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Manor OKs variance for 70 new homes

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 12:36 a.m.

Manor officials have given approval to the developer to shrink the usual setback standards for 70 single-family homes planned for the next phase of the Woods of Brandywine housing plan because of a slope behind some of the planned lots.

The borough zoning hearing board voted unanimously June 27 to approve a variance reducing the front setback requirements for Brandywine Recovery LP from 25 feet to 20 and the rear setback from 35 feet to 25 for all 70 lots.

The company's president, Kevin Braun, requested the change because, he said, the rear portions of about 20 lots were about 12 feet lower than the information he received in buying the properties when they were up for a Westmoreland County sheriff's sale.

The variance also will put the new homes closer to the setback standards that borough officials established when other phases of the housing plan were developed in the early 2000s, Braun said.

The recorded plans show that those homes were built with front and rear setbacks of 25 feet when the entire housing development previously was zoned as agricultural. Manor Council voted last year to rezone the entire plan as a residential district.

Changing the setbacks also alleviates storm-water issues that would have arisen by building near the slope, Braun said.

Saddle Ridge Drive homeowners Barry Belback and Susan Forney, who were among the four residents attending the hearing, said they supported the variance for Braun.

Belback said Braun has done a good job of leveling the proposed lots near his home.

“I think it's a great idea,” Belback said of the setback changes.

The next stage for the development will be the Manor Planning Commission's review of the site plan. A date has not been announced, said Braun's engineer, Mark Zimmerman of Morris Knowles and Associates.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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