North Huntingdon 'villa-style' housing plan could get final OK
The final group of new homes being proposed for the Willow Estates plan in North Huntingdon will be aimed at buyers who want to do less yard work and climb fewer stairs, according to the developer.
“In the past several years, we've seen greater interest in what we are calling villa-style homes,” said Frederick Crack, owner of Willow Glenn Development, who is seeking approval to build 30 of the single-family attached homes.
“The buyers for this type of home are generally baby boomers and so-called empty nesters who don't need large back or front yards and want most of their living space on a single floor,” he said.
Larger versions of the homes are one and a half stories and dubbed grand villas, said Crack, whose company has developed about 400 homes in the township's Willow Glenn, Willow Heights and Willow Estates plans during the past decade.
The villas, which will range between 1,700 and 1,850 square feet on a roughly quarter-acre lots, are expected to be priced between $260,000 to $280,000.
James Eichenlaub, executive director of the Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh, said there is “a definite niche” for the type of homes Willow Glenn is proposing.
“In other parts of the country, they call them 50-plus or active-adult housing,” he said. “And research indicates that they are increasingly popular among people who are looking to downsize and buy something that they envision will be the last home they will purchase.”
Crack said villas also are an option for buyers who do not want or need a large, single-family home but are not necessarily interested in town houses, which typically are narrow duplexes between two and a half and three stories tall.
Andrew Blenko, the township's planning director, said previous site plans for the homes being proposed for Willow Estates, which will grow to 188 homes if the final phase is approved and completed, need to be resubmitted to more accurately reflect the current contours of the land.
“A lot of earth was moved during construction of the other homes in the plan, so the developer needs to do a survey of the property and submit a revised site plan,” Blenko said. “I'd consider these relatively minor adjustments that have to be made.”
Crack said the revisions likely will be submitted to the township in time for the March planning commission meeting, during which a vote could be taken on whether to recommend that township's commissioners grant final approve for the project.
Lines for sanitary and storm-water sewers already have been completed for the project, Crack said. If the commissioners give the OK, the first several homes could be completed by the fall.
While the construction of new homes requires the loss of trees and other vegetation, Willow Glenn has tried to avoid “flattening hills and valleys” in the three plans it has developed, Crack said.
“We could have built a lot more homes, but the reality is that people love their green space,” he said. “So we've tried to follow the contours of the land to preserve as much green space as possible and create lots with wooded areas behind them and plenty of areas where the vegetation has been untouched.”
Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626 or at email@example.com.
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.
- Local experts share holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list
- Irwin council backs off planned tax hike
- North Irwin Council OKs budget, replaces mayor
- Irwin council member blocks recording of public meeting