The Rumor: The land the Township wants to purchase for parkland can’t be developed anyway, so the Township is wasting taxpayer money on unbuildable land.
The Truth: All three parcels are developable, and indeed highly desirable land for residential building. The Township’s own engineers have done a buildout analysis for each parcel, and an independent MAI certified appraisal has confirmed the buildout potential and value of the land. Approximately 35 new homes could be built on the three developable parcels.
The Rumor: The Township should have another referendum vote on whether to authorize this bond and this purchase because the 2006 vote is too old and times have changed for the worse.
The Truth: The 2006 Open Space Referendum was approved by a resounding 80% of Radnor voters. It was passed during a period of financial hardship – following several years of deficit spending and mounting, unfunded pension costs. In fact, shortly after the referendum was passed, Radnor’s bond rating was downgraded by Moody’s.
In contrast, we are in a much healthier financial position today, coming off of four years of surpluses, strong business and real estate tax revenues, a Moody’s upgrade and a solid plan for funding our future liabilities. These are certainly not circumstances that would merit revisiting an issue that was so soundly decided. Finally, it is important to note that a referendum initiative is costly and time-consuming to a community.
Please be informed before you sign any referendum document.
The Rumor: The Township is going to take out $20 million of debt and it will cost taxpayers an increase in taxes of hundreds of dollars every year.
The Truth: The proposed bond amount would be $10 million. The bulk of the payments for that bond would come from our Open Space Fund, which is in turn funded by real estate transfer taxes – NOT property taxes. However, for a twelve-year period, the revenue from that fund will not fully cover the bond payments, so residents’ taxes could be raised by .15 mills. The impact of that temporary tax increase depends on the assessed value of your home, but for most taxpayers (67%) the range would be from $29 to $51 per year, for those twelve years only.
The Rumor: The Township could get this land for free through the development process that is currently underway for the rest of the property.
The Truth: The Township does not have the legal ability to dictate to a private property owner exactly how he should develop his property. Under the basic zoning that applies to the Ardrossan property, the Township would not be able to require any land be set aside as open space. It is only because the applicant elected to use our density modification ordinance that Radnor can stipulate that 15% of the land be set aside for open space. That land would be privately held Homeowners’ Association land. The proposed purchase of the Ardrossan parcels would add new parkland for public use and enjoyment, something that cannot be accomplished under any of Radnor’s ordinances.