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Lower Burrell eyes demolitions in Kinloch

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

Lower Burrell Council hopes to demolish four deteriorating buildings in the Kinloch neighborhood.

Mayor Don Kinosz said two homes in the 300 block of Trailer Boulevard already are “in the queue” to be razed through a cost-sharing program with Westmoreland County.

Kinosz said all four homes — 305, 321 and 340 Trailer Blvd. and 1120 Hill St. — are vacant and have murky ownership status.

“They all are in very bad shape,” Kinosz said.

Several were owned by people who have died and the heirs may be willing to sign over the deeds to the city, Kinosz said. City Solicitor Steve Yakopec is researching the owners of each house.

Kinosz said it costs about $6,000 to demolish a house, with the city responsible for half the cost. Kinosz is hoping if all four houses can be razed at the same time, the contractor will give the city a better rate.

Council hopes the city's cost to demolish all four buildings will be $12,000 or less. Kinosz asked Councilman David Regoli to review the city's finances to determine from where the money could be pulled.

Kinosz suggested the city could tap the $30,000 received from the state from impact fees on Marcellus shale natural gas drilling. Yakopec cautioned there are some limits on how the impact fee money can be spent; council will need to be sure it can be spent on demolition.

If the city ends up owning the properties once the houses are razed, Kinosz said they will try to sell them as quickly as possible because council doesn't want to be involved in prolonged real estate transactions.

Kinosz is hopeful nearby property owners will be interested in the vacant land.

In other business

Council signed off on a few minor changes to the Ziccarelli Enterprises planned residential development off Craigdell Road.

Frank John Ziccarelli III on Tuesday presented council with a few tweaks to the plan called The Villas at Rabbit's Foot.

The changes included shifting the position of one of the private roads, Angel Lane, and four surrounding condominium units slightly; adding the availability of basements to a few of the condos; and changing two road names.

The city's planning commission already had approved the changes.

Construction began on the first condos in the 66-unit development in December. Ziccarelli and his brother, David Ziccarelli, hope to have a model unit ready in June.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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