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West Deer housing development delayed to address concerns

| Friday, April 21, 2017, 12:26 a.m.

The McIntyre Heights housing development plan has been put on hold.

West Deer supervisors Wednesday held a public hearing on the plan and delayed a decision until concerns could be ironed out.

Richland Holdings LLC would like to build 35 patio homes and 34 duplexes on a 38.7-acre lot off McIntyre Road. Houses will start in the $400,000 range.

Supervisor Gerry Vaerewyck thought six off-street parking spaces were inadequate, particularly near a picnic pavilion where children's parties might be held. West Deer has an ordinance banning on-street parking in residential districts.

Supervisor Leonard Guerre was concerned that there is only one entrance to the entire plan.

Among the residents who offered testimony was Ken Hillebrand of Shadow Court, who asked about an existing pond that developers said would be replaced, per state regulations.

Michael Evans of Shadow Court asked if a narrow bridge nearby could handle the extra traffic once the homes have been built. Evans was told that the bridge will be widened and its deck reconstructed soon.

John Schleicher of Gibson-Thomas Engineering said about 50 percent of the property will be open space and there will be a 50-foot buffer between adjacent properties outside the development area.

Schleicher also said that stop signs will be placed at corners at a later date. Once the development is completed, the West Deer police chief and code enforcement officer will tour the area to see where stop signs are needed.

Jeff Martin, a Richland Holdings partner, said no swimming pool or clubhouse will be built “because our type of clientele doesn't want that anymore.”

The homes are designed for empty-nesters ages 55 and older, including some who still want to have a yard.

Supervisors will meet with the developers and might make a final decision May 17, within the 60-day window allowed for a decision after a hearing has been concluded.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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