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HERMITAGE City OKs plan to ease traffic flow at apartments



Published: Thu, September 27, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The city also bought an option for 69 acres of the former Chadderton Airport.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- City commissioners approved a land development plan that will allow Hermitage Hills Apartments to add 60 units.

The 198-unit complex is served by one access road (Hermitage Hills Boulevard) onto North Keel Ridge Road, and commissioners also had to grant its owner, Universal Development of Girard, Ohio, a zoning waiver to increase traffic flow.

City zoning says any more than 500 vehicle trips per day on access roads into residential developments requires the addition of a second access route for motorists.

Hermitage Hills Boulevard already has 1,188 trips per day, and the addition of 60 apartments would bring 361 more, according to city estimates.

Universal came up with a plan to help ease that congestion, suggesting that it be allowed to build an exit-only road to East State Street.

That access would be gated so that only emergency police and fire vehicles could enter it, but all motorists could use it to get out.

Objection: City commissioners approved that plan, but Jeff James of North Keel Ridge Road said he thinks the additional apartments will make traffic worse on Keel Ridge.

It's a safety and quality of life issue, James said, noting police have been unable to control speeding on the narrow road.

William Scanlon, commission president, said city police will study traffic to determine what can be done to ease residents' concerns.

Option on land: In other business, commissioners voted to take an option on 69 acres on the east side of South Hermitage Road that will become part of Gateway Commerce Park, a planned technical development.

The six-month option will cost the city $70,000 and is needed to lock in the purchase price and to make sure no one else can buy the land before the city receives the state grant that will be used to buy the property.

The purchase price is $1,741,000 and will be paid out of a $2.5 million state capital budget grant.

Hermitage will buy the land, part of the old Chadderton Airport, from FIC Associates XIX of King of Prussia, Pa.




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