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Supervisors to vote on townhouse plan

A Cranberry developer is seeking to rezone 12 acres along Freedom Road to allow him to build four- and five-unit townhouses with price tags starting at $200,000.

Township supervisors are scheduled to vote on the plan at 7 p.m. Oct. 2.

The land could become the first in Cranberry zoned with a new classification that allows a development to have greater density if it meet certain requirements.

Cranberry developer Larry Dorsch wants to rezone the land near Haine School Road, but the planning commission did not recommend the plan to supervisors.

Planning commission officials were worried about the traffic congestion that plagues Freedom Road, but Dorsch said improvements slated for Freedom Road could alleviate some of those issues.

Dorsch also said the traffic on Freedom Road was not solely an issue that Cranberry officials can fix.

Jeff Winkle, Cranberry director of community development, said the congestion along Freedom Road should not be considered when looking at the rezoning.

“Those are site developmental issues and will be looked at when plans are presented,” Winkle said. “The issue is: ‘Is this a proper transitional zoning district?'”

Dorsch said he wants to build about 76 townhouses on the vacant land. The property, which is next to the Cranberry Pointe and Cranberry West housing plans, currently is zoned for single-family houses and duplexes. Surrounding the property is commercial and residential zoning.

Dorsch said the increased density is necessary so the development can afford to have upscale amenities, such as a clubhouse, a swimming pool, an entrance monument and landscaping.

The residential, mixed-use zoning Dorsch is seeking initially allows 3.5 units per acre, but a developer can go up to 7.7 units per acre by meeting other requirements. For example, a developer could increase the density by 10 percent if more than 55 percent of the land is dedicated to green space, or the density could be increased 20 percent if the developer uses a grid street plan.


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