Approval of Upper St. Clair redevelopment challenged
A neighbor of the former Consol Energy headquarters in Upper St. Clair is again challenging the redevelopment of the site, claiming that the township violated its own rules to allow the mix of offices, retail and houses being considered.
Moira Cain-Mannix, a resident of the Springfields development south of the former Consol property at Route 19 and Fort Couch Road, wants the township's zoning hearing board to overturn the commissioners' decision to allow mixed-use development on the 28-acre plot, which has a “special business” zoning.
Cain-Mannix referred questions to her attorney, Tom Ayoob, who did not respond to requests for comment.
In October 2011, a 4-2-1 vote by the commissioners made mixed-use development a possibility within special business zones under a set of specific conditions pertaining to lot size, setbacks and planning — conditions Cain-Mannix's challenge said could only be met by one property: the former Consol site.
Therefore, she argued, the township's decision constituted “spot zoning”: a zoning change that benefits a single property or owner, which is a process the courts often consider illegal.
Owners Hal Kestler and Jerry Cipriani plan to redevelop the site as Siena at St. Clair, with a two-story shopping and office center along the hillside where Consol's office building once stood, a Whole Foods grocery store with underground parking along Route 19, and a mix of townhouses and patio homes off Fort Couch Road at the rear of the property.
Cain-Mannix and another neighbor, Jarrod Shaw, filed a similar challenge in late 2011, claiming that the township effectively changed the property's zoning without following proper procedures. The zoning hearing board said it lacked jurisdiction and a Common Pleas Court judge dismissed the case in July.
The zoning hearing board has scheduled a public hearing for 8 p.m. April 24 in the Community and Recreation Center off Mayview Road, rather than the commissioners' chambers. Previous meetings on the project drew so much attention from neighbors concerned about traffic, crime and big-box development that the crowds were too large for the commissioners' chambers.
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or email@example.com.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Developer adds Ross board to lawsuit
- CVS expansion could spell end for Upper St. Clair shops
- North Hills High School planetarium converted to digital theater
- ‘Chloe’s Law’ educates would-be parents about Down Syndrome
- Bethel Park deals with ‘sticker shock’
- Multisite churches becoming more common across Allegheny County
- Fitness festival, blood drive scheduled to benefit Montour graduate