CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A developer has requested the use of green space in State College for an inclusionary housing development, but that green space also serves as a beloved park to many residents. Tonight, the Borough Council took public comment on the matter.
16 people spoke out against the Nittany Village Park being used for the housing development. Three spoke in favor. 10 written comments were submitted to the council at the time of the meeting.
Nittany Village Park is located off South Atherton Street, behind residential homes and the former RBR Bike shop.
The developer has proposed a 26 unit affordable housing development, requiring a rezoning of the park to commercial.
Daniel Brown, a resident of the area, presented a presentation of five points the community organized in opposition: He said,
- The plan is inconsistent with borough guidelines.
- The plan sets a bad precedent.
- The plan has an immediate negative impact on the community.
- The plan does not accurately represent how much of the park will be taken over by the development.
- Other options are available for affordable housing.
“The proposed development is the right project, the borough needs inclusionary housing, this is just the wrong location,” said Brown. “It requires you to violate the public trust and destroy a 65 year old park that’s been dedicated for public use.”
Those in favor of the development at Nittany Village Park, said there’s a need for affordable housing, and that need must be met.
“It’s important that we recognize that people’s emotional ties to the park don’t outweigh the needs of the individuals who’d be living there,” said Carter Gangl, student representative for the State College Borough Council. “Most of the people who spoke out against this tonight have personal ties and talked about being in support of affordable housing, but obviously that’s not the case considering that many of the points made tonight are more so for personal reasons and not for the betterment of this community and the university.”
The Borough Council will revisit this for further discussion and action at a future meeting.