Discovery of wetland areas alters
Clarion housing plans
By Heather Leskanic
The Derrick and News Herald
CLARION - The discovery of several wetland areas at the
site of a proposed new student housing complex in Clarion
Township has forced developers to adjust their plans.
But a top official says the changes will actually improve
the overall project that has the potential to provide
housing to more than 600 Clarion University students.
Kevin Abbott, vice president of National Development
of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, told members of the Clarion
County Planning Commission this week that engineers are
working closely with the DEP and Army Corps of Engineers.
The company received county approval in May for the project,
which has been estimated at $25 to $30 million.
Abbott said engineers have decided to reposition the
proposed Diane L. Reinhard Villages complex - which features
four upscale, village-type units - closer to Magnolia
Boulevard and avoid the wetlands altogether.
"We will preserve and enhance the wetlands,'' he
He said the complex will still offer 656 beds, but there
will be a total of 27 buildings instead of 29.
"We don't think they're significant" changes,
Officials plan to proceed with work on the units that
have not been affected by the changes.
Abbott said engineers are required to submit revisions
for the project's erosion and sedimentation plan to the
In addition to the three wetland areas, there is a small
stream on the property that was reported by the Army Corps
of Engineers, he said.
Abbott said the stream is a creation of some of the earlier
work that was done on the property that was formerly known
as Magnolia Estates off Route 66.
The changes will actually benefit the community, the
development, and "clearly the neighbors within the
area,'' he said.
It is also an improvement from a safety and security
standpoint, he said.
The university's biology department is now getting involved,
"We're making it a study area now,'' he said.
The developmental impact on the property will be reduced
by about eight to 10 acres, according to Abbott.
University officials have said the plan aims to keep
the local university competitive with the needs of today's