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Radnor development proposal: A floor wax and a dessert topping, p2

8/20/2013 | Real Estate Blog

We are picking up the discussion about Radnor Township and Ardrossan Farm from our Aug. 10 post. The farm is the last open space on Philadelphia’s Main Line and has been the subject of more than a few development proposals — including the town’s own proposal to maintain the farm as open space.

Radnor’s planning commission recently heard a new proposal from Edgar Scott III, a member of the family that established the farm and built the Georgian Revival mansion that is the heart of the farm.

The key word for any discussion of Ardrossan is “viewshed”: The open space provides beautiful views for homes in the area. The open space would also provide beautiful views for homes built on the open space. The challenge, then, is to design a development that will take advantage of the views without obstructing the views of other homes.

First, Scott would keep the mansion and about 10 acres surrounding under the family trust. In one scenario, 87 homes, including 10 that are already there, would be built. The alternative scenario would have 64 homes. About 15 percent of the property would be preserved as open space.

What is unusual about the proposal is that the homeowners in the first phase of the development would have “absolutely awesome” views, according to Scott’s attorney. If the buyers don’t want more development in their own viewshed, they can purchase the land and donate it to a land conservancy.

Buyers would get a tax break for the donation, the township would have its open space and existing homes’ views would not be obstructed by the new development. The proposal is a win-win — a dessert topping and a floor wax.


to be continued …


Mainline Media News, “Radnor Planning Commission looks at tax advantages of Ardrossan development proposal,” Linda Stein, Aug. 6, 2013

Mainline Media News, “Ardrossan, a jewel in the heart of Radnor,” Linda Stein, Aug.  7, 2013