Jackson Twp. neighborhood will pay for improvements

August 5, 2020 Cranberry Local News

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In a special meeting Wednesday, Jackson Township supervisors voted to establish a neighborhood improvement district for the Foxwood Trails development.

The Jackson Municipal Authority, as the district’s management association, will collect a $3,000 special assessment on each lot, payable upon the application for a building permit in the development. Each of the 87 proposed lots is still owned by the developer, Newman Holdings LLC.

Township manager Chris Rearick said the assessment — a one-time fee under the establishing ordinance — will be used to help pay debt service on the public water line that was expanded into the development, as well as pedestrian and bicyclist safety measures.

Other contributions to the roughly $520,000 projected expenses include pledges by the developer and the township in addition to $177,000 in reimbursements from the Pennsylvania American Water Company.

State law permits the establishment of neighborhood improvement districts to finance infrastructure improvements, such as the expansion of a water line. Once it is established, the municipality may issue bonds and make payments on the debt service through the special assessments.

The majority of the cost with relation to the district is the $360,000 water line, followed by the $140,000 in safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. An additional $16,000 comes from “administrative costs.”

The pedestrian safety measures will also “enhance the walkability and interconnectivity” to the rest of the township, according to the ordinance.

Parking restrictions

The board further approved an amendment to the township’s street-parking ordinance that Rearick says will make it easier to change in the future. Rather than being expressed through words, he said, the new ordinance allows changes to be made via a parking restrictions map.

“The ordinance was restructured to allow the board to vote on amending the map,” he said. “It essentially expedites the process to amend the map in the future.”

A significant reason the parking map may be changed in the future is due to the changing wishes of homeowners associations, which may alter where and when on-street parking is permitted.

“If an HOA (home owners association) decides they prefer year-round restrictions, they can request from the board of supervisors and the board can vote to amend the map,” he said.

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