Petition Closed

309
Supporters

Land Conservancy of Elkins Park, Inc., a PA non-profit has been fighting for four years in and out of court to save the Elkins Estate (www.elkinsestate.org). The main obstacle has been Cheltenham Township and the School District over the tax exempt status of the Estate and its 42 acres; the annual taxes currently total approximately $400k per year. We are at the goal line, and we are now reaching out for your help.

The ownership of the Elkins Estate property has reverted back to the Dominican Congregation, Land Conservancy’s original lender. On February 22, The US Bankruptcy Court Judge issued a ruling granting the Congregation relief from the automatic stay that allowed us to maintain the Estate, continue to operate while we re-structured our finances, and perform on all of our booked events. The tax lien on the property has made the project virtually un-finance-able. To date, Land Conservancy has received over $5 million in Foundation and Charitable support; however, regional philanthropic organizations are withholding further donations and support until the issue of the Elkins Estate’s tax exempt status has been resolved. This has created a crisis in our preservation efforts.

This beautiful country Estate constructed 115 years ago, belonged to William L. Elkins, railway magnate and titan of industry and philanthropy. If the Congregation takes back the Estate, not only could the history be lost, but this beautiful property may be torn down.

What’s at Stake:

• 46 Booked Clients losing their event spaces for their special days
• White Pines Productions losing their space to bring theatre and arts programs to the community
• Foundations and sponsor charities losing their donations – nearly $5 million to date
• The Land Conservancy of Elkins Park, Inc. will be dissolved
• Multiple past clients who elected to cancel due to Chapter 11 losing their refunds
• Losing a health and wellness education facility and retreat space

What You Can Do:

Sign Our Petition. We are petitioning the Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners to negotiate with The Land Conservancy, Inc. regarding the tax exemption status of The Elkins Estate. We have tried many times to be included in their agenda but were denied each time.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Come make your voice heard.  Ask your Township Commissioner and the other Board Members to meet with Land Conservancy of Elkins Park, Inc. and enter into negotiations to resolve the tax status of the Elkins Estate property instead of using taxpayer dollars to litigate this matter for two years more so we can complete the purchase of the property.

 

Letter to
President of Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners Art Haywood
Vice President of Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners Harvey Portner
Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners Daniel B. Norris
and 4 others
Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners Charles D. McKeown, Sr.
Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners Morton J. Simon, Jr.
Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners Kathy A. Hampton
Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners J. Andrew Sharkey
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners.

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Negotiate with Land Conservancy re: tax exemption status of Elkins Estate

Land Conservancy of Elkins Park, Inc., a PA non-profit has been fighting for four years in and out of court to save the Elkins Estate (www.elkinsestate.org). The main obstacle has been Cheltenham Township and the School District over the tax exempt status of the Estate and its 42 acres; the annual taxes currently total approximately $400k per year. We are at the goal line, and we are now reaching out for your help.

The ownership of the Elkins Estate property has reverted back to the Dominican Congregation, Land Conservancy’s original lender. On February 22, The US Bankruptcy Court Judge issued a ruling granting the Congregation relief from the automatic stay that allowed us to maintain the Estate, continue to operate while we re-structured our finances, and perform on all of our booked events. The tax lien on the property has made the project virtually un-finance-able. To date, Land Conservancy has received over $5 million in Foundation and Charitable support; however, regional philanthropic organizations are withholding further donations and support until the issue of the Elkins Estate’s tax exempt status has been resolved. This has created a crisis in our preservation efforts.

This beautiful country Estate constructed 115 years ago, belonged to William L. Elkins, railway magnate and titan of industry and philanthropy. If the Congregation takes back the Estate, not only could the history be lost, but this beautiful property may be torn down.

What’s at Stake:

• 46 Booked Clients losing their event spaces for their special days
• White Pines Productions losing their space to bring theatre and arts programs to the community
• Foundations and sponsor charities losing their donations – nearly $5 million to date
• The Land Conservancy of Elkins Park, Inc. will be dissolved
• Multiple past clients who elected to cancel due to Chapter 11 losing their refunds
• Losing a health and wellness education facility and retreat space

What You Can Do:

Attend the Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners meeting this Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Curtis Hall, 1250 W. Church Road in Wyncote, PA, to show your support as a local resident. We have tried many times to be included in their agenda but were denied each time; however, we and every other interested party are welcome and able to speak during the Citizens’ Forum portion of the meeting.

Come make your voice heard. Ask your Township Commissioner and the other Board Members to meet with Land Conservancy of Elkins Park, Inc. and enter into negotiations to resolve the tax status of the Elkins Estate property instead of using taxpayer dollars to litigate this matter for two years more so we can complete the purchase of the property.

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Sincerely,