Residential developments approved by USC

Published Apr 2, 2013 at 9:14 am (Updated Apr 2, 2013 at 9:14 am)

Officials in Upper St. Clair approved the first phase of the Bedner Estates planned residential development at the April 1 meeting. The first phase of the development will include 21 Thomas homes along Scarlett Drive. The homes in the first phase of the plan will have lot sizes of 13,000 square feet with 10-foot side yards and 25-foot setbacks. The board voted 5-0 in favor of the Thomas portion of the plan, with Commissioner Donald P. Rectenwald Jr. recusing himself. Commissioner Russell Del Re was absent from the meeting.

Also approved by commissioners at the meeting is Heartland Homes’ portion of the Bedner Estates development, with 25 lots along Diamond Court and Sapphire Court. Both the Heartland and Thomas home portions of the development will have an open-space design. The board voted 4-1 in favor of the Heartland Homes portion of the plan with Rectenwald Jr. recusing himself and Mark Christie voting against the motion.

Prior to approval of both portions of phase one of Bedner Estates, some residents spoke out against approving the plan. Cathy Manalo, who lives on Scarlett Drive, said there are defects and sharp turns in nearby Cook School Road. She said the Bedner development would “double the traffic there,” adding that she’s seen several accidents along the road, especially during inclement weather.

Manalo said signs warning drivers of sharp turns and steep grades should be placed on Cook School Road. “Regularly, cars end up in the farm’s fence,” she said. “The Township should be responsible for maintaining safe roadways.”

Board president Robert Orchowski said the topic of traffic in the area was talked about when the development was proposed almost a year ago. He did say that he would ask the township manager to take the idea of signs under advisement.

Manolo added that she was also concerned about the possibility of connection from Bedner Estates to Bridgeville’s Main Street being denied. Orchowski said that it’s a requirement that when there are 30 homes in the development, “they have to make that connection.”

Eric Schmidt, who resides in Bridgeville, said Upper St. Clair needs to take care of its own traffic. He said he’s opposed to the connection and that a “the friction between municipalities is going to continue.” He added, “We’re definitely not going to support the traffic from this development.”

Orchowski said he hopes that the township can continue to have a good relationship with Bridgeville. Although the Bedner Estates property was subdivided, Orchowski said that as long as there are 30 building permits, a connection to Bridgeville will be made.

Willowbrooke

Tentative plans for Willowbrooke Estates were presented during a public hearing at the April 1 meeting. According to Kim Gales-Dunn of J.R. Gales and Associates, Willowbrooke will consist of 16 lots along Willowbrooke Road and Willowbrooke Road Extension. Gales-Dunn explained that Willowbrooke Road Extension will remain a private road and will not be turned over to the township.

She said currently there are three owners on the cul-de-sac and two of the three have not signed an agreement to make the road a public one.

Kenneth Yarski, attorney for Willowbrooke Developer Allen Sherwood said the municipality cannot force the road into being a public one. He said a homeowners association will have to maintain the street. No maintenance will be done by the township.

Gary Delbianco and William Weaver, the two homeowners who did not agree to sign the document that would make the road a public one, were both in attendance at the meeting. Weaver said he was “advised by my attorney” not to sign the agreement. He added that he’s concerned about the “100 to 200 trees on the property that will be removed” and the affect it will have regarding runoff on his property. Weaver submitted photos to the board of water pooling in his yard.

Orchowski told Yarski that it may be a good idea for the developer to meet with both Delbianco and Weaver regarding the road.

The public hearing concerning Willowbrooke was continued to the May 6 commissioners’ meeting.

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