Plum zoning board OKs last phase of housing development
By Karen Zapf
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:30 p.m.
Twenty years ago, developer James Rumbaugh had his eye on property off Old Leechburg Road.
It took until 2006 for Rumbaugh, president of The Meritage Group on Pine Valley Drive in Plum, to purchase the property and start developing it into a mixture of different types of homes for a total 204 units.
“I had a vision of what I wanted to do, and Fahringer, McCarty, Grey (consulting firm in Monroeville) laid it out,” Rumbaugh said Monday night after the Plum Borough Planning Commission meeting.
Commission members recommended approval of a 29-lot final subdivision that is the fourth and last phase of The Highlands.
The development would have 204 total units if the final phase is approved.
Rumbaugh said each lot is about 1,500 square feet or a third of an acre.
Ryan Homes has been selected to build the two-story homes that would be situated in three cul-de-sacs.
Package prices for each of the 29 lots would range from the mid- to high-$200,000s, he said.
Rumbaugh said he is eager to get approvals to proceed.
“Several people are interested in purchasing lots,” Rumbaugh said.
Other types of housing in the development include multi-family homes as well as carriage and patio homes on about 100 acres.
Rumbaugh said the unstable housing market a few years ago at times made his plan challenging.
“We've had our ups and downs,” Rumbaugh said.
The number of new homes under construction has been on the rise in the past few years with 31 in 2009, 46 in 2010 and 46 in 2011.
Assistant planning Director Jason Straley said there have been 33 home starts — 25 single-family and eight multi-family — so far this year in Plum.
Plum Council is scheduled to consider the subdivision during its meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Rumbaugh said if council approves the plan, grading of the site is expected to be completed within 30 days.
Several homes are scheduled to be completed by the spring.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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