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Developer proposing building duplex units along Ipnar Road in North Huntingdon

Joe Napsha
| Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

North Huntingdon commissioners have until late March to mull a developer's request to rezone a parcel along Ipnar Road — a move that could allow construction of about 40 patio homes and which has sparked opposition from more than a dozen residents.

Nancy Buri, who lives on Ipnar Road, implored commissioners to keep the current single-family residential zoning designation “for the safety of all and for the aesthetics.”

She and other residents worry about the increased traffic such a housing plan would create on the narrow, windy road.

Pasquarelli Property Management LLC wants to rezone a 26.6-acre parcel from single family to planned residential development for a project to build 38 to 42 patio homes. The site sits between Ipnar and Hemlock Drive, bordered by Barnes Lake Road.

Commissioners on Thursday held a 70-minute hearing on the rezoning request.

They have 45 days from the date of the public hearing to render a decision, said Andrew Blenko, township planning director. The developer was not required to present detailed drawings of the plan at the hearing. If approved, those site plans would be reviewed by the planning commission, Blenko said.

Property owner Donato Pasquarelli declined to comment during the hearing.

He has proposed building 22 duplex-type units, equal to 44 residences, on 16 acres. The two far ends of the property would be developed as “estate lots” for a single-family home at each end, with access from proposed internal streets. The project would be accessible by Ipnar Road.

David Iwinski, who lives on Ipnar, Road said the project would create a safety hazard along the narrow road with poor drainage and two hairpin curves.

The access road to the housing plan is at “a terrible spot,” said Eugene Zieglar of Ipnar Road. “Somebody may be killed.”

Chad Stafford, project engineer for Penn Terra Engineering Inc. of State College, presented a concept plan of the patio homes housing plan that would include a community center and parks.

Commissioner Duane Kucera said he believed the project would have a “severe impact” on traffic on the road.

Commissioner Darryl Bertani questioned whether the location of the access road met site requirements.

“I think there are a lot of questions to be answered before we decide,” Bertani said.

If the commissioners approve the rezoning request, Blenko said Pasquarelli would need a variance because the zoning ordinance requires a planned residential development to be a minimum of 30 acres and the front-yard setback is less than the required distance.

While in theory Pasquarelli could build 52 single-family homes on the 26-acre parcel, Blenko said a stream on the property, the topography of the site and two natural-gas wells likely would limit developable land to between 16 and 18 homes.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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