Developer suing Bridgeville for street access to housing

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Bedner Farms Estates, the developer of a proposed 136-unit housing development in Upper St. Clair, has sued Bridgeville, asking Allegheny County Common Pleas Court for access to Main Street.

The suit also asks the court to allow the developer to tap into the borough's sewer lines.

No testimony was taken Tuesday at a status hearing, and another hearing is scheduled for July.

"We are disappointed in Bridgeville's position," said Jonathan Kamin, the attorney for Bedner Farms Estates. "We have a clear right to relief in access to Main Street and the utilities."

Bridgeville residents who live on Main Street have asked council to deny the developer access to their street, citing fears over increased traffic and safety problems.

Main Street, they say, is a narrow residential street without sidewalks, where many senior citizens walk and children play, and it can't handle any more traffic.

Bridgeville council voted, 7-0, in March to oppose opening a Main Street connection to the proposed 120-acre development, which has been approved by Upper St. Claire commissioners. Prices for the homes will range from $350,000 to $1.5 million.

Bridgeville residents from Cook School Road, Pesavento Drive and Ridge Road also have complained to council about excess traffic and speeding on their streets from motorists traveling to and from current residential developments in Upper St. Clair. They say the new development will only add to the problem.

In response, council commissioned a traffic calming evaluation to devise ways to slow down the traffic and improve the pedestrian safety on the affected streets.

At issue in opening the connection to Main Street in Bridgeville is a 10-foot section of unpaved land covered by grass with a tree growing in the middle.

Since Main Street does not touch the Bedner property, Bridgeville solicitor Richard Ferris has maintained the borough does not have the right to connect Main Street to the development without the permission of 51 percent of the property owners abutting the street.

"There are a lot of older people and young children in the neighborhood, but no sidewalks," Main Street resident Cee Cee McNulty told borough council.

"We are not against development," she said, suggesting the developer build his own road to the project by connecting directly with Bower Hill Road.

The developer, however, has maintained a direct link with Bower Hill Road is impractical because of the steep grade and an abandoned underground coal mine near the property.

neigh_west - neigh_south

Bob Podurgiel, freelance writer:


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