Plans for former Mayview site take another step forward in South Fayette
The disconnect between members of the South Fayette Township Planning Commission and representatives for Charter Homes & Neighborhoods couldn’t have been more noticeable as the they addressed plans for the Hasting development at the site of the former Mayview State Hospital.
At its July 21 meeting, though, the planning commission voted unanimously to recommend to township commissioners the approval of Phase One of the project, subject to modifications brought up by township engineer Michael Benton and Don Housley of KLH Engineers Inc.
The first phase would consist of 44 single-family homes, 49 townhouses and 260 apartments, along with a restaurant, pool, clubhouse and day-care center.
One part of the plan that will require modification is the intent to build townhouses that are 16 feet wide. A minimum of 20 feet was set when commissioners voted in March to create a new zoning district that applies to the former Mayview property.
Anthony Faranda-Diedrich, vice president of neighborhood development for Charter Homes & Neighborhoods, claimed that while it may not have complied with the ordinance, the lesser width would provide an alternative for possible residents.
“What we are trying to accomplish is to offer a diverse product line to give people an opportunity to buy a smaller townhouse. Then that option is available to them,” said Faranda-Diedrich. “It is a smaller unit, but we think there is a demographic here that is going to want something like this rather than renting an apartment. We’re just providing different price points.”
Tom Iagnemma, planning commission chairman, said that may have been the developer’s desire, but not the township’s.
Other questions arose during the meeting with regard to allotted commercial space at the site, parking, sidewalks and walking trails, and the amount of open park area that will be provided throughout the mixed-use community, the scope of which was reduced from 620 to 570 dwelling units in the latest plans.
The planning commission also wanted clarification on what sections would be taken care of by the township or with proceeds from homeowner association fees.
“We still need to present plans to the board of commissioners that will ultimately approve the first phase of the project,” said Faranda-Diedrich. “We are really looking forward to having that discussion. We’ve really been welcoming the collaborative effort that has gone into the planning associated with this site from both the township staff and planning commission. That was on full display tonight.”
He said that if township officials are not comfortable with anything, Charter would be willing to comply and work around the issues.
A main concern still is with the expansion of the South Fayette zoning map that reclassified the 81.3 acres along Mayview Road for the project, with the possibility of creating costly ramifications of an influx of students from the development.
An economic analysis by South Fayette Township School District estimates a $4 million shortfall in revenue generated by the development in conjunction with the additional expense the Hastings community would create.
Other analyses, including one by Econsult Solutions Inc. prepared for Charter Homes, show a positive net impact.
“South Fayette is a different beast than the other townships they’ve developed in,” said Iagnemma. “We’ve definitely learned over the last 15 to 20 years.”