The former Mayview State Hospital site in South Fayette.
By Amy Philips-Haller
The size of Fairview Park will increase by more than 50 percent after South Fayette pays $1.1 million to Aloe Brothers for 69 acres of the old Mayview Hospital site.
Commissioners voted Feb. 15 to enter into an agreement involving Aloe Bros., which currently owns the land, and Lancaster-based Charter Homes and Neighborhoods, which wants to develop housing and retail on the property. The agreement settles a declaration filed by the township against Aloe in May 2014. Two weeks earlier, Charter Homes had entered into a purchase agreement with Aloe, unbeknownst to the township. South Fayette had intended to take by eminent domain the surface and subsurface rights of 69 acres of the 160-acre Mayview property.
The acquired land will be used to enlarge the adjacent Fairview Park.
Funds for the purchase will come from a $425,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, with the remainder coming from the township’s park improvement fund. The township will also reimburse Aloe for the county and state taxes it has paid.
Aloe recently had the land appraised by an independent appraiser, who determined the combined surface and subsurface rights were worth more than $4 million. “For tax purposes, they are donating the difference to the township. It is not binding on us, it is between them and the IRS,” township solicitor Robert Garvin said. Aloe purchased the property from the state in 2010 for $505,000.
Aloe will be paid within 30 days of the signed agreement. Charter Homes will not receive any money.
The agreement was approved by a 4-0 vote, with Commissioner Jessica Cardillo abstaining.
Commissioners also approved the developer’s agreement and the final subdivision land development plan. Ms. Cardillo voted against those two approvals, with all other board members voting in favor. Commissioner Lisa Malosh asked Ms. Cardillo why she voted against the approvals.
“I believe it is good for the township overall, but I take issue with the number of children who will be entering the district, and the cost it will have on the school,” Ms. Cardillo said.
The approved first phase of construction for the site will include 42 single-family homes, 65 town homes and 270 multi-family units. Charter also plans commercial space including retail, office and a proposed day care. A bike path, sledding hill and 2 acres of green space, called Hastings Green, is planned for residents’ use.
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