AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

December 20, 2012

Supes OK with housing project

Township asked to weigh in on Liberty Crossing

By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
Allied News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Township officials have put their stamp of approval on the controversial low-income housing project being planned for Grove City.

"This is a very attractive townhouse community," said Barbara Brown, township administrator and zoning officer.

Brown told the supervisors at their Tuesday night meeting that Grove City officials were looking for comments on the Liberty Crossings project from the municipalities that are part of the Wolf Creek Council of Governments, which includes Grove City and Liberty, Pine, Springfield and Wolf Creek townships.

The supervisors were being asked to consider what, if any, impacts the development on Liberty Street Extension would have on the township.

Brown said she sees only positive things coming out of the project because it will provide quality, low-income housing for the area.

The company planning the development, Partnership for Income Restricted Housing Leadership, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, in conjunction with the Housing and Neighborhood Development Service, Erie, has a great track record, she said.

"They're really nice-looking homes," said James Knight, township roadmaster and director of public works.

Gary Hartman, chairman of the board of supervisors, questioned what kind of security would be used at Liberty Crossings.

There wouldn't be any guards but security alarms and lighting are planned, Brown said.

The development wouldn't have any impact on the township's sewage system, Supervisor Richard Dillaman said.

The supervisors, including Judith Hassler, agreed they had no concerns about the project to bring to the borough's attention.

During a nearly eight-hour meeting in February with about 130 people, the Grove City Zoning Hearing Board heard from those in favor of and against Liberty Crossings, which will have 35 town houses for low-to-moderate income families on 12 acres at 900 Liberty St. Ext., according to Allied News files.

Area residents said they worried about their property values decreasing or that people from the "rougher parts of the Shenango Valley" would move in.

Traci Turner, director of the Grove City Community Food Pantry, said there are enough poor people in the immediate area who need this kind of housing.

Her clients are excited about Liberty Crossings, which will have eight units reserved for Section 8.

Others were concerned about the development's proximity to Grove City Area Middle School, which would be on one side of the property; Village Park, an upscale housing development in Pine Township, would be on the other side.

A petition with signatures from 178 residents against the project was presented to the zoning hearing board, which later signed a written opinion permitting Liberty Crossings.

The board in February approved a special exception for PIRHL to build residential, multi-family housing in an industrial zone, saying it would benefit the general health, safety and welfare of the community.

The board did restrict Liberty Crossings to no more than three dwellings per acre to prevent the development from becoming congested.

Published Dec. 8, 2012, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.