More criticism aimed at Upper St. Clair housing development

March 6, 2012 5:42 am

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A developer planning to construct 136 new homes ranging in price from $350,000 to $1.5 million near Cook School Road in Upper St. Clair says his development will be an answer for a "market that's not being served."

Neighboring residents in Upper St. Clair and Bridgeville, however, said the traffic generated by so many new homes in such a congested area will be "intolerable."

"This is a public safety issue," said Upper St. Clair resident Cathy Minallo about nearby intersections that she and others fear will be overloaded with new traffic from the development, slated for the 120-acre Bedner family farm.

At least two major intersections near the planned development already have been determined to be "failing," according to traffic engineers.

The issue was discussed at length Monday night, during the second part of a public hearing by Upper St. Clair commissioners to determine whether to grant tentative approval for the project. Also being considered are several exceptions to the township's zoning regulations, such as smaller lot sizes and shorter setbacks from the road.

The development team of Heartland Homes and J.T. Thomas Homes also proposes an access road to the site from Bridgeville's busy Main Street, along with Cook School Road and Scarlett Drive.

Monday's hearing was held at the township's Community & Recreation Center after more than 100 residents tried to squeeze into the first part of the hearing, held last month at the township municipal building.

An equal number of residents turned out Monday night, and dozens also flocked to Bridgeville borough meetings last month where the issue was discussed.

Bridgeville officials have expressed concern about traffic and stormwater runoff, and voted Feb. 13 to spend $1,600 for engineers to review a traffic study submitted by the developer.

Councilman Bill Colussy told commissioners his borough could not afford to conduct its own traffic study, and he and others urged commissioners to reject the project unless the developer agreed to build an access road along an arterial route, such as Bower Hill Road.

"Leave Bridgeville alone," he said.

Commissioners plan to continue the hearing April 2, when they are expected to vote on the proposal.

More details in Thursday's South Xtra edition.
Janice Crompton: jcrompton@post-gazette.com or 412-851-1867.
First Published 2012-03-06 04:44:17

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