Borough Council Unanimously OKs New Student Housing
The State College Borough Council voted unanimously Monday night to make a construction site for The Retreat, a future student housing project, exempt from the Nolin Soils amendment after a public hearing.
The amendment previously approved 13 other development sites in locations where Nolin Soils were present. The Retreat's location, which includes approximately .2 percent of the area's drainage basin, is located along Waupelani Drive and is close to three other lots that were ruled as exempt from the amendment.
Staff told council that the property's exemption from this amendment will accommodate a site layout preferred by the property's neighbors, allow more real estate tax to be generated by the borough and allow requirement for more inclusionary housing.
Council President Donald Hahn also mentioned a meeting he attended involving the change of Park Avenue to Paterno Way. He said the meeting's purpose was to "get acquainted" with the idea and stated that a motion for approval will likely not reach council until the Sandusky trial comes to a close.
Council postponed discussion over a request to rezone 323 West Fairmount Ave. until their July 2 meeting. Council member Peter Morris stated that he wished for all seven council members to be present to vote on the proposal, as Ron Filippelli was not in attendance.
Council also discussed the following concerning the 2013-2017 Capital Improvement Plan:
- Council members argued over a proposed loan fund program that budgeted $50,000 per year for two years to contribute to a pool of funding for small businesses to secure loans and to cover the costs of staffing. An amendment to remove the program from the plan failed after a tie vote. Council discussed the plan's mention of a new parking garage to replace the worn Pugh Street garage, which is set to be torn down in the near future.
- Council moved to lower the project's estimated cost to $7 million and use this amount as a "placeholder" on the CIP, as the exact cost of a replacement garage would not be available for two or three years.