Munsey Park residents air concerns over new house

Luke Torrance

The Munsey Park Board of Trustees spent much of their meeting Wednesday listening to residents’ concerns over whether a second home should be constructed on a lot in the village.

The lot in question is located at the northeast corner of Munsey Place and Park Avenue.

The current house on the property, owned by Timothy O’Neill and his wife Jennifer, only occupies the western part of the property. The couple has proposed to break the lot into two sections so that a home could be built on the eastern section.

“We’ve been here for 15 years, we raised our family here,” Tim O’Neill said. “We have a son in ninth grade, so we’re going to be here for awhile. It’s not going to be a flip (the house) thing.”

The second home would be uphill from the O’Neill’s home, in a wooded area that the family said is sometimes used as a hangout area for local teenagers (they said beer bottles are often found there).

The home would face Park Avenue but the driveway would connect to Munsey, a 25-degree grade that drew criticism from neighbors living adjacent to the property.

“I don’t know why we’re so focused on the driveway come up a huge hill, removing a large amount of trees that create a lot of privacy and noise reduction from Park Avenue for myself,” said Jeffery Huter, who would share a property line with the driveway for the proposed home. “It’s literally right up against my property.”

Other resident expressed concern over the stability of the hill and how many trees would be removed due to construction.

Tim O’Neill said he understood his neighbors’ worries.

“We’re interested in making sure nothing is wrong because we’re the house underneath,” O’Neill said. “We don’t want any adverse effects… we have as much to lose as any of the neighbors.”

There were a few other, non-house related items that were discussed briefly at the beginning and end of the meeting.

The board approved the repaving of sections of Hawthorne Place and Eakins Road. They also announced the holidays during which the village would be closed in 2018.

Trustee Larry Ceriello, whom Mayor Frank DeMento referred to as the “tree czar,” made a proclamation that Arbor Day will be observed throughout the village on Nov. 30. The holiday is especially important to the village, considering Munsey Park has been named Tree City, USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation since 1983.

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