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Penn Hills residents again appeal Vocollect rezoning

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A group of residents once again has appealed Penn Hills Council's vote to rezone Joseph D'Andrea's Vocollect property off Rodi Road.

But it is significantly smaller than the group of residents who appealed council's previous decision.

D'Andrea has been attempting to have about 10 acres of property rezoned as a blend of commercial and mixed-use, to allow for the expansion of the Vocollect business.

After determining that its November 2012 rezoning vote was procedurally defective, council voted 4-1 on July 15 to rezone the property.

One of the things that swayed council was a proposed agreement between D'Andrea and the group of residents who has appealed decisions related to the expansion dating to the 1990s.

One resident, Greg Swatchick, said the final version of the agreement was introduced 15 minutes before council's July 15 vote, and added that none of the parties involved had actually signed the agreement when it was presented to council.

At the time, Swatchick said he felt the residents were “not operating as a cohesive unit anymore, I don't think.”

The latest appeal seems to bear out that sentiment: only three of the seven residents involved in the previous appeal are named in the new appeal, filed Aug. 14 in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

Also missing is the Chatelain Corporation, whose president is area resident Rafael Velez.

Residents could not be immediately reached for comment by the press deadline for this issue.

D'Andrea's attorney, Thomas Ayoob III, did not return calls for comment about whether any residents had signed onto the agreement.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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