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Public hearing in Fox Chapel to focus on group home plans

Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

A company that intends to operate a home for disabled people along Fairview Road in Fox Chapel will have a public hearing April 17 to appeal for zoning approval after being previously denied.

ReMed, a Philadelphia-based company with offices along Ellsworth Avenue in Pittsburgh, will appeal a decision by zoning officer Bob Smith, who determined that ReMed did not demonstrate that the proposed use met the definition of “family,” as in the borough's zoning ordinance.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the municipal office, 401 Fox Chapel Road. The zoning board's recommendation will go to Fox Chapel Council, who will make the final decision.

“This is a quasi-judicial hearing, where testimony will be given,” manager Gary Koehler said. “The zoning board is an independent body, different than council, which is charged with making a determination on these matters.”

ReMed purchased the property for $425,000 in May 2012.

Representatives said the company plans to house eight people with disabilities at the property, 709 Fairview Road.

The people, all with brain injuries, will live together with 24-hour staffed assistance.

ReMed representatives have said that the proposed living arrangement does not pose financial or administrative burdens on the borough, and, it doesn't require any kind of alteration of the borough's ordinances, said ReMed's Director of Marketing Ann Pereria-Ogan.

ReMed will ask that the zoning board grant it accommodations in line with the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act to institute the proposed use with eight residents.

The zoning hearing board has up to 45 days after the hearing to make a decision.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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