774-unit Cranberry development to include 7 townhomes in ‘The Village’ – Butler Eagle

CRANBERRY TWP — The township’s Planning Advisory Commission approved revisions to a 774-unit development Monday, Oct. 30, to convert eight single-family units into “village” homes.

Planning and development services specialist Liam Darr said the concept was “something new” that the developer hoped to try in the development.

“They said they wanted to introduce it here because of the unique location,” he said.

Developer Charter Homes & Neighborhoods plans to offer the homes as part of Phase 1A of the 157-unit Crescent development, located on Coolsprings Drive.

Committee member Sharon Beck said the conceptual images reminded her of a village in England.

“I’ve been to villages that look just like that,” she said.

While Ron Henshaw, the town’s director of planning and development, assured the commission that the townhomes would not have the moss seen in the concept photos, he did raise an additional feature for review.

“It’s a workspace of choice,” he said. “Their goal is to get that person who works from home, or maybe has an art studio, or commercial use.”

Henshaw stressed that the new work spaces for the seven homes will be included at the buyer’s discretion and separated from the home.

Phase 1A of the roughly 45-acre project is under construction, and five vacancies have already been released, he said.

Phase 1A will include 16 single-family units and 141 townhomes after review, as well as a “family business” area.

“There could be a couple of restaurants, a microbrewery, a coffee shop — even a fitness center is a possibility,” Henshaw said. “These are all things that make the neighborhood stand out, things that people want to walk to and hang out in.”

A 288-unit Phase 1B was recently approved by the Board of Supervisors, including eight 36-unit apartment buildings featuring one- and two-bedroom apartments.

“The second phase will take years from now, and the third phase will be years away,” Henshaw said.

The Board of Supervisors is not expected to vote on the revised “village” homes until its meeting in December.

“This is different, this whole concept is different, and we love that,” Henshaw said. “It’s a new product, and it’s a bigger change than it already was.”

Pollinator meadow

Henshaw also said the Environmental Advisory Committee planted a “pollinator meadow” in North Boundary Park.

“When you come in and turn to the right, you can see the areas, and the grounds crew did a great job,” he said. “They didn’t just make a large piece; they made it artistically pleasing.

The project was completed in partnership with the Seneca Valley School District, FirstEnergy, the Southwest Butler County Garden Club and the Audubon Society to help protect pollinators, Henshaw said.

“The other thing it does now is our grounds crew doesn’t have to mow that area,” he said. “Less manpower to do that kind of thing, less use of tractors and mowers and that fuel-burning equipment.”

He added that the project has been under implementation for a year, and planting is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2022.

“Pollinator meadows are planted. “This rain is really what we need, and after that every year we will do another phase,” he said. “So, in the spring of 2024, we will start phase two.”

There are three more steps to go, Henshaw said, namely expanding the meadow up the hill to the west.

“It’s just one of those things to encourage and educate people about pollinator meadows,” he said. “Then it goes further, teaching them things they can do in their own yards.”

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