North Strabane Township municipal building
Five years and two court cases later, North Strabane Township and the developer of the 62-acre Greenwood residential development have settled a dispute centering on several aspects of the site near Weavertown Road.
By a vote of 4-1, township supervisors Tuesday night approved an eight-paragraph motion that allows the development of the 233-unit project to move forward in accordance with a 2016 court order issued by Washington County Judge Michael Lucas.
“They’re already up there moving dirt for phase one,” said Andrew Walz, township manager. “It gives them the green light to do the first phase.”
The housing development will be off Greenwood Drive and near heavily traveled Weavertown Road, which connects the Interstate 79 Canonsburg interchange and Route 19.
North Strabane Township will issue building and occupancy permits for the first phase upon request and as required by the Municipal Planning Code and the zoning ordinance.
Greenwood’s developers have the second phase and part of the third phase scheduled for township approval this fall.
Under the agreement, Greenwood will modify its plans to construct a new public street to the existing Crawford Street in a phase of the development that has been dubbed 3-A.
A community center also is on the drawing board, but Greenwood has not determined when it will begin construction of this leg of the project. The motion states Greenwood has “a goal of sooner rather than later.”
The motion calls for Greenwood to waive its rights to more than 50 house occupancy permits until the public streets in Phases 2 and 3A are paved to Crawford Street or are appropriately bonded.
Greenwood, according to the motion, voluntarily offered to pay an impact fee of $300 per lot at the time home building permits are issued as a contribution for maintenance and improvement of Greenwood Drive, in lieu of posting a bond for any damage caused by the project. The total value of the contribution is expected to exceed $70,000.
The supervisors’ action came in the wake of a land-use appeal docketed Tuesday in Washington County Court.
Bove Development Corp. of Venetia and Greenwood Village LP of Wexford, Allegheny County, were plaintiffs in the case.
Greenwood Village first came to the township’s attention in 2013 when township supervisors voted to deny the application for a conditional-use permit “but did not timely issue a written decision of its denial,” according to the developer’s 2015 court filing.
Terry Bove of Bove Development that year placed a legal advertisement in a Pittsburgh newspaper to that effect, and no appeals were filed within a month of the ad’s appearance.
In July 2016, Judge Michael Lucas ruled the legal notice was proper and found in favor of the Greenwood Village developers.
When North Strabane supervisors discussed Greenwood Village in February of this year, it was mentioned tentative approval was given because of a “loophole” in the law and demanded that the Crawford Avenue entrance be constructed in the initial phase rather than in the third phase, according to Greenwood Village’s attorney, Donald P. Graham.
Walz said it had been communicated to the township solicitor the latest court case would be withdrawn in light of the supervisors’ vote.