Solicitor: Council unable to extend Main Street
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The hands of Bridgeville council appear tied when it comes to extending Main Street to the planned Bedner Farm Development in neighboring Upper St. Clair.
Main Street ends about ten feet from a proposed 136-home development being planned by Heartland Homes and J.T. Thomas Homes on the site of the Bedner family farm in Upper St. Clair.
"Main Street does not go up to the Bedner property. There is a 10-foot gap between Main Street and the Bedner Property," borough solicitor Richard Ferris told council members at their meeting Monday night.
"According to the law, if a section of a street is not opened for a period of 21 years, it cannot be opened without the consent of 51 percent of the property owners abutting the street.
"Under the law, we don't have the right to open Main Street, nor do we have to take action on the Lyons' petition to remove the unopened section from the borough plan of streets," Mr. Ferris said.
Neil Lyons, whose property abuts the unopened section of Main Street, had petitioned council in April to remove the 10-foot section of land, which is covered in grass with a tree growing in the middle, from the borough street plan.
"Council is not going to act on the petition by Mr. Lyons to remove the section from the borough street plan," Mr. Ferris said.
Marty Gillespie, president of Heartland Homes, had designated Main Street as an access road to his 120-acre development, which will feature homes selling in the range of $350,000 to $1.5 million. He has received approval from Upper St. Clair for his plans.
Cook School Road, in the same Bridgeville neighborhood as Main Street, has also been designated as an access road.
Residents of the two streets and nearby Pesavento Drive and Ridge Road have flooded borough council meetings since January to express their concerns about increased traffic that will be funneled from the development into their neighborhood.
Cee Cee McNulty, a resident of Main Street, has attended most of those meetings. She, along with other residents, has pointed out their neighborhood streets are narrow, don't have sidewalks, and that the neighborhood is home to many seniors and children.
Residents have also complained about speeding and dangerous driving by motorists to reach current housing developments in Upper St. Clair.
Bridgeville police this year cited numerous motorists for speeding in the neighborhood. Most of the citations went to Upper St. Clair residents, according to police chief Chad King.
"It's still important to deal with the speeding and dangerous traffic," Mrs. McNulty told borough council Monday night.
Borough manager Lori Collins said a traffic calming study commissioned by the borough with HRG Inc. to suggest ways to alleviate the traffic problems is the process of being completed and a draft will be ready for review by Friday.
The study will look at speed limits, traffic control, lane widths, regulatory signs and possibly the installation of speed bumps.
Mrs. McNulty and other neighborhood residents have suggested the developer build a new road to connect the development with Bower Hill Road, eliminating the need to use Main Street and Cook School Road as access points.
Mr. Gillespie, however, said he would not build a new road to reach Bower Hill Road. He said the terrain is too unstable, and the grade of the road, if built, would be too steep to be accepted by Upper St. Clair.
"We are not against development," Mrs. McNulty said at Council's June meeting, but she suggested that the developer build his own road to the project.
First Published July 12, 2012 12:00 am