By J.R. Brower
Despite a reasonable explanation as to why it should be granted, Peters Township Council denied a setback reductions request by a local residential developer at the June 11 council meeting. Council voted 5-2 against reducing front yard setbacks from 50 feet to 35 feet for the Whispering Pines plan located off Boyer Road. The Planning Commission had approved setbacks for the entire plan.
In voting against the setback variance request, members of council cited the importance of maintaining the aesthetics of the township building code by not allowing developers to build homes too close to the road. Dave Hager of PVE Sheffler, who represented the developer Ted Taylor III, said that they were requesting the setbacks in order to make the back yards larger. He said that the land area of the development contains steep portions and has presented challenges as far as grading is concerned.
By allowing 35 feet setbacks throughout, Hager said that existing natural resources would be preserved and would save over one-half acre of vegetation. He said that this would have accounted for about a 25,000-cubic feet reduction in displaced earthwork. He also said that the setbacks would enlarge the buffer zone behind lots 12 through 21, which border the Woodlands subdivision.
Council member Monica Merrell, who lives in Woodlands, said that the amount of wooded areas preserved by the setbacks was not that significant, and that the builder should consider instead building less homes in order to provide larger yard areas.
She and fellow council members Robert Atkison, Robert Lewis, David Ball and Frank Arcuri voted against the setbacks, while Gary Stiegel and James Berquist voted to allow them.
Council directed the township staff to take the proposal back to the Planning Commission with possible modifications for setbacks on some of the lots but not all of them.
In other action, Peters Township Council:
• Tabled the setting of a public hearing date on a zoning ordinance amendment to regulate crematories as a conditional use in the light industrial zoning district.
• Reappointed Traffic Impact Fee Advisory Committee members as part of the process of updating the traffic impact fee plan. It is required that the committee be represented by at least 40% members of the real estate industry as well as commercial and residential developers.
• Awarded a bid of $35,164 to Hanson Aggregates of Bridgeville for asphalt to be used in the township’s in-house paving program. The bid was awarded through the SHACOG bidding process.
• Announced its intent to interview eight township residents to fill roles on the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. Township Manager Michael Silvestri said that he has received numerous letters of interest from residents wanting to participate in the effort.
Last Updated on Saturday, 30 June 2012 13:29