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Pine residents share ideas for township improvement

| Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Steps to make Logan Road and Dean Road safer for drivers and pedestrians apparently top Pine residents' wish list of ways to improve life in the township.

Several residents also want a community pool in the next decade or two, plus, more housing for aging baby boomers.

Those projects and suggestions were among more than 40 improvements recommended at a public meeting on July 23 in Pine Community Center to help local officials begin updating Pine's 2003 comprehensive plan.

“It's a policy guide. … This is not a regulatory device,” said Jim Pashek of Pashek Associates, the North Side firm hired by Pine supervisors to oversee and execute the update.

The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Codes requires such updates every 10 years.

Pine officials scheduled the July 23 meeting to learn what residents like and dislike about the character of Pine, and how they want development to proceed in the 14-square-mile municipality.

About 35 people attended the meeting, moderated by Pashek.

“The Red Belt is a death trap,” said Joyce Ley, a longtime resident who wants wider berms on local roads, especially Pearce Mill Road, for walkers and cyclists.

Ley also recommended that more Pine residents pledge their financial support for Wexford Volunteer Fire Department.

Don Keys of the township's parks and recreation committee recommended the formation of a Pine Township Historical Society.

Logan Guise, 12, of Boy Scout Troop 344, wants less pollution by trucks rolling through Pine, plus, repairs to cracked sidewalks.

A number of people called for the preservation of Pine's rural character and fewer streets that permit motorists to cut through housing plans en route to local schools.

Pat Avolio of the Pine Township Board of Supervisors recommended connecting trails through Pine parks to trails in North Park. Avolio also recommended seeking public grants to pay for the trail improvements.

Resident Lisa Lane recommended improved signage at intersections, plus, painted fire hydrants in the township.

Resident Rob Mercuri requested that the township update its online site.

As people offered suggestions, Pashek wrote down the information on big sheets of white paper taped to a front wall of the meeting room.

After each person shared their wish list, Pashek passed out sheets of colored, adhesive paper dots and invited everyone to place their dots next to the recorded suggestions deserving highest priority.

Nearly half of the audience placed one of their dots beside the recommendation to make Logan and Dean roads safer with wider bends, better sight distances and sidewalks.

Nearly half of the audience also placed one of their dots beside the recommendations to build a township pool and new recreational facilities.

One third of the audience placed a dot beside the recommendation to preserve the rural character of Pine Township.

Pashek planned to tally the number of dots placed beside each written suggestion, and compile a summary for future review by a township steering committee.

“We're hoping in the spring of 2015 to have a final comprehensive plan for adoption,” said Larry Kurpakus, director of code administration and land development for Pine Township.

Until then, a 12-member steering committee is leading efforts to update the township's comprehensive plan. People also can send suggestions to Kurpakus at lkurpakus@twp.pine.pa.us.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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