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Aspinwall schedules public hearings on bed and breakfasts, other zoning rules

| Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Aspinwall officials will hold public hearings and consider three updates to its zoning ordinances when it meets June 11.

The first would allow bed and breakfasts in the borough's AR-3 zoning district, which stretches from Western to Brilliant avenues.

Karen Connor has expressed interest in buying a property at 111 Brilliant Ave. and opening a bed and breakfast, something residents nearby have objected to.

The ordinance would limit such facilities to five rooms. Breakfast would be the only meal allowed to be served at the site.

Parking requirements outlined in the proposal call for one space per guest room and two spaces for the primary resident. No other bed and breakfast would be permitted within 1,000 feet or on the same block, whichever is greater.

Officials also will discuss regulations for solar panels. Borough manager Melissa Lang said the borough has been working with the Congress of Neighboring Communities on the legislation.

Though the borough has not received many requests for solar panels, the group suggested communities begin to clean up their regulations as electric companies begin to offer incentives for customers to use solar energy.

“It's just kind of getting ahead of the game,” Lang said.

The ordinance outlines where and how solar panels can be installed on a property.

Council also will consider a riverfront overlay district. Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone, which includes Aspinwall, Blawnox, Sharpsburg, O'Hara, Millvale, Shaler and Etna, has been working with local communities to update its zoning ordinance for riverfront areas.

Lang said the overlay would allow for more uses in the riverfront area. Uses permitted would be residential sites and commercial uses including restaurants, retail stores no larger than 5,000 square feet, river-oriented recreational areas and professional offices.

“It's just tweaking it to make it more enterprise-zone friendly,” Lang said. “It doesn't just have to be a scrap yard or a public park.”

The hearings will begin at 7 p.m. at the borough building at 217 Commercial Ave. Officials will have the option of voting on the three ordinances after the hearing.

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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