Silvestri gives state of Peters Township address

Published Apr 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm (Updated Apr 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm)

Peters Township continues to grow and should see the potential for growth for the next 20 to 40 years, said Michael Silvestri, township manager, as he gave his annual state of the township presentation at the Peters Township Chamber of Commerce luncheon April 10 at Rolling Hills Country Club.

Some projections put the total build-out population in the township at 34,000, which is about 12,000 more than the current population of about 22,500. Other estimates put the build-out population even higher.

With growth comes the need for additional infrastructure and the ability for the school district to accommodate a student population of nearly 7,400.

Silvestri told the gathering of chamber members that the township is not just sitting back idly waiting for the growth to max out.

Like most municipalities in the state, the township is in the midst of formulating a new comprehensive plan to carefully outline what is needed and how to adequately meet the needs of an expanding population, both residentially and commercially.

The nearly 14-month comprehensive plan process is at the stage where maps will soon be drawn. Fall is the estimated completion date.

In 2012, the average earned income per household was $131,953 with 7,841 households, a number that expands almost yearly, Silvestri said. In 2012, there were 116 new residential starts and two new commercial businesses. There were 381 houses sold with an average sale price of $351,594.

While some residential plans once showed stagnant growth, Silvestri told the chamber members, many were now trending toward development.

Ed Zuk, township planning director, told the audience of about 100 that several developments were moving along, including the Orchard Hill plan on a portion of Trax Farm that includes about 80 lots. Whispering Pines, a 40-lot development off Boyer Road near Bebout and Bower Hill roads, is getting underway, along with Tuscany, an 18-large lot development with lot sizes ranging from two acres to more than seven acres. The plan is off Justabout Road on land once farmed by the Simmons family, Zuk said.

Anthony Farms, on the former Anthony Farms off of East McMurray Road, is entering phase two that will eventually have 57 lots. Other new or expansion of existing developments that are moving forward include Evergreen Village off West McMurray Road with 16 new quad homes planned, 29 new patio homes in the Crossings plan, and 40 half acre lots in Hamlet at Springdale plan.

Zuk said work is progressing on the 15,000-square foot Giant Eagle Express along Washington Road at Circle Drive, a 2,100-square foot addition to Three Rivers Volkswagen on Washington Road, a 3,500-square foot addition for service at the Bill Gray Volvo dealership and a 41,000-square foot new building for South Hills Honda. Additionally, the 40,000-square foot newly constructed St. Clair Hospital outpatient building south of Donaldsons Crossroads is expected to open in the next few months.

One of the large projects expected is the reconstruction of the intersection of Old Washington Road and the ramp leading to and from Valley Brook Road and Washington Road. Work is expected to take at least 14 months and is anticipated to begin in the next several weeks, Silvestri said.

The township is beginning to update the township building and hired three new full-time employees, including one new police officer to replace an officer hired as the resource officer in the high school.

The $18 million 2013 budget is actually about $2 million less than the 2012 budget thanks to the completion of several projects in 2012.

Silvestri said the township’s philosophy is to spend no more than is being brought in as revenue.

As for future commercial projects, Silvestri said a planned Cadillac dealership at the site of the former Sears Service Center on Washington Road is on hold until issues raised by a competing dealership are resolved. At the site of the former Damon’s Restaurant on McDowell Lane, a sign indicates it could be the future home of a coal-fired pizza business. Council set a conditional use hearing for a proposed Italian and pizza restaurant at the site of the now-closed Parkvale Bank.

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