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Building planned for turnpike land near Irwin exit

Joe Napsha
| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 12:12 a.m.

A roofing and siding contractor wants to install a modular sales office along Route 30 near the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange in North Huntingdon, but township officials expressed concerns about how such a building would look along the busy highway.

The North Huntingdon Township Planning Commission last week recommended approval of the plans from George Rain, owner of Rain Remodeling & Restoration Inc. of Hempfield, to place a temporary office building on the 1.25-acre site at the intersection of Arona Road and Route 30. The site plan is being developed under the business name of Uncommon Favor Inc., which has the same Highland Avenue business address as Rain Remodeling.

Robert DeGlau, a surveyor for Rain, told the planning commission his client wants to install a 12-foot-by-50-foot modular building on the site because the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which owns the land, is offering a lease of no more than six or seven years. The modular office building, which would be anchored to a concrete pad, would serve as a sales office for the remodeling business, Deglau said.

Commission member Tom Kerber asked DeGlau to encourage Rain to “dress it up so it doesn't look like a trailer.”

“We don't want to be shocked,” Kerber said.

Rain was not at the meeting to answer questions about the type of building he wants to install at the site, which once was home to the Writings on the Wall art gallery.

DeGlau said he believed Rain would want to make the modular building look nice because it will be a sales office, but “it won't look like a Taj Mahal,” DeGlau said.

“It will look more like a nice (construction) job trailer,” DeGlau said.

That prompted Virginia Stump, planning commission member, to ask, “is that something we want along Route 30 — a job trailer?”

The township's zoning ordinance does not prohibit buildings with metal facades along Route 30, said Andrew Blenko, township planning director.

The turnpike commission had purchased the property for proposed modifications to the Irwin interchange, said Andrew Blenko, township planning director. The turnpike commission announced plans four years ago that it intends to replace and expand the 10-mile stretch of the turnpike between Irwin and Monroeville.

Township commissioners will have the final decision.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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