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Developer presents revised plan for condos

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

A developer whose plan to build condominiums on a golf course has some West Mifflin residents upset will present yet another revised proposal to the planning commission.

Mark Latorre, president of Westwood & Associates LLC, wants to build condominiums on 21.8 acres that are part of the 142-acre golf course the company owns, Westwood Golf Club, at 825 Commonwealth Ave.

The development would include 73 single-family condominiums and the golf course eventually would shrink from 18 holes to nine if the proposal wins borough approval, Latorre said.

The planning commission tabled a vote to recommend whether council should approve revised plans, possibly until Jan. 2, because commissioners said they want more documentation.

The plan has gone before council and planning commission several times since 2009 because of the developer's revisions or council or commission requests for further documentation.

The planning commission recommended in June 2011 that council grant conditional approval, but council wanted a public hearing. The hearing never occurred because the developer wanted to make design changes, said Walter “Butch” Anthony, West Mifflin's community development director.

Residents who live along or near Commonwealth Avenue objected to the proposal, citing the potential effect on traffic and the possibility homes might become government-subsidized housing should the developer be unable to sell them.

“That is my concern,” said Blaise Horgas, who lives on Commonwealth Avenue.

Some planning commission members expressed doubt about demand for the two- and three-bedroom homes, which, according to Latorre, would range in price from $200,000 to $220,000.

Latorre said he expects to sell the homes in phases over a 10-year period.

The developer's latest revision modifies the stormwater management plan to eliminate stormwater runoff toward Castle Drive, which concerned some residents, and eliminates several interior roads, said John Cenkner, of Cenkner Engineering Inc., the firm in Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, that is working on the project.

The revised plan would include 14 four-unit buildings, one three-unit building and seven two-unit buildings.

Among the additional documentation the commission requested are a new geotechnical report based on the revisions, because deep coal mining took place on the property, and updated drawings.

The commission also asked Latorre to comply with recommendations from the borough's engineer, Ray Antonelli Jr. of Coraopolis-based NIRA Consulting Engineers Inc., which included documentation showing the amounts of planned open and recreational space and details for emergency road access.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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