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Riverfront park work to move forward following Aspinwall's OK

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Work at the west portion of Aspinwall Riverfront Park can proceed, after the borough gave preliminary approval to a land development use application.

The application covers the three-acre part of the property off Freeport Road known as “west park.”

That part of the park is slated to be the more natural part of the park.

Organizers of the park originally sought both preliminary and final approvals for their application.

However, after being told by borough solicitor Steve Korbel that final approval would require them to put up a bond to ensure required improvements at the site are completed, that request changed.

Korbel said the preliminary approval means the borough engineer would need to examine the property, to make sure necessary work was completed.

“Until we provide final approval, that part of the park could not be used but you wouldn't have to expend funds in order to secure it by a bond,” Korbel said.

Councilman Kevin Gordon, a member of the park's board of directors, said the preliminary approval was preferred because of the potential cost of the bond. That cost is based on the amount of work needed.

“I get the impression it's pretty expensive,” Gordon said.

Susan Crookston, who has led efforts to develop the park, formally asked council to withdraw the request for final approval so work on the park can continue.

The approval came with eight conditions, including requiring the park's organizers to address any issues the engineer raises. Failure to comply with conditions would void the approval, Korbel said.

Aspinwall's planning commission had unanimously approved the application, but concerns were raised earlier this month about parking availability at the site.

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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