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Aspinwall riverfront park plans move forward

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Organizers for the proposed Aspinwall Riverfront Park will provide more information to the borough before a land development application comes up for a vote.

Council was scheduled to vote on an application for the part of the park known as “west park” last night, Wednesday. That meeting ended past this newspaper's deadline.

The west park area is about three acres and is considered the more natural part of the park.

Though the borough planning commission approved the application unanimously late last month, Nick Scheid, a commissioner, said he had concerns. He said he worries that proposed parking at the park is inadequate.

“The planning commission is not against the park. The planning commission wants parking addressed and not verbally, physically,” Scheid said.

Susan Crookston, who led efforts to develop the park, said parking is included in the park's master plan. A total 36 spots are proposed for the west park.

That number could grow if a plan to change the entrance to the park off Freeport Road is approved. That also does not include parking that already exists for boaters who use the nearby marina who would continue to use that space.

“That is not space for the general public,” Crookston said.

Scheid, however, said parking will be tight in the area once the former PNC Bank building has a new tenant and the Fifth Third Bank on Freeport Road opens. He said he believes there is enough land at the park to have enough parking but more details should be presented.

“We don't want the park to go through and not have parking,” Scheid said.

Crookston and the team working on the park will submit information on the site to the borough before council takes a vote on the application.

She said this type of project is not one Aspinwall has seen before and she said she wants it to succeed.

“This is new and we all have to work together if we're going to have this project work,” Crookston said.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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