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Traffic worries delay Upper St. Clair project

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Traffic concerns put a major development in Upper St. Clair on hold a little longer.

The planning commission last week again delayed approval of Siena at St. Clair, a mix of houses, shops and a Whole Foods store that would be built at the former Consol Energy headquarters on Route 19. A decision could occur when a traffic study is updated to consider the impact of a Target store that recently opened at South Hills Village mall, across from the proposed development.

“(The township) staff's questions were mostly technical things. Could they clarify these numbers or that chart?” township planning director Scott Brilhart said.

Neighbors along Fort Couch Road say traffic backs up far along their street during rush hour and the holiday season, and they worry the development would make things worse. Engineers for 1800 Washington Road Associates, the developers, say they likely would add turn lanes on Fort Couch and establish a small island outside the development's secondary entrance on Fort Couch so vehicles could only make right turns into or out of the development.

“(Project architect) Justin (Cipriani) came to our house, met with us and a few neighbors,” said Randy Shaffer, who lives on Fort Couch. “He said they'd keep the rest of our concerns in mind going forward.”

Meanwhile, another development on a large former farm will go before the full Board of Commissioners April 1. Officials will weigh two builders' final plans for the former Bedner Farm off Cook School Road. There will not be another public hearing on the plans — the master plan for the development was vetted during several meetings last spring — but the public can still comment during the commissioners' meeting.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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