ShareThis Page

N. Huntingdon road near Wal-Mart remains private — for now

| Thursday, June 20, 2013, 3:36 a.m.

A road that loops around the North Huntingdon Township Wal-Mart will remain private for now.

At a meeting that at times was stormy on Wednesday, the board of commissioners voted 3-3 to table acceptance of Ronda Court as a public roadway, then 3-3 to accept it.

On the first vote, board president Lee D. Moffatt joined board vice president Zachary Haigis and Commissioner Brian West in favoring a delay.

On the second, Commissioners David Herold, Anthony Martino and Donald Austin favored dedicating Ronda Court to the township rolls.

Absent was Commissioner Richard Gray.

Then, after an extensive discussion involving two developers and an attorney for a third, the board voted 6-0 to advertise it for possible action again in July.

Developers Robert W. Shuster and Donald Tarosky said the delay will affect decisions by national firms looking at other properties between the Wal-Mart and Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange.

“We all want the road to be public, because it is being used by the public,” said Tarosky, from Lincoln Hills Realty Associates. “If it is public, then we are not subject to PennDOT regulations requiring us to do off-site improvements.”

That would include spending $500,000 to put a traffic light at Barnes Lake Road and Norwin Avenue, an intersection a short distance from where Mills Drive intersects with Barnes Lake. Mills Drive in turn runs into Ronda Court, forming a boundary for seven outparcels that DeBartolo Development is selling for its Huntingdon Marketplace shopping center anchored by the year-old Wal-Mart Supercenter.

The commissioners later authorized applying to PennDOT for traffic signals there and at Barnes Lake and Caruthers Lane.

“If you don't open up Ronda Court and Mills Drive, you won't have any development,” said Shuster, whose RWS Development owns a 14.4-acre tract adjacent to Ronda Court.

DeBartolo Development attorney William R. Sittig Jr. is concerned about what would happen to his client's plans.

“We would prefer concurrent acceptance of Mills Drive, too,” Sittig told the commissioners.

“We are here to accommodate you,” Sittig said, but added that “DeBartolo Development (has) been playing nice with people with hands in their pockets.”

Shuster said delays in accepting Ronda Court were a reason why Albensi Dental pulled out of plans for an 18,000-square-foot building in the nearby Lincoln Hills business park.

Shuster said some national firms are looking at North Huntingdon but may not wait 30 days. He said one firm wants to build a 70,000-square-foot building and bring in 600 employees, another a 35,000-square-foot building and bring in 100 employees.

Lincoln Hills developer Tarosky said DeBartolo's attorney cooperates with other developers, but with conditions.

“We've always had an open discussion with Mr. Sittig,” Tarosky said. “Those discussions will continue.”

“I don't care what DeBartolo says,” Shuster told the commissioners. “They're from Florida and they don't give a damn about North Huntingdon.”

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.