In the hope that it will ramp up sales, the townhomes in the Georgetown Square neighborhood off Freedom Road will be finished off with a new builder and a new look.
On Thursday, the Cranberry Township's Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing on revised plans for the neighborhood during its workshop meeting.
While there still will be a total of 60 duplexes, townhomes and units in the development, Ron Henshaw, director of community development, said the townhomes simply will have less brick.
“They are definitely trying to jump-start the development and get it going,” Henshaw said.
Although plans for Georgetown Square were approved in 2005, fewer than a dozen of the luxury townhomes -- which are priced from $349,900, according to a Prudential Preferred Realty site advertising the neighborhood homes for sale -- were built on the property.
Henshaw said the plans originally called for the buildings to be 60-percent brick. At the hearing he showed renderings of the new designs, which feature duplexes and triplexes with brick fronts but siding on the backs and sides of the buildings.
Dan Ryan Builders is the new contractor for the project, Henshaw said. Larry Dorsch of Kellaur Corp. in Cranberry is the developer for the neighborhood.
Several residents of Freedom Road whose homes abut the development also voiced concern at the hearing that Georgetown Square was not the right fit for the area. Freedom Road resident Dan Page said the area was better suited for a commercial development.
Another Freedom Road resident, Edith Marie Reiser, who has lived in her home for more than 80 years, was concerned the development would infringe on her property.
She said she would not let that happen, at least not in her lifetime.
“It will be over my dead body that you infringe on my property,” she said.
Supervisor Chairman John Skorupan pointed out that the township approved the neighborhood six years ago, and that it cannot be changed. He added that it’s up to the developer to decide what to build on the property.
“We don’t have the right to tell him he can’t do that, because he owns the property,” Skorupan said.
While plans for the development did show a future connection that would lead out by Raiser’s property, Henshaw said the access point was just in the plans for if and when the development is finished.
He said that at some point a traffic signal also would be added to Rolling Road, which abuts the property.
“All we are doing is planning for the future,” Henshaw said. “We call that good planning.”
Henshaw said there was no timeline for when the neighborhood would be fully developed.
The developers also gave up density bonuses, which allow more units per acre, that the township granted according to the original plans. Henshaw said the developers qualified for the bonuses because of the brick architecture and other upgraded niceties such as decorative poles and light posts, on-street parking and extensive landscaping. Henshaw said the bonuses were never used.
The township’s planning commission members already have given the revised plans their recommendation. Supervisors will vote on the revisions April 6 at their regular meeting.