Jerry Andree, Township Manager

Dan Santoro, Township Manager

Jul 19

Fact or Fiction: Township Zoning Ordinance Update

Posted on July 19, 2021 at 10:40 AM by Dan Santoro

Oh, the things you hear (or read)!

The Township is aware of a plethora of misinformation being distributed throughout the community regarding a proposed zoning ordinance update.

To be clear, the representations made in some of the initial social media posts is inaccurate and features exaggerated and fabricated statements and figures.

The Board of Supervisors has always welcomed constructive feedback on proposed initiatives, and this proposal is no different.  

Originally introduced over six months ago, the Board of Supervisors, after receiving some initial resident concerns, directed staff to work with a citizens group who hired their own professional planner to review the proposal. The Board is now considering a revised proposal that is the product of that citizen engagement, including the input and endorsement of our citizen-led Planning Advisory Committee.     

The purpose of the proposed ordinance, rooted in the recommendations of the Cranberry Plan, is to provide the community with a sustainable mix of housing options that appeal to various ages and demographics.  

The proposal provides for a housing mix that creates more choice for potential home buyers. It also offers housing options for current residents wanting to stay in the Township but seeking to upsize or downsize their homes. 

It would NOT permit “high density” developments but instead would allow for developments at the same density of existing neighborhoods like Clearbrook, Freedom Woods, The Woodlands, Bellevue Park and Park Place. The revised proposal furthers the Board of Supervisors long-time commitment to ensuring the Township continues to be one of the most desirable and healthy communities in the state for many years to come.   

The ordinance would not allow the same density found in developments such as the Meeder plan, nor will it allow commercial uses or high-density multifamily housing. 

I can only speculate as to why inaccurate information and inflammatory language is being used to drive the social media discourse. However, I do encourage you to get the facts. 

Here is a link to FAQs and other information regarding the ordinance: cranberrytownship.org/planning.

If you would like to talk with someone in person, please do not hesitate to contact me or Ron Henshaw, our Director of Planning and Community Development, at 724-776-4806 or email us through the Township website.  

The meeting at which the proposal is being considered is July 29. As always, the Board of Supervisors welcome your attendance and comments.

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Jul 07

What, Exactly, Do We Do?

Posted on July 7, 2021 at 9:36 AM by Dan Santoro

“What exactly do you do every day?”

It’s a question I’ve heard and thought a lot about each day since taking over as Township Manager.

I’ve been asked by members of the community what my days look like, how each day differs from the one before it, and what surprises I have experienced in my new role.

In the Township offices, I’ve been meeting with our staff and asking them about their day-to-day, discussing their projects, what challenges they may be facing, and how we can better serve our residents.

Ultimately, the answer to those questions is simple.

We create quality of life, and we add value for our residents.

Words like “value” and “quality” are often vague and hard to define, but you know it when you experience it.

In Cranberry Township, they represent what our residents love about living here.

People love Cranberry for many reasons, be it our pristine parks, exceptional public safety, dependable water and sewer services, or fun community-focused events. These are valuable assets that make Cranberry what it is. They are the ingredients that create “quality of life.”

And while making sure those assets continue functioning at their highest level is most certainly a day-to-day job, there’s more to it. It means not just thinking about what happens today or tomorrow, but what could happen five or 10 years down the road.

The Board of Supervisors has long believed that a clear vision is necessary in keeping Cranberry the wonderful place it has become. That includes making tough decisions and asking the hard questions and thinking about what the community will look like in the future.

And though it may not be something you think about, that’s also what our amazing Township staff does each day.

Whether it be our Communications Team finding new ways to get information to our residents, or our Planning and Development staff working with residents and businesses on future projects, progress is at the forefront. They’re able to add value and quality by thinking not just in the short-term but looking at potential future challenges.

That, in a nutshell, is what we do every day – we look out for challenges, emerging threats, and community needs and do our best to lay the groundwork for dealing with them now.

At the same time, we work to provide the highest level of service to the community each day. Events like this week’s Community Days are a prime example of staff and the community coming together to create something that’s fun, but also has a long-term impact in bettering the community.

Please keep that in mind when you call our fine Customer Service Department for assistance or attend a Parks event. They are working as hard as they can to make life better now and for years to come.

It’s a challenge and privilege they – and I – take seriously, and one we are thrilled to take on each day.

Apr 12

You’ve Got A Friend In Cranberry

Posted on April 12, 2021 at 1:47 PM by Dan Santoro

Randy Newman’s whimsical, classic song “You’ve Got A Friend In Me,” defined friendship and commitment better than anyone could say it.

Oddly, it also applies to the way Cranberry Township has operated for more than three decades:

“There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you/We stick together and see it through.”

In succeeding the incomparable Jerry Andree, I knew there would be large shoes to fill. Not only was he an amazing leader, but he was also a friend to all – especially me. His guidance and support were invaluable, and something I could never repay.

As long as I’ve been involved with the Township, I have understood the positive impact the decisions that Jerry and the Board of Supervisors made that are providing results for this and future generations. To now be more intimately involved in those decisions is humbling.  

Jerry and the Board didn’t write the lyrics, but they and the community wrote the Cranberry Plan. And the goal since its inception has been simple: stick together, see it through.

Some of these results are highlighted in our quarterly newsletter, “Cranberry Today.” If you had a chance to read the Spring 2021 issue, you know that I will continue to implement the community-created Cranberry Plan which will guide the Board’s decisions in policies and legislative agendas through 2030.  And although adopted in 2016, the Plan is regularly updated to ensure a healthy and sustainable community.

As I wrap up my first quarter as Manager, I’m pleased to report the transition has been smooth. I’m proud to say the services, programs and other offerings Cranberry residents expect continue to function at a high level, and our staff is ramping up for a busy, safe summer.

Our parks will soon be filled with residents of all ages. We plan to safely hold as many outdoor events as possible, including the Farmers Market, our concert series, and movies in the park. The Waterpark will offer an inviting way to cool off, and our Camp Cranberry will give kids a chance to socialize and enjoy the sunshine.

Obviously, things change. As we continue to monitor the pandemic, we can and will make changes as necessary to make sure we keep staff and residents safe. But for now, it’s an optimistic full steam ahead.

The same can be said for projects around the Township that will make traveling a much smoother process. The MSA Thruway tunnel beneath Route 228 should be completed in early summer, and work continues to expand Rochester and Freedom roads. A PennDOT project to resurface Route 19 will greatly improve travel on one of the busiest roads in the Township. By the end of 2021, traveling around and through Cranberry will be a much better experience.

Ultimately, that’s what the Board of Supervisors, Township staff and myself seek to accomplish each day: how do we make the experience of living, working, and playing in Cranberry Township better? While we have a solid foundation and road map for how to achieve our goals, we can’t do it without you.

My request of you is to get involved however you can. Engage with our social media accounts. Attend Board and Commission meetings. Check out our various publications, flyers, videos and other communications that aim to keep you informed.

And, most importantly, if you have any feedback, requests, concerns or just want to say hello, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

This is our community. Let’s continue to make it better, together, for the next 30 years and beyond. I’m honored and humbled to be your Township Manager, neighbor and, most importantly, friend.

Email Dan Santoro at dan.santoro@cranberrytownship.org.