Residents Left Furious After Cul-de-Sac Denial
Upper St. Clair commissioners voted against a plan to keep Turnberry Drive in Deerfield Manor a dead-end road.
In a 3-3 vote Monday night, the plan to build 10 new lots and make Turnberry Drive in Deerfield Manor a cul-de-sac failed to pass the Upper St. Clair Board of Commissioners.
President Bob Orchowski, Vice President Russell Del Re and Commissioner Nicholas Seitanakis voted against the cul-de-sac plan. Commissioners Mark Christie, Glenn Dandoy and Daniel Paoly voted for the plan. New Commissioner Donald Rectenwald, Jr., president of Rex Glass & Mirror Company, abstained from voting.
A number of Turnberry Drive residents pleaded to the commissioners Monday night to keep their street a dead-end street and not make it connect to Circle Drive. Residents and the developer, J.T. Thomas Homes, said a connection would add traffic, safety issues and decrease home values.
J.T. Thomas Homes is also in favor of the cul-de-sac because the builders are working with a man who would like to purchase four and a half lots and build a house that would cover an acre. A connector road would make his lot smaller.
"There is no benefit to making this a through-street except for the residents of this street, and they clearly don't want it," Christie said.
Christie also pointed out that Circle Drive is rarely used by Deerfield Manor residents because it's too dangerous to turn north on Route 19 from Circle Drive.
"It's wrong to force it down their throats," Dandoy said.
One resident said his family recently bought a lot on Turnberry Drive and the foundation is now being poured because they were told it was going to remain a cul-de-sac.
"I find it irresponsible that some of the residents were not told when they purchased homes," Commissioner Russell Del Re told Jesse Thomas of J.T. Thomas Homes.
Thomas said when the company bought the land they were not told of a plan approved by commissioners in 1983 to make Turnberry Drive a connection.
"To make it a through-street has been on public record for two plus decades," Orchowski said. "This is probably one of the most difficult things I've encountered.
"I sympathize with the people that thought it was going to be a cul-de-sac."
"I think the connectivity is important to the township planning," Seitanakis said. "Having a stub road is an indication it's going to be connected."
In January, the Upper St. Clair Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend the cul-de-sac plan to the commissioners.
However, township staff maintained that Turnberry Drive should connect to Circle Drive because it reduces travel distances, reduces traffic congestion and improves emergency response time.
What are your thoughts on the commissioners' decision? Tell us in the comments.
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