Members of a convened Tuesday night at for the first of many meetings focused on the future of PT.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Planning Director Ed Zuk, regarding the initial meeting—part of a 14-month process.
By law, the municipality is required to update its plan every 10 years—according to the PA Municipalities Planning Code (PA MPC).
Previously, eight Steering Committee members were chosen following an interview process, as well as two appointees from township departments.
Hired consultants and township officials led the conversation Tuesday with an overview of what a comprehensive plan is; why it’s important; their current approach; the vision and goals from the current (2001) plan; a list of issues and accomplishments; a project schedule; and strategy for engaging the community—which includes utilizing Patch.
So what it is YOUR vision for Peters? That’s exactly what committee members intend to decipher and discuss.
Committee members Bill Merrell; Marie Legowik, planning commission appointee; Tony Benintend; Lucy Shoupp; Dale Griffith; Robert Lewis, council appointee; and Lisa Browell, shared their experiences and backgrounds—a true melting pot, perfect for the collaborative effort.
Members Frank Yocca, Rocco Magrino and Howard Hlwati were absent.
Merrell, a school board member and lifetime Peters Indian, said he’s happy to take part in such a “fascinating process.” As did Legowik, a former Mt. Lebanon resident who speaks five languages and has lived throughout Europe.
Benintend, also a former Mt. Lebanonite, has a background in heavy construction. Shoupp, the former vice president of , has called Peters home for 25 years and said she looks forward to giving back to the community.
Forty-two-year resident Griffith said he’s looking forward to providing an outlook, and Lewis, council president, discussed his background in general contracting and his extensive knowledge of the area’s typography.
Browell, an associate broker with Century 21 who’s lived in the township for 20 years, called her niche: she’s typically the first point of contact for prospective buyers.
So what do THEY want to see?
- A post office/zip code fix—the township has seven zip codes and the Canonsburg confusion would need remedied.
- Commerce—where can you buy a necktie in Peters?
- Not another bank or drugstore.
- Connectivity—a strengthened sense of community, whether it be via beautifying the and simply connecting it to, say, on Valley Brook Road.
- Maybe a transit service—Lewis estimated nearly a third of the community travels to Pittsburgh and back each day. (T services stop at Library and South Hills Village.)
- An upgrade to the Route 19 corridor.
- Making neighborhoods more interactive with a central place for gathering, which many already have.
- Improved traffic circulation and road access—just to name a few.
Land Use Planner Grant Shiring addressed accomplishments from the current plan drafted in 2001, one of which is happening now—the .
Shiring said the township succeeded in the building of start-up, multi-family homes, the implementation of a traffic impact fee and the completion of McMurray Towne Center—a project he said has potential for improvement.
The evolution of and the construction of the Community Recreation Center were touted as part of the triumphant efforts, too.
And, of course the renown .
A key topic at Tuesday’s meeting was rural character—how does the township keep its idyllic landscape and continue to develop?
Some important issues noted from 2001 were increased traffic congestion, loss of active farm space, the need for more pedestrian access, lack of a formalized town center, lack of commerce in the eastern part of Peters and limited amount of diverse housing.
The consultants, including representatives from Grand Rapids, MI, Baltimore, MD and Covington, KY, with the committee’s input, plan to survey residents soon.
To engage the public, a series of workshops will be held. Social media, focus groups and product designs will also bring this project to life and into residents’ homes.
It should be noted, the comprehensive plan is not a legally binding document—the ultimate goal is for it to lead to updates in the zoning code, which will lead to changes.
Questions? Contact Grant Shiring at 724-942-5005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
So how would you define Peters? What do you want to see? How does the school district come into play? Your involvement is valued. Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.