Feb. 23—Hempfield supervisors approved a zoning change that could pave the way for future development at the former Valley Green Golf & Country Club site.
Supervisors on Monday unanimously approved a zoning shift from agricultural to suburban residential on 144 acres of the closed 18-hole golf course in the township. The decision came weeks after Unity supervisors made a similar change on the 116-acre section of the course in that area.
The change was requested by developer Valley Green Westmoreland LLC, a partnership between Colony Holding Cos. and Shuster Homes, which is looking to purchase the property for the development of homes. A total number of homes that could be built on the Hempfield property was not immediately available.
Don Tarosky Jr., an owner partner developer in Valley Green Westmoreland LLC, suggested during a January meeting thathomes built in Hempfield could cost between $350,000 and $400,000, at a minimum.
Patrick Karnash, director of planning and zoning, noted that the township has not received a formal application for site development of the Valley Green property.
Hempfield supervisors have been mulling a decision on rezoning of the course since January, when Tarosky presented the request to the board. At the time, supervisors tabled a vote on rezoningafter several residents, many of whom own farms in the area, expressed concerns regarding potential development.
Those concerns, which were also voiced during Monday's meeting, centered around traffic along Valley Green and Albrights Lake roads as well as concerns regarding stormwater runoff that some suggested could cause issues in growing crops.
"As a farmer, I do advocate for open land and keeping as much agricultural integrity in Hempfield Township as possible," said Supervisor Tom Logan, who phoned into the meeting. "However, I do recognize the fact that when you have infrastructure such as sewage running through that piece of property, that's where new building needs to be concentrated."
Karnash noted that any road changes or construction pertaining to stormwater runoff will go before the planning commission and the board of supervisors for approval.
"Progress and change is hard to accept," said Supervisor John Silvis, pointing to several parts of the township that have seen growth including the neighborhoods of West Point and Fort Allen, Westmoreland Mall and the Walmart property that used to be home to Greengate Mall.
"Hempfield Township is what it is because of change," he added.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .