majestichills

Celeste Van Kirk/Observer-Reporter

This photo from November 2018 shows a section of Oakwood Drive that collapsed in the Majestic Hills plan in late October.

Two developers who hope to build housing in North Strabane Township won conditional approval, but, in separate cases, they appealed to Washington County Court on Monday a provision that they must comply with a grading and excavating ordinance the supervisors amended after they submitted their plans.

The Majestic Hills development in North Strabane was beset by landslides last year during record rainfall that resulted in four homes being vacated, three of which have been demolished.

Also last year, the supervisors amended the ordinance to require a slope stability analysis and geo-technical engineering report for significant slopes.

The ordinance does not allow grading in buffer areas.

Laurel Communities LLC of 2548 Washington Road, Upper St. Clair, and Bove Development Corp. of Venetia contend they applied before the ordinance was amended for conditional-use approval of their respective proposed developments.

Laurel hopes to construct a multifamily subdivision known as Lakeview Village on a little more than nine acres.

The complex of 88 apartments and 41 rental townhouses was proposed for the site of a former driving range off McDowell Lane. There also would be a clubhouse and rental office, according to Marty Gillespie, co-owner of Laurel Communities, and Michael Wetzel of Victor Wetzel Associates, a landscape architect and designer.

Laurel learned of the township’s conditional approval Feb. 1. According to court documents, it is willing to comply with all conditions set by the township except for the one that focuses on grading and excavating.

Bove and Lee C. McMurdy sought approval of the Forest View Conservation Development, 47 single-family homes to be located on nearly 63 acres off Locust Street.

In its first phase, Forest View would include 41 undisturbed acres, according to court documents.

Bove requested a waiver to grade within a buffer zone, which will be deeded, along with a common area, to a homeowners’ association to be established.

Jonathan Kamin and David M. Delgreco, attorneys for the developers, cited case law from 1973 and 2001 in asking the court to remove the condition to which they object.

No hearing dates have been set.

Andrew Walz, North Strabane Township manager, said Tuesday he had not yet seen the land-use appeals.

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