Upper St. Clair no longer rural and that’s not a bad thing

Published Sep 18, 2013 at 9:24 am (Updated Sep 18, 2013 at 9:24 am)

Y ears ago, Upper St. Clair Township was a rural community dotted with farms and livestock. Then housing developments began to spring up creating a residential atmosphere and slowly, some commercial establishments began to call the township home.

Anyone remember the Moo restaurant at what is now the Crossgates Plaza site? It was a great place for kids to eat long before fast-food restaurants appeared. As time progressed, banks and pharmacies moved to corner buildings, small speciality shops opened along with medical offices and independent grocery stores.

In the 1960s, South Hills Village was developed, making the trek to Pittsburgh to buy clothes or gifts almost obsolete.

More and more commercial establishments appeared as residents continued to clamor for the more sedate, upscale housing plans long associated with Upper St. Clair.

Then, along came the idea for a new mixed-use plan along Washington Road at the site of the former Consol property across from South Hills Village.

The plan calls for 33 new town and patio homes, office and retail space, an upscale grocery store and parking. Surrounding property owners complained all that development will result in increased traffic.

After several meetings and public hearings, the Upper St. Clair Township Commissioners granted a conditional use approval and a preliminary land development approval. That action signals change is coming, something some neighboring property owners are resisting.

Traffic is cited as one of the anticipated problems that may occur when the development is completed. Neighbors along Fort Couch Road and those on Fieldgate Drive are worried about the generation of extra vehicles. Other property owners have expressed concern the views from the rear of their homes will be less than pastoral.

No one likes change, but change is inevitable. The phrase may be a cliche, but, like many cliches, it’s true. And not all change is bad.

Yes, it would be nice if everything would remain the same, but it won’t, and it shouldn’t.

Just have faith that the Upper St. Clair Commissioners and their planning and zoning experts will abide by the ordinances to ensure those living close to the proposed plans for the 1800 Washington Road site are as satisfied as possible with the end product.

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