A new 134-lot residential development on the Farm estate was presented to the Upper St. Clair Planning Commission on Thursday night.
The preliminary plan includes all single-family homes—no apartment buildings or duplexes. Part of the plan would include Heartland Homes starting in the lower $300,000 range to the $450,000 range. A second part of the development would include homes in the $400,000 to $700,000 range. The JT Thomas homes in the back of the neighborhood would start at $700,000 and would be similar to the Fox Chase neighborhood in Upper St. Clair.
"We're excited about this project. We really want to get this going," said Marty Gillespie, president of Heartland Homes. "I went to , my parents still live here and we're excited because it's been awhile for new construction in Upper St. Clair that's not $600,000 plus."
Ideally, Gillespie said they would like to start the project in spring 2012. The preliminary plan shows the third and final phase of the project ending in 2020.
Township staff has reviewed the plan and is requesting neighborhood entrance points on Bower Hill Road and Main Street in Bridgeville, along with the two entrances already planned for Cook School Road.
Kim Gales, a representative for the developers, said a connection to Bower Hill Road would be nearly impossible. First of all, she said the developers do not own the land along Bower Hill Road. Second, the mines and the grading of the land would require a huge bridge to be built to connect to Bower Hill Road, which she estimated would cost more than $1 million.
As for a connection to Main Street in Bridgeville, the developers would rather end the road in a cul-de-sac for aesthetic reasons, but are willing to add the entrance point if they must.
Scott Brilhart, Upper St. Clair's director of community development, said he would like to see a connection to Main Street to give some relief to the drivers trying to get to Interstate 79.
However, he said Bridgeville Borough officials are against the Main Street connection because they do not want additional traffic in Bridgeville.
As for residents with traffic worries, Gillespie said there will be a traffic study performed. He said the initial traffic study showed nothing worrisome and that the residential development would cause the lowest impact traffic possible.
Brilhart said the development of the Bedner's estate is part of the township's comprehensive plan. He said the township is encouraging the developers to "explore some other housing products to market to different demographics," such as young professionals, empty nesters and families with young children.
Thursday's hearing will be continued at the next planning commission meeting on Thursday, Sept. 15 in the .