Plum zoning board approves variances for new building
A doctor wants to move his office to a medical building he is proposing to build in the Unity section of Plum.
The Plum Borough Zoning Hearing Board last week approved three variances for a proposed medical/retail building on Unity Center Road near the intersection with Old Leechburg Road.
Dr. Amer Z. Akhrass operates his practice, Prime Care Internal Medicine Associates, near the intersection of Unity Center Road and Saltsburg Road. But Akhrass wants to construct a two-story building near St. John the Baptist Catholic School with retail space on the first floor and his office on half of the second floor.
Akhrass, of Murrysville, said he rents space and has been looking to relocate about a mile away to a new building on property that he owns.
Akhrass purchased the property at 314 Unity Center Road, including a 114-year-old house, in 2011 for $120,000 from a trust, according to the Allegheny County Assessment website. The house is set to be demolished.
Joseph Khalil, an engineer with Hampton Technical Associates in Etna who presented the plan to the zoning hearing board, said a variance for building height was needed because a screen intended to cover items on the roof exceeds the borough's ordinance by five feet.
“The equipment on the roof is ugly to see from the road,” Khalil said.
Khalil also requested variances related to landscaping in the right-of-way and to the amount of the site that will be covered with concrete, such as the parking lot and sidewalks.
The building would have 68 parking spaces.
“I would like to see more pervious area for storm-water control,” board member Alan Vento told Khalil.
Khalil said the development's storm-water management plan that includes a rain garden is designed to control rainfall from a “100-year” or intense storm.
Zoning hearing board solicitor Warner Mariani said anyone who objects to the variances has 30 days to appeal the decisions to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
Khalil anticipates seeking the Plum Borough Planning Commission's site plan approval for the building at a 6:30 p.m. meeting on May 19 in council chambers at the borough building, 4575 New Texas Road.
If the commission recommends approval at the May meeting, council could consider the plan on June 9.
Khalil said if Akhrass in the next couple of months gets approvals and permits, construction could begin in a few months and take about three months to complete.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.