Consol has development plans for North Franklin lakeside property

July 9, 2014
A view of one of two North Franklin Township lakes on property owned by Consol, which plans to develop the area. - Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Consol Energy is seeking a meeting with North Franklin Township officials to discuss developing lakeside property it owns in the municipality.

The meeting has yet to be scheduled and the Southpointe-based company didn’t reveal its intentions for the acreage it owns beside two former reservoirs along Scenic Drive, township solicitor Gary Sweat said at a Tuesday supervisors’ meeting.

Sweat said he expects to hear from Consol that the company is seeking to build an upscale housing development around the lakes, a plan that was shelved by a former owner during the economic recession.

The property, once owned by Pennsylvania American Water Co., was sold to Alex Paris of Bulger, a developer who was a principal in Franklin Lakeview Estates, which was never created. Paris then sold the 1,000-acre site in 2011 for $9.1 million to CNX Land Resources Inc., one of Consol’s subsidiaries.

CNX and other companies involved in the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry have been using the water there for drilling purposes.

Sweat said Consol would need to work with the local municipal authority for approval of sewer tap-in permits.

The property is zoned for residential and agricultural purposes. A small portion of the parcel is located in neighboring South Franklin Township.

Consol spokeswoman Kate O’Donovan said Wednesday afternoon Consol is “exploring options” for the property, that those plans remain in the early stages.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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