Rezoning request in North Huntingdon prompts questions, suggestions

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About 20 residents attended a recent North Huntingdon public hearing to hear about a request to change zoning on a 35-acre parcel next to the Altman Farms plan near the village of Westmoreland City.

Bob Shuster of RWS Land Co. has requested the zoning change from R2, or residential, to Planned Residential Development.

Andy Blenko, township director of planning, said at last week’s meeting that R2 zoning allows up to four homes to be built per gross acre, with a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet. A PRD designation allows conservation of land by permitting homes to be built closer together, he said.

A concept drawing from RWS showed homes clustered around the end of a cul-de-sac inside an existing tree line at the top of the hill on the property.

Randy Goehring of Altman Street said if the site is developed, another access road should be built to it in addition to Gina Drive, the only current access road.

“Gina Drive is pounded by fast traffic,” he said.

Mr. Goehring said when he walks out his back door, he sees a beautiful tree line with deer and turkeys.

Mr. Shuster “does a nice development,” he said. “I just wish he wouldn’t do one right in my backyard.”

Tom Dias of Brittany Court said development at the top of the hill would be “a lot different than having people halfway down the hill and able to look into our backyards and our bedrooms.”

The drawing was not any type of final plan, township officials said. Solicitor Bruce Dice said zoning approval is only the first step. The developer would have to go before the planning commission and township commissioners with specific plans later, he said.

After the meeting, Mr. Shuster met with residents in the lobby. He offered to sell each of them a piece of the property at the same price he paid for it, so they can maintain their views and have “a little piece of nature.”

It was not clear after the meeting if the homeowners would take him up on his offer.

Anne Cloonan, freelance writer:


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