THIS FRIDAY, FEB 10
Common Pleas Court Showdown
WE NEED TO FILL THE ROOM
to Save the K-Center




Dear Friends of Open Space,

This Friday, February 10th is a major step in our effort to protect open space in Phoenixville. It is the date of the first hearing before the Court of Common Pleas. It is important that the Judge hear from as many concerned citizens as possible to understand the problems with this transaction.

This hearing is where the Court will review the Phoenixville Area School District Board request for approval to sell the Kindergarten Center to Toll Brothers. The sale is conditioned on building at least 80 townhomes, despite the fact such overdevelopment is not permitted per Borough Ordinance. Even the Chester County Planning Commission issued a report saying that development can increase property taxes while open space can save taxpayers significant dollars.

There are so many concerns about this transaction. For this hearing on February 10, the most important issue is the value of the property. The Court will consider: Did the school district act in the best interest of taxpayers to ensure they receive the best and most appropriate value?

Our research into the sale concludes, that the school district conducted a PRIVATE SALE that failed on every aspect of this transaction to perform the required due diligence and public deliberation to ensure proper valuation.

In fact, the school district now seems to be admitting the valuation is flawed. The board has recently threatened suing the Borough of Phoenixville, because the zoning will not allow the 80 townhouses, reducing the chance of a successful sale and exposing their failure to perform their due diligence and public deliberation. The board is wasting tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars because of this flawed PRIVATE SALE process.

Please write your concerns and send to _____________________________, include your full name and address and we will print and present to the Judge at the hearing.

Thank you for helping SAVE THE KINDERGARTEN CENTER



Once open space is gone, it’s gone forever!!!


PASD – Sunshine Complaint UPDATE

The ruling on the case has recently been delayed. We are hoping the FEB 10 Common Pleas Hearing will take the Sunshine case as reason to delay the ruling on the sale.

In November the plaintiffs filed all their email evidence showing that the district had deliberated behind closed doors and decided to sell to Toll Brothers before the public vote. This evidence showed that other possible buyers were told that Toll Brothers was already chosen as the buyer, preventing any higher bids from being made for the property and guaranteeing Toll Brothers as the highest bidder at the time of the vote. Also in November the districts council responded to their evidence saying that the emails speak for themselves and then requested the judge to decide in their favor without a public hearing. Continuing their attempt to be hear by a judge, the plaintiffs have obtained an attorney and are prepared to go forward in front of a judge sometime this January.

Update – School Board threatens legal action against the Boro.

from The Pottstown Mercury By EVAN BRANDT | ebrandt@pottsmerc.com PUBLISHED: December 21, 2022

Lawsuit looms over zoning of Phoenixville kindergarten center property
Letter suggests school district may enact litigation against the borough


According to documents obtained through a Right-to-Know request, the school district has hired “special counsel” lawyers who sent a Dec. 1 “litigation hold letter” to the borough warning it to preserve all documentation, electronic data and correspondence related to the negotiations to purchase and re-zoning or even condemnation of the 7.4-acre property on which the closed kindergarten center sits.
….

In March, the school board voted 5-3 to sell the property to Toll Brothers developers for $4.6 million. Toll Brothers has stated its intent to build townhouses on the site.
The sale followed a series of delays, public protests and a counter-offer from the borough to buy the property for $1.8 million.

PAFOS continues calling for the Boro to acquire the new park through Eminent Domain.
 
In order to preserve this land for PUBLIC USE, we are asking our community to contact the Borough of Phoenixville Council Members, urging them to work with Chester County in pursuing the use of Eminent Domain. This property can remain in public hands and can continue to be used to the benefit our community with your help. You may click the following button to generate an email for you, or copy our example letter below if the button does not automatically open your default email client.

Update – School Board threatens legal action against the Boro.

Toll Brothers Hearing on Feb 10 will decide property ownership…..Maybe!

On Feb 10, at the Court of Common Pleas hearing will decide either to:
Approve the sale to Toll Brothers
…or
Delay the sale until our Sunshine Case is resolved
…or
Deny the sale and listen to the people who want this open space to be saved and have the Boro Council purchase the property through Eminent Domain.

What else can you do?

Click here to link to signing, donating, emailing your council members, share on social media, tell your friends, attend our weekly mtgs…

Want to know more about the property?
Google Earth Flyover
Kindergarden Center Photo Album
How we got here?
FAQ
See how the Kindergarten Ctr achieves the goals of the the 2022 Comprehensive Plan

Have you seen our new SAVE THE K-CENTER Yard Signs?
Want to put your money where your mouth is?
We’re asking for $50 donation (or pay what you can!!) to our GoFundMe to help fund our legal fees. Email us at pxvareafriendsofopenspace@gmail.com and we will deliver your sign to you. It’s an easy way to add your voice to the call for your NEW PARK at the K-Ctr.

Once open space is gone, it’s gone forever!!!



Phoenixville Area Friends of Open Space

The Phoenixville Green Team, Phoenixville Area Transition have joined with other open space and greenway trail advocates, local neighbors and school district residents to form the Phoenixville Area Friends of Open Space (PAFOS)



Stop the Sale of the Kindergarten Center
at the Dogwood Festival.

