Disagreements Continue Over Bedner's Farm

Traffic is still a big concern for Upper St. Clair and Bridgeville residents living near the proposed plan.

More than 100 residents attended Monday night's Board of Commissioners meeting to rail against the Bedner's Farm neighborhood development plan, and many residents who commented.

The public hearing for was continued for a second time. The next hearing will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 2, at the .

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.

residents said their residential roads——couldn't handle any more traffic heading to Interstate 79.

"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 , 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 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 , 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

Zin March 06, 2012 at 04:02 PM
As a USC resident living off of Cook School, I share the same concerns that were expressed at last night's hearing. It is my hope that USC, Bridgeville & the Developers can work together for what's best for both communities. In my opinion, the financial burden should not fall on Bridgeville. Both USC & the Developers should consider that the cost to them now for connector roads, traffic lights, etc. will pay for itself and then some in the future. Both parties stand to receive a large financial gain.
Kelli Finnerty March 07, 2012 at 02:09 AM
I live on Main Street in Bridgeville and I find it very difficult to believe that this development is only going to add a 10 second delay to local traffic. As it is, it is already difficult at times to turn left from Sylva to Bower Hill Road. I can only imagine what it will be like with over 100 houses' cars to compete with as well. I really hope that USC and the developers take into consideration the toll that this will have on the Bridgeville neighborhoods that they are going to be disrupting. Remember, we have no sidewalks on this street, so going out for a nice walk will be much more difficult. It seems, if this is USC's development, they should be bearing the burdens, not Bridgeville.
patco222 March 07, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I live in a Heartland Home plan and they say they told us they would take care of a lot of issues and they have not. Trust what they say??????
ella March 08, 2012 at 03:50 AM
They act like the only people that will use the access roads to Bridgeville will be residents of the new Bedner plan. That's a fallacy they are hoping people will buy into long enough for them to break ground. To get from the heart of Upper St. Clair to Interstate 79 presently takes a bit of time. As soon as a shortcut is made from the Bedner plan into Bridgeville, commuters from Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair, parts of Mt. Lebanon, and all sorts of far reaching communities will take that throughway to the interstate. I don't believe that the money offered by the developers comes anywhere near the burden they are putting on Bridgeville. Bower Hill Road is already busy, narrow, and in need of repairs. There is no chance that Upper St. Clair will step in and foot the bill for the huge infrastructure changes that will result of their ill-devised plans.
Mrs. McNulty March 08, 2012 at 08:44 PM
The developers are offering money to USC for road improvements - not to Bridgeville. USC and the developers want to use a new connection to Main Street and the already overburdened residential street Ridge Road to save $$$. If you are interested in making sure Bridgeville takes action against this, please attend the next Bridgeville Borough Council meeting on Monday March 12th at 7pm in the municipal building on Bower Hill Road.


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