Peters housing market is on the upswing

Published Mar 12, 2013 at 11:49 am (Updated Mar 12, 2013 at 11:49 am)

The housing market in Peters Township is on the upswing, according to information provided to council by Michael Silvestri, township manager, during a meeting March 11. The figures were provided by RealSTATs, which provides information on real estate transactions for five local counties, including Washington County.

In 2012, 381 township houses were sold, reflecting an increase of 24 percent from 2011, Silvestri said. And, the median sale price jumped from $334,000 in 2011 to $351,000 in 2012.

Also involving real estate, council unanimously reapproved the Orchard Hill Plan 2B, as the original plan was not recorded in the mandated 90 days.

Council also unanimously approved an agreement with Stahl Shaeffer to perform inspection services on the proposed replacement of a bridge on Sugar Camp Road. The project will go out for bid in May with the bid expected to be awarded at the last council meeting in May.

Mark Zemaitis, township engineer, told council the agreement with Stahl Shaeffer is on an hourly basis and the agreement is for up to $19,820. He said the current bridge demolition should take about three weeks with the bridge closed for about one month, then it will reopen with staggered, temporary closures such as occurred when the Bebout bridge connecting Arrowhead Trail was closed last year for replacement.

Council also heard of two cases that will appear before the township’s zoning hearing board March 14. No action was taken by council on either case.

One involved a request for a second variance by Stephen Szabo involving the upcoming realignment and reconstruction of the ramp leading from Valley Brook Road to and from Washington Road. Szabo, Silvestri said, requested a connecting road from the ramp to his property north of the intersection project.

“What’s the hurry?” asked Councilman Robert Atkison, adding the road would be done with private money and “it can’t be for at least a year because this time next year, the road will be closed.”

Council did agree that any private road built from the ramp should benefit two others businesses also north of the ramp. With the road, customers wishing to turn onto Washington Road south could access the traffic signal at the top of the ramp.

The other case involved a request to construct a 14-foot wide deck off the back of a building on Valley Brook Road that is close to the Montour Trail portion that is leased by the township to the Montour Trail Council. The building is about 30 feet from the trail. Council agreed that perhaps 14 feet was too wide.

In other action, council:

•Appointed Dorothy Schwerha and Michelle Chavel to two open positions on the Parks and Recreation Board.

• Authorized a special permit to Kmart for outdoor storage for plants and bagged mulch from the end of March until May.

• Authorized Frank Arcuri, council chairman, to sign a letter of support for local municipalities to use RADAR and LIDAR. Silvestri said Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation not to permit local police departments to use RADAR for traffic enforcement.

• Announced there will be a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. April 8 for a request by the Aladdin Restaurant on Washington Road to transfer a liquor license. Currently, the restaurant is under construction and has not opened.

• Granted a request to contribute $500 to the Washington County Watershed Alliance for a matching grant. The group is requesting money from all county municipalities although Silvestri said he doubted there would be 100 percent participation. Arcuri voted against the contribution comparing the donation to zucchini bread. “I keep bringing zucchini bread and I don’t get any zucchini bread back,” Arcuri said.

• Asked William Johnson, solicitor, to research if council could enact an ordinance prohibiting registered sex offenders from accessing public places in the township, such as the library and Arrowhead Trail. Arcuri said there have been “some concerns in the township.”

Next meeting is at 7:30 p.m. March 25.

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