We had a great time at the Dogwood Festival. Our float was a hit and we met so many people who support saving the K-Ctr. See the photo album here.

We are moving forward to petition the Chester County Court of Common Pleas to reject the School District’ petition for the sale’s approval. We think the taxpayers have already paid for this land. This is our open space. Will you help to fund our legal representation and accurate financial analysis in the fight to protect our land and keep our taxes lower?

We have a vision, we have a plan, we can do it ….
With your help!
Now it’s time for you to act.

Thank you to those who have contributed to the Stop the Sale of the Kindergarten Center
gofundme campaign. We need everyone to help a little. We are raising $30,000 to preserve the most significant remaining piece of public open space in Phoenixville. We have petitioned the Chester County Court of Common Pleas and hope you will contribute to the legal representation and associated costs in this fight to protect our land and keep our taxes lower.
We can meet this goal if just 1,000 of Phoenixville’s school district’s 18,000 residents can contribute $30 each. Go to the site gofundme for more info.

  1. CONTRIBUTE to the S.O.S. GOFUNDME 
  2. SIGN the petition titled: Save OPEN SPACE in Phoenixville – Start a Kindergarten Working Group to do the Right Thing. If you already have, pass it on to friend of open space.
  3. TAKE the Kindergarten Center Future Poll. If you already have, pass it on to friend of open space.
  4. EMAIL your Council Members and the School Board telling them to Save this Open Space.
  5. CONTACT the Green Team to join the Phoenixville Area Friends of Open Space team.

Today….now, be the change you want to see in the world.

IT’S OUR OPEN SPACE




What does the Public say?

The ongoing poll started on Dec 6, 2021 conducted by the Phoenixville Green Team and the Phoenixville Area Transition continues to show overwhelming support and excitement for preserving the open space and creating a new Learning Center developed by the Boro. The new Learning Center vision is being linked to the Boro’s new PHXNEO facility up 2nd Ave.  PHXNEO has jump started the Boro’s growing commitment to meeting their 2017 Phoenixville Borough Vision for a future with 100% Renewable Energy.

The current poll results shows how 693 residents want the Kindergarten Ctr to remain in public hands and become a new park and venue for learning and community development. The advocates say there is strong public support for the Boro Development plans.


BACKGROUND SUMMARY

MARCH 28th VOTE SUMMARY

Over 50 advocates pleaded to delay the vote and to create a Working Group to find a way to preserve the school property. They urged the School Board to listen to the 777 poll respondents and 833 stakeholders of the S.O.S – Save Open Space petition supporting the Boro’s $1.8M bid to redevelop the school into a Learning Center and preserve the open space. Advocates were in disbelief in how the School Board considers public participation and what their action teaches the students.

The Board has received 4 offers for the property, ranging from $1.75 million to $3.9 million. Please click here for details about each of the offers.

The Borough of Phoenixville is one of the bidders for this property.  
A recent video outlines the Borough plans for the SoMax HTC project at the Waste Water Treatment Plant adjacent to the Kindergarten Center.  It includes a brief description of the Education Center planned if they acquire our property.


Kindergarten Center Imagining Meeting 

IMAGINE…

On Monday November 1st, Phoenixville Area Transition and the Green team hosted an  IMAGINING workshop. We explored what the Kindergarten Center at 2nd Ave / 100 School Lane might might become if the people of Phoenixville act NOW to support the Boro of Phoenixville’s purchase of the property.  The poll opened on Dec 6, 2021 reflects the many ideas for the Learning Center to make this property’s transition a product of our community’s imagination and vision for a green Phoenixville

What if the Kindergarten Center 
was owned by the Phoenixville Community?

Imagine a new environmental/educational center nestled in a green space close to the river.
Imagine a trail along that river connecting to the network of trails throughout the Borough.
Imagine a new borough park with playing fields, woods, and paths to explore.
Imagine educational programs in a renovated schoolhouse offering science, technology, engineering, arts, and technology to all residents.
Imagine 18,000 square feet of building saved from the landfill.
Imagine 7.4 acres of open green space saved from the bulldozer.
Imagine what we as a community could do with our old kindergarten center.
Imagine what a reinvigorated Borough could do if the School Board will allow us to IMAGINE.


Phoenixville Area Transition and Phoenixville Green Team Partnership

The Phoenixville Green Team and the Phoenixville Area Transition, along with residents and other Open Space / Trail advocates have organized an initiative to prevent the sale of the 2nd Avenue / School  Lane Kindergarten Center by the Phoenixville Area School District Board. This initiative commenced a comprehensive Town Hall process to imagine what is possible if the public is engaged to create a green and sustainable community use of this property.

Phoenixville Area Transition is a movement to expand community resilience by reorienting the local economy and culture to nature and personal relationships. We are transitioning from dependence on the Industrial Growth Society to interdependence with each other and with nature.  

The Green Team has been advocating for the Phoenixville Greenway since 1989, and this property sale to high density developers will remove Open Space from the Boro and eliminate the opportunity for Greenway / Trail development south along the river. See drawing for reference.

Once open space is developed, it’s gone FOREVER.

What are you waiting for? Take action!