Middlesex planners OK housing development

January 29, 2020 Cranberry Living

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MIDDLESEX TWP — The township's planning commission gave final approval to the Hawkins Crest plan Tuesday night.

Hawkins Crest is a single-family residential development that would sit north of Route 228 and west of Harbison Road. It would convert 61 acres of agricultural land into 50 housing lots.

The plan, which was presented by Gary Sheffler Jr. of the engineering firm Sheffler & Company, has not changed since it received preliminary approval in December 2019.

“In reality, (it's) the same plan you had seen last month,” said Sheffler. “The plan has remained unchanged.”

Sheffler said the only thing his company and Sandy Hill Development representative Gregg Heinemann have pursued since December is securing permits and working with utility companies.

A few comments remaining in the engineer's report regarding infiltration have been discussed with the township's engineering firm Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, according to Sheffler.

In December, the plan's geo-technical assessment had been conducted, but a formal report had not been prepared. The plan needs documented confirmation that it meets stormwater requirements before it can be approved.

“I feel confident that we can work through those comments,” Sheffler said.

HRG and township engineer Jeff Mikesic said the infiltration test has been submitted for review with the geo-technical report.

“We had talked about some mitigation measures,” Mikesic said. “(We can) do some modifications to the bottoms of the basins.”

“We have no problems with the mitigation measures,” Sheffler said.

Mikesic also discussed the plan's traffic assessment. In December, Mikesic told the planning commission he felt the distribution of traffic was too heavy toward Route 228. He advised the assessment should be redrawn.

“We realize that the information at the end of the day is not going to change the overall report,” Mikesic said. “But we would like to see that updated.”

Sheffler said updating the traffic report should not be a problem.

Responding to a question from the planning commission, Sheffler added Hawkins Crest takes into account the state's Balls Bend realignment project, also known as the Route 228 corridor.

“PennDOT was gracious enough to … provide a design that we incorporated into the project,” Sheffler said.

The board unanimously granted final approval of Hawkins Crest on the condition the remaining comments on the engineer's report are addressed.

“I think we have a plan of attack,” Sheffler said.

The plan will be presented before the township board supervisors for approval.

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Samantha Beal

Samantha Beal