Peters officials to hold workshop to discuss how development options can help township grow
A yard sign along East McMurray Road in Peters announces a “land-use development opportunity.”
Inadvertently, it offers entree into a discussion that township officials hope to spark about development in the Washington County community, where farmland, wooded areas and open tracts of land continue to diminish. The township's population increased nearly 21 percent, to 21,213, since 2000.
About 25 percent of Peters remains undeveloped, said Grant Shiring, a township planner leading Plan Peters 2022, to chart growth for the next decade.
“Pretty much all of the land is zoned to be developed to some degree,” he said. “We're trying to get people to understand there are different development options.”
On a billboard above Route 19, township officials are advertising a Jan. 29-31 workshop at which consultants will explain how zoning regulations could affect Peters' growth. Residents and business owners can express their thoughts.
Most undeveloped property is zoned to allow low-density housing, similar to what exists throughout much of the township — single-family homes on lots of a half-acre or more, Shiring said.
Other communities allow higher-density housing and walkable, mixed-use developments. Those options will become topics during the workshop, Shiring said.
Mark Hoskins, president of McMurray-based Benjamin Marcus Homes, said older people who have lived in the township for decades should be able to downsize to smaller homes.
“There are no smaller lots for retirees and no ability for rentals,” said Hoskins, who is developing the upscale Tuscany subdivision off Justabout Road, his third residential project in Peters. “These would be attractive for developers and the community.”
Something similar to the multimillion-dollar Newbury commercial and residential complex slated for South Fayette, or a town center development with housing, retail, restaurant and office space, would be a nice addition, said Brian Schill, executive director of the Peters Township Chamber of Commerce.
“We're a great place to live, work and play. But how can we make it better in the next 10 years-plus?” he asked. “We want something with a heartbeat, with vibrancy, that is attractive.”
The growth in Peters is driven by its proximity to Pittsburgh — about 15 miles — and property taxes lower than Allegheny County's, Hoskins said.
Yet residents often lament traffic congestion around commercial areas along East McMurray Road and Route 19 and loss of open space, Shiring said. “It's largely a result of the way we've developed over the past 50 years.”
Plan Peters will help revise the township's comprehensive plan, which state law requires every decade. A 10-member committee hopes to recommend ideas to council by August.
“To have public input is huge. We want this to be a community effort,” Schill said.
Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Moon Area aims to ease parents’ transportation worries
- Cabbage contest engages Western Pa. 3rd-graders in gardening
- Mt. Lebanon wants to update master plan for Uptown district
- Wal-Mart plan ignites election in McCandless
- Dormont Council points to ex-manager for deficit
- Bethel Park voters get chance to change charter
- Young Achiever: Kelli Lucas