Open space is a valuable asset in a community, and West Whiteland Township ensures that we have abundant amounts of open space through our township ordinances. Any time land is subdivided or developed, whether for residential or corporate purposes, the developer is required to set aside a predetermined amount of land for open space and recreation. If the offered land is not desirable because of location or other considerations, the Township may consider accepting payment of a fee in lieu of that open space. These stipulations are detailed in the subdivision and land development (SALDO) ordinance.
Township staff works with each developer individually and must approve the open space arrangements, whether it is the payment of the open space fee or to secure adequate amounts of recreational areas for our residents. Since 2010, the Township has collected over $700,000 in open space fees and secured 123 acres of land that has been set aside as open space. And in every instance where a developer agreed to incorporate the open space into their design plans, the developer has contributed significantly more that what was required.
The $700,000 in fees has been set aside in an open space fund and is earmarked for Exton Park. Accepting fees in lieu of open space in the right circumstances allows the Township to build up matching funds for grants.
Here are instances where open space was incorporated by the developers:
Waterloo Reserve - contributed 25 acres of land (only 4 acres were required)
Reserve at Glen Loch - contributed 34 acres of land (only 5 acres were required)
Parkview at Oaklands -Contributed 3 acres of land
Keva Flats - Contributed 13 acres of land (only 11 acres were required)
Main Street at Exton - Contributed 36 acres of land (only 26 acres were required)
Lochiel Farm - Contributed 12 acres of land (only 6 acres were required)
In addition to the open space requirements for developers, the Township maintains 11 parks covering over 400 acres. Approximately 300 acres is the Township portion of Exton Park, the vast majority of which will remain open space, even as the park receives some recreational upgrades in 2020.