Pine Township’s Board of Supervisors on Monday gave tentative approval for Emerald Fields, a new housing plan to be located on 276 acres along Mt. Pleasant Road.
Developer Pat Minnock of Pine Development Company said he plans to build 198 upscale single-family homes in five phases on the property, a former farm with frontage along Mt. Pleasant, Dean and Franklin roads that has been in his family for 30 years.
The name Emerald Fields refers to his family’s Irish heritage, he said. While there only are some crops there now, Minnock said cattle and horses once grazed on the property.
Minnock said the starting price for the homes would be $500,000.
Project engineer John Schleicher of Gibson Thomas Engineering Co. Inc. said construction on the first two phases of the neighborhood, which will consist of 68 homes, could begin by summer.
With the board’s tentative approval, the developer must file for final approval for each phase of the housing plan.
Construction on all five phases of the neighborhood is expected to conclude by the end of 2016.
Plans for Emerald Fields include two recreation areas, pedestrian trails and sidewalks. About 120 acres of the property will be dedicated as open space.
The development also includes street connections to the Woodland Farms and Woodland Estates housing plans.
At prior Pine Township meetings, neighbors from both neighborhoods expressed concerns over public safety, in particular fears that the new development would increase traffic in the area.
At a public hearing held Feb. 19, residents of McIntosh Drive in Woodside Estates and Pinkerton Road in Woodland Farms, the two streets proposed to join the Emerald Fields neighborhood, urged supervisors to do away with the connections, the Pine-Creek Journal reports.
Officials responded the interconnections were approved years ago as part of the plans for the Woodland Farms and Woodside Estates neighborhoods, according to the Pine-Creek Journal.
At a Feb. 11 planning commission meeting, chairman Michael Hansen also told attendees that the Township Comprehensive Plan requires interconnection for good planning practices, according to meeting minutes.
Pine Supervisor Ted Owen has since said the Woodside Estates development will not in fact be interconnected but will retain its cul-de-sac character.
Planning commission member John Lombardo also noted the Municipalities Planning Code requires Pine Township to update its comprehensive plan every ten years.
It is that plan from a decade ago that established the interconnection requirement in the neighborhoods, he said.
He added that a new comprehensive plan would be prepared in 2014.
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