land Toll Brothers wants to build “Cottages at State College,” which would be student housing for Penn State.
Currently the area is primarily a watershed above wellfields.
Terry Melton, a member of the Nittany Valley Water Coalition said “water feeds directly into Slab Cabin Run, and that’s the water that we drink.”
Members of the Nittany Valley Water Coalition said a big development could shake up surrounding limestone and put clean water in jeopardy.
So they’re camping out, with hopes to raise awareness and get support.
David Hughes, member of Nittany Valley Water Coalition said “it’s been enormously rewarding to hear people going by and just be supportive of this.”
The deal between Penn State, the township and Toll Brothers started back in 2012,
In 2015 the coalition sued the township at the Court of Common Pleas, and won.
But Toll Brothers appealed that decision and ultimately beat the coalition.
Now, the coalition is submitting its appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday.
“We have a lot of things to offer in Central Pennsylvania, one of which is uncrowded spaces, and we’d like to keep that true,” Melton said.
In response Toll Brothers said they’ve worked closely with the DEP and Water Authority to meet regulations.
Hughes hopes they can look at other possible locations to break ground.
Charles Elliott, Managing Director for Toll Brothers Campus Living, said “With the coalition coming in so late to the process, it’s difficult, its unlikely that building at a different location would be better than the project we’ve already designed here.”
So Hughes said they’ll keep pushing, and keep camping.
“Obviously if we hear from either Penn State or Toll Brothers, that there’s a different solution on the table, then we’ll pack up and go back to our lives. I’m a busy professor at Penn State and have two young kids and there’s a lot of other things I could be doing.”
Elliott said if the Supreme Court motion doesn’t come through it would take them about 18 months to get the development up and running