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Marshall rejects rezoning 4 acres

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

A developer's request for Marshall to rezone residential property to allow a large convenience store and gas station fell flat this week.

On Monday, the five Marshall supervisors voted unanimously to deny the controversial plan to rezone four acres on Wexford Bayne Road, or Route 910, from suburban residential to planned office, research and business park.

“There is going to be a dividing line between residential and commercial in various places in the township. And again, I'm not saying that a case can't be made that line should be moved, but it's not a decision that should be made on the basis of a property-by-property request for rezoning,” board Chairman Thomas Madigan said on Wednesday.

Franklin Park-based developer Fine Lines Development Services wants to acquire four parcels of property — three are owned by private homeowners and one is vacant PennDOT property — on Wexford Bayne Road.

A convenience store with up to 20,000 square feet of space and gas pumps has been planned for the site, said Fine Lines' Richard Bowen, whose wife, Susan, owns the company.

Sales of the three parcels that contain homes to Bowen Development Services are contingent upon Marshall granting rezoning and other approvals, he said.

Fine Lines is “committed to the project. We just have to see what we can do to make it work, and if it's even possible,” he said.

Some Marshall and Franklin Park residents who opposed the rezoning proposal described it as more potential commercial creep into a heavily residential area.

“It (would) create so much more traffic,” said Marshall resident Ann Bishop, 62, after the board's vote Monday.

Some residents also questioned whether the store would be a Giant Eagle Inc. brand, such as a GetGo gas station and convenience store, and said there were enough Giant Eagle properties in the area.

Giant Eagle has proposed turning a Kings Family Restaurant on VIP Drive into a GetGo, less than half a mile from the Wexford Bayne property that Fine Lines wants rezoned.

Giant Eagle at one time considered the Wexford Bayne property, but it isn't any longer, spokesman Dick Roberts said.

Fine Lines does not have contracts in place with any potential tenants for the Wexford Bayne property, Richard Bowen said.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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