Ardrossan Farms: Luxury Development with Sensitivity to Natural Resources

Radnor Township, PA
Ardrossan Farms is part of an 800-acre estate once owned by the Main Line socialite who inspired “The Philadelphia Story”.  It had been pared down over the years to 3 parcels consisting of 353 acres owned by the Ardrossan Family Trusts.  The largest parcel, containing 312 acres, was proposed to be developed with approximately 65 new custom built single-family dwellings interspersed throughout the property, incorporating the existing manor house, the residential cottages and farm buildings, meadows, and woods along with more than 200 acres of open space.  

Momenee, which assisted the owner in subdividing other portions of the estate, was brought in to provide site development expertise for the project.  Our team looked at the overall parcel to incorporate the existing sensitive and special value features including waterbodies, wetlands, woodlands, open meadows and steep slopes.  The design includes Low Impact Development (LID) techniques to reduce the overall impervious coverage and stormwater management demand providing far less development than what is permitted by the township zoning ordinance. 

Stormwater management for the proposed development is provided by structural and non-structural Best Management Practices (BMPs) sized to control the increase in stormwater runoff. These include:
  • Ordinance waivers and variances to reduce pavement widths and the amount of impervious cover
  • Underground detention/recharge pipe and modular systems
  • Rain gardens and ground water recharge seepage beds
  • Roadside swales, cul-de-sac plantings, maintaining areas of undisturbed vegetation and the use of non-traditional lot designs
  • Overflow from the proposed detention facilities will be piped to level spreaders so that runoff can be dissipated over land to grade in an un-concentrated manner.
As part of the planning for the project, the developer commissioned several ecological studies for the site. Because both streams on the site do not have floodplains established by FEMA and are not shown on the current FEMA maps, Momenee prepared a flood plain study to establish the limit of the floodplains on the property. 

Although development of the site was purposely designed to avoid impacts to wetlands and streams, there are a few impacts for which general permits were required. Since it was a township requirement to provide public sewer for the development, sewer lines had to be extended to serve the new lots and these extensions required some wetland disturbance and crossings of sections of one of the on-site streams.

This large undeveloped property is becoming a sought after upscale address and we helped our client get it there.