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Ross approves 300-home development

| Monday, March 17, 2014, 11:39 p.m.

The first phases of the largest land development in Ross in almost 30 years were approved on Monday for property that was once home to Highland Country Club.

Ross commissioners OK'd a resolution that will allow developers to begin work in the spring on a development that will include more than 300 homes.

Financial woes closed the country club in 2011, and Limerick Land Partners, a Whitehall-based partnership between developer Dan Caste and Heartland Homes, bought the land in 2012.

Developers are in the process of demolishing the clubhouse.

The 120-acre tract off Highland Avenue that held the club and an 18-hole golf course is the largest piece of undeveloped property in Ross, Caste said.

Limerick's plan proposes building as many as 167 townhouses and 134 single-family homes on the site.

Caste estimates that the 300 residences will add about $80 million to Ross' tax base each year, which planning commission member Nelson Erb said is the largest development in the township since the construction of Ross Park Mall in 1986.

“There's not too much property left to develop,” Erb said.

The commissioners initially denied a planned residential development application in April because the board believed the developer's traffic study was insufficient.

Limerick appealed the decision in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, and Judge Joseph James granted Limerick preliminary approval on Dec. 31.

At the meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved work for Phases 1 and 2 of the project, covering 58 townhouses and 18 single-family homes.

Developers plan to break ground in May and hope to complete the homes by spring 2015.

“The view will be different,” said Beth Gazica, who lives on Gass Road across from the property. “It will definitely change the dynamics of this area.”

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or kshea@tribweb.com.

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