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Pleasant Hills zoning change rejected

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Friday, June 21, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
 

Proponents of a Pleasant Hills senior citizen housing complex received another rebuff from the borough this week.

By a 6-1 vote at a special meeting on Tuesday, Pleasant Hills council rejected an amendment to the borough zoning ordinance proposed by A.M. Rodriguez Associates.

Councilman Gregory Smith was the lone vote for the amendment.

It was the latest setback in more than a year of efforts by Rodriguez to build a four-story, 85-unit senior living facility on 17 acres zoned for R-2 housing along Plaza Drive.

Normally such a facility would go up in R-4 zoning but previously council rejected a change in the zoning for those 17 acres.

Neighbors oppose the Rodriguez plan, fearing that it would be low-income housing and an eyesore. They recall another attempt to develop those acres for townhouses.

“It was rezoned from R-1 (single-family) to R-2 and the developer walked away,” borough Solicitor Fred C. Jug Jr. said in May 2012.

Rodriguez and its Congregate Management Services have 11 other properties including complexes in Munhall, White Oak and Duquesne.

Tuesday's special meeting was council's third in the past two weeks. On June 10, council finalized its tax rate for 2013, reducing its millage rate to from 6.607 to 5.322.

That reduction assures revenue-neutral tax income because of increased property assessments last year by Allegheny County.

In between was the regular meeting on Monday night, at which council:

• Hired summer laborers Jackson Rodeheaver at $9.23 an hour and Colton Kelly and Drake Hannon at $8.89 an hour.

• Ratified the promotion of James Smith III to Laborer B status at an hourly rate of $15.99.

• Named Karcher and Gregory Smith to the Baldwin EMS and South Hills Area Council of Governments boards and Brown and Smith to the Pleasant Hills Library board.

• Tabled at the request of Bakery Barn Warehouse its application for an addition to its facility at 111 Terence Drive.

• Approved a resolution applauding Elizabeth Equipment Services for its donation of equipment used to regrade Mowry Park Field No. 3 and make other improvements.

Old dugouts were removed and an old wall removed and hauled away.

“These efforts ... were extremely helpful in preparing the area so that public works personnel could improve the walking path and eliminate the need for two sets of steps,” the resolution stated.

Borough officials said the efforts by Elizabeth Equipment Services helped improve access to the field for residents.

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

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