Cecil eyes new residential development on Montour Trail

David Singer
Observer Reporter

Following a public hearing Monday, developers with NVR Inc. hope to have Cecil Township supervisors approve their plans within 45 days for a 104-acre subdivision with 291 townhomes or duplexes near the Montour Trail.  

NVR, the parent company of Ryan Homes and Heartland Homes, is seeking waivers, according to township manager Don Gennuso, for grading along property buffers and using Burnside Road – a local road – as a main entrance to the proposed development situated on McConnell Road.

But audience members and supervisors were most concerned with engineers’ traffic surveys of surrounding roads, including Muse-Bishop and Burnside roads.

“I see access from (those two roads) onto McConnell Road as most significant here. Those accesses are presently very dangerous and difficult to navigate,” said Supervisor Elizabeth Cowden.

“We’ve prepared a traffic study,” said Grant Shiring, with engineering firm PVE Sheffler, “and we understand that McConnell is functioning as a local road and needs work to function as a collector. As far as the two off-site intersections, we’ve done turning studies and there’s a request to install signs to prohibit turns,” which he said the developer would do.

Several audience members shouted that posted signs restricting turns or overweight vehicles would not be enough. Andrea Reamer, of Papp Road, asked if there were any plans to improve Burnside Road, to which Shiring said large trucks would be restricted from using Burnside.

The pitch from Andy Hutchinson, of NVR, is that the Montour Trail would run through the development, encouraging a community to engage with neighbors outdoors.

“Cecil has been rated as the number one place to raise a family in Pennsylvania. That’s due to several things, but mainly Southpointe and its jobs, transportation corridors, and those things should only improve,” Hutchinson said. “And the Montour Trail will be the focal point asset of this multigenerational community.”

Board Chairman Tom Casciola also asked about cul-de-sacs, saying the four proposed might pose problems for public works crews.

Shiring said in response to an audience member’s question about gas wells on the property on the northern plot of the subdivision above McConnell Road that the developer would cap the well and is in talks with the current leaseholder.

Casciola continued the hearing to 7 p.m. March 14 at the municipal building.