The ongoing mediation regarding the Majestic Hills housing plan continues without a resolution.
The goal of the mediation is to settle the lawsuits that were filed after landslides in North Strabane Township damaged property and triggered an evacuation of three houses.
The mediation sessions have been attended by the Township Solicitor Gary Sweat, Babst Calland an attorney, and the court-appointed mediator. According to Sweat, there was no “real change” as a result of the mediation sessions and no legal settlement was reached. He further elaborated stating that “No numbers were really discussed. I think the legal positions of the parties were the items that mainly concerned the mediator.”
The mediation was initially scheduled regarding the federal lawsuit filed by NVR, Inc., which was a building company in northern Virginia that is publicly known as Ryan Homes. The lawsuit was originally filed against Majestic Hills LLC and its parent company, as well as Joseph DeNardo and his wife Shari who are residents of Peters Township.
Because there was such a risk associated with the slides, the township declared a state of emergency and condemned three of the homes in the neighborhood. These houses were later demolished.
DeNardo and his wife were named in the lawsuit because in 2004 they’d promised to develop 170 lots and sell them to NVR. That company would then construct the houses. NVR filed the lawsuit against DeNardo and the others claiming the firms involved in the developing of the property caused the landslides. The lawsuit sought to hold those parties accountable for the damages that occurred as a result. There were later additional lawsuits filed by others affected by the slides – including homeowners, others from the neighborhood, the township, and its municipal authority.