More than 100 residents attended Monday night's Upper St. Clair Board of Commissioners meeting to rail against the Bedner's Farm neighborhood development plan, and many residents who commented voiced their concerns about traffic again.
The public hearing for the proposed development on Bedner's Farm was continued for a second time. The next hearing will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 2, at the Community and Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park.
Upper St. Clair residents said the existing traffic problem at the intersection of McMillan and Painters Run Roads should be fixed before the township approves a plan for 136 more houses in the area.
"If you buy a $1.5 million house, you won't want to drive on Ridge Road, you're going to want to go on to a main roadway," said Eric Schmidt, a Bridgeville resident.
At the first public hearing in February, Upper St. Clair commissioners asked the developers to take another look at a Bower Hill Road connection. Marty Gillespie, president of Heartland Homes and one of the proposed developers of the land, insisted that the connection could not be made.
He said "a pretty significant stream" runs along Bower Hill Road and is an "environmentally-sensitive area." It would be a challenge to receive approval from the Department of Environmental Protection to build a bridge over the stream and it's a liability the developers do not want to take, he said.
Gillespie also said the hill along Bower Hill Road has a 40-percent grade and that it is against township code to disturb land with a 40-percent grade.
Commissioners asked about the existing access road from the farmland to the Bedner's Farm Market on Bower Hill. The developers said the road is 12-feet wide and would have to be widened to 50 feet in order to meet township standards. Widening the road would disturb land with a 40-percent grade, and therefore, not feasible.
The traffic engineer who conducted the traffic study for the proposed neighborhood said the 136 homes would not add a significant increase to traffic in the area.
"We're not talking considerable volume. We do not see added delays of more than 10 seconds at any of the intersections," said Chuck Wooster, of David E. Wooster and Associates, Inc.
As he stated at a public informational meeting held for Bridgeville residents last month, Wooster again said that the intersection of McLaughlin Run and Bower Hill Roads would continue to be in need of a traffic signal and turn lanes.
Gillespie told commissioners the developers would pay the township $700 per lot for future traffic improvements. The developers would also pay $90,000 for Cook School Road upgrades, he said.
The proposal calls for 136 homes to be built in three phases with three neighborhood entrances—two along Cook School Road and one on Main Street in Bridgeville.
Heartland Homes and J.T. Thomas Homes are the developers.
Homes would range from $300,000 to $1.5 million, according to Gillespie. He said many families are looking to buy newly constructed homes in Upper St. Clair in the $300,000 to $500,000 range.
Gillespie said the plan calls for 1.1 units per an acre and that the township ordinance allows three units per an acre.
Two retention ponds on the land would be the focal point of the neighborhood, along with a park, walking trails and sidewalks on both sides of the street.
This story originally appeared on Upper St. Clair Patch