Upper St. Clair development project moves forward
The former Consol Energy Inc. property in Upper St. Clair is moving toward redevelopment, one way or another, its owners said.
Upper St. Clair commissioners on Tuesday affirmed that the controversial project met conditions they set for a mixed-use development two years ago.
They signed off on preliminary plans for the 27-acre site at Route 19 and Fort Couch Road and set a November hearing date for the developers' backup plan, which would change the site's zoning if several challenges to zoning rules remain tied up in court.
“Two years from now, I hope to be sipping a drink on the balcony of one of the restaurants there,” said Jerry Cipriani, a partner in 1800 Washington Road Associates, which plans to redevelop the land with a Whole Foods Market, housing, restaurants and retail.
Upper St. Clair amended its zoning code in 2011 to make mixed-use development a conditional use for property zoned for special business uses, including the former Consol headquarters property.
That meant developers would have to prove they met the conditions set by the amended code for elements such as building heights and ratios of residential development to commercial development and open space, before getting the extra go-ahead from the commission.
Commissioners gave the 1800 Washington Road group that approval in a 6-0 vote on Tuesday, with Russell Del Re absent. They approved the preliminary land development plan 6-0.
Commission President Robert Orchowski said if the developers could show they met conditions for approval, the municipality couldn't legally deny it.
Residents have filed multiple challenges to the zoning amendment, alleging it wasn't passed with proper notice and that the conditions were tailored too much to benefit that specific property.
The municipal zoning hearing board dismissed one of those challenges on Aug. 28, on the grounds that it couldn't decide procedural issues and that the resident who filed the appeal, Moira Cain-Mannix, lacked standing to challenge the issues.
Another challenge that had been considered in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas now is the subject of an appeal to the state Supreme Court.
The developers, trying to prevent delays should the zoning amendment become tied up in a lengthy court case, have asked commissioners to change the zoning for the site to a new category that would contain the same conditions as the amended special business zone. A public hearing will be held Nov. 4 on the zoning change.
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.