Township Officials Discuss Sidewalks, New Public Safety Building

The Upper St. Clair Board of Commissioners and Planning Commission kicked off the 2015 comprehensive plan process Thursday night.

The Upper St. Clair Board of Commissioners and Planning Commission kicked off the 2015 comprehensive plan process Thursday night.

Some of the issues officials felt were going to be important included sidewalk construction, possibly the construction of a new public safety building next to the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department on Route 19, the future of the Upper St. Clair Community and Recreation Center and an examination of parks in the township.

Two residents attended the public meeting. One resident suggested adding a lap pool at the C&RC for competitions. Paul Besterman, director of recreation and leisure, said a lap pool for the Upper St. Clair Swim Club was not included during construction because the swimmers would have taken up the pool from 3 to 7 p.m. and the center was to be member driven, according to a study done.

The comprehensive plan is a 10-year guide for township officials to follow, which looks at land use, housing, civic amenities, infrastructure, transportation, natural resources, and municipal administration and services. The last comprehensive plan was performed in 2005 and approved in 2006.

The next step will be to hire a consultant.

The consultant will develop a survey for residents to take and a number of public meetings will be held.

d harkreader October 05, 2012 at 01:29 PM
and why do we need a new Public Safety Building? Who will staff it ?
George Pashel October 05, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Part of the planning for the Rec Center should include a study of the programs being offered versus the interests of the community. A better match would improve service without capital spending. From my perspective current programing is leaving out "active" 50-60 year olds. We are not interested in "boot camps" but are not ready for "flexibility" classes. As a government taxpayer funded facility, programing should include everyone and not only be based on "high demand" programs like a for profit facility.
Tax Payer October 05, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Glad they're talking about sidewalk construction. Why not create one down Morrow Road from Baker to the tennis courts so the existing sidewalk (Hastings Mill) can be taken "full circle" connecting so many residential neighborhoods with the Rec Ctr trail, tennis courts, sports fields, library, etc? This is an active community; so many people would utilize this.
Chad Twedt October 05, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Are the sidewalks being discussed only for major streets? One of the biggest oxymorons I've found about moving to this child/education oriented community is that there are no sidewalks on the streets for kids to walk on. Kids must then either walk in the middle of the street (to/from bus stops) or feel strange by walking on peoples' property, and neither of these options seem normal to us. Despite living on an extremely narrow, hilly, curvy street in a neighborhood with "Watch Children" signs posted all over the place, cars still race by. I doubt the kids will ever ride bikes around the neighborhood, and even just taking walks seems less appealing without sidewalks. Of course, we come from a place that isn't nearly as hilly as Pittsburgh - are the missing sidewalks more a function of extra cost from having to put in retaining walls along those properties on a steep hill? Or does it have more to do with curb appeal?
B October 05, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Interesting, I am at the rec center all the time and I frequently see classes with your exact demographic.
Robert Ritter October 05, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Why are we considering spending money on a new PS center at a likely cost of $10-20M? The Township is not growing, so we should not be outgrowing our facilities. The interest on current School District and Township bonds is crushing all of us taxpayers. The C&RC is a beautiful facility and a community asset, but it is also a fiscal millstone which will never be self-sustaining. We need to break the USC cycle of needing the biggest, newest, fanciest, and shiniest facilities regardless of cost to preserve our "reputation." "Quality of life" will not sustain our property values if no one can afford the tax bills.
william atwell October 05, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Here is one to ponder. How code enforcement officer time is being waisted by 2 people who have logged 6,000 calls in 6 years and has said he spends over half of his 40 hour work week dealing with and taking calls from these 2 people and now his whole dept handles the call now including township manager! There is a waste of $$
william atwell October 05, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Btw why didn't tax payers get to vote on the Rec Center? Who are we in competition with? When they construct these sidewalks guess who is going to be shocking the snow! Not the township
william atwell October 05, 2012 at 04:16 PM
The only reason we need a new public safety building is cause mt Lebo got one! Welcome to BIG GOVERNMENT at its worst
Tax Payer October 05, 2012 at 04:17 PM
I believe that in most communities the homeowner is responsible for the keeping the sidewalk clear. I think that's reasonable considering the value it would add to the property.
B October 05, 2012 at 04:39 PM
This is how all of Mt. Lebo is. I know we want sidewalks, but at what cost? There is a lot of area to cover, much of it might not even be able to have a sidewalk. I know on some streets, there would be major issues with utilities and other structures. If a sidewalk isn't in the original plan of the houses, it can be difficult if not bordering on impossible to add one.
Roger Hartung October 05, 2012 at 05:31 PM
You are so right. This would complete a pedestrian connection from The Community and Recreation Center to the Municipal Building and High School. Connecting the two main public centers of our town. It would also provide a safe place for pedestrians who are often walking (or running) on the road where it winds down the hill near the bridge across McLaughlin Run, which itself should also have a way for pedestrians to cross in order to complete the connection.
Becky Brindle October 05, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Here's a link to the current sidewalk plan in place: http://www.twpusc.org/comdev/sidewalks/plan/index.html. The sidewalks cannot be built until money comes available. I believe the first on deck will be along Mayview Road to the C&RC. Also something to note, all of the new subdivisions recently approved have sidewalks in them, including Bedner Estates, Fair Acres, etc.
william atwell October 05, 2012 at 07:08 PM
USC will just raise the taxes to put In what ever anybody wants. I like the fact there is no sidewalks. Now on main drags it would be nice to have them. But not everywhere
Roger Hartung October 05, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Becky, thanks for posting this link. This plan was originally developed before the C&RC opened. It's interesting to note the sidewalk on Mayview you referred to is not on this plan, but I think many have recognized the increased pedestrian traffic on Mayview since the C&RC opened. I hope the current process for developing the new Comprehensive Plan will take a fresh look at where sidewalks should be.
M L spazok October 06, 2012 at 12:17 AM
the current public safety building is cramped. However, getting into and out of the fire dept. onto Rte 19 is dangerous. An add't bldg at that same location - PLEASE - not another traffic signal. Food for thought. sidewalks are great on main thorofares and main connectors.


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