Richland starts condemnation process of land to boost safety at intersection
Richland officials plan to take private land for public use in order to boost traffic safety at the intersection of Bakerstown, Grubbs and State roads.
The township's supervisors voted 3-0 on Nov. 20 to initiate condemnation proceeds to acquire 1,499 square feet of property owned by St. Barnabas Land Trust Inc. at the intersection
Herb Dankmyer, a subcontractor for St. Barnabas Health System and chairman of Richland's supervisors, abstained from the vote.
Supervisor Ray Kendrick did not attend the meeting.
Richland officials want the slice of land in order to align Grubbs and State roads where they meet Bakerstown Road, as recommended by a traffic study performed for Chatham University as part of the university's efforts to develop Chatham's Eden Hall campus, township manager Dean Bastianini said.
But the attorney for St. Barnabas Land Trust said the roads' realignment is unnecessary.
“The stated reasons for taking the property, in our judgment, do not justify it,” said attorney Walter DeForest on behalf of the land trust.
“If you travel that road, any (safety) issue would be addressed if they put up a traffic light there,” DeForest said “The stated misalignment (of Grubbs and State roads) is not a factor in any safety issue.”
The land slated for condemnation is part of 47 acres the land trust owns and by a rental property near the corner of Grubbs and Bakerstown roads.
“The land they would take would put the road (Grubbs) closer to the building,” DeForest said. “It's currently rented as a residence.”
Richland wants to acquire the land for permanent construction rights of ways, temporary construction easements and utility easements. Plans call for the relocation of existing utility poles.
Township officials previously asked leaders of the land trust to donate the ground.
Officials of the land trust declined that request.
“We've been in negotiations with St. Barnabas (Land Trust) through the summer,” Bastianini said. “They declined our request that they donate the property in exchange for changes that we were willing to make to lessen the impact on the existing home.”
Richland supervisors also voted Nov. 20 to hire Howard Hanna Real Estate to provide appraisal services for the land they want to acquire.
“Chatham and Richland agreed to improve this intersection,” said Walt Fowler, vice president for finance and administration at Chatham University. “It has always been an unsafe intersection, and some of our students may use this route.”
Chatham University has received a $100,000 grant in state gaming revenue — and its officials agreed to pay another $44,000 — to cover the anticipated $144,000 cost of improving the intersection.
“The condemnation will play out over the next couple months,” Fowler said. “It is our expectation that the intersection project will be complete by the end of the summer of 2014.
“Once complete, all the Richland neighbors using this intersection, including both Chatham students and employees and St. Barnabas residents and employees, will be much safer,” Fowler said.
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 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.
- North Hills Interfaith Gathering scheduled
- Next session in North Hills history series ready to hit the road
- Cracked sidewalks pose danger for West View wheelchair users
- Police eye speeding drivers along Route 19 corridor
- North Hills board approves bid for new track surface
- Ross police dog receives vest for better protection
- Photo Gallery: Yoga class at North Hills Middle School
- Pine-Richland Middle School student takes 2nd in geography bee
- Help wanted to rid Hampton’s Crouse Run of garlic mustard, litter
- Walk Like MADD event coming to Pittsburgh