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No-show slows progress on Sewickley Country Inn property

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Plans for the former Sewickley Country Inn property on Route 65 could be shaping up.

But developers for the project have yet to get with the borough's planning commission for a preconference meeting, borough Manager Kevin Flannery said.

The property, at 801 Ohio River Blvd., is owned by MCM Ventures, according to Allegheny County real estate records.

Officials from that company did not show for last week's planning commission meeting, despite being on the agenda.

Flannery said it was the third month a preconference meeting had been scheduled and not held.

Officials from the company could not be reached.

Flannery said his office would send a letter to MCM Ventures explaining that they will first need to have a preconference meeting before the project can move forward.

Last known publicly shared documents called for redeveloping the nearly 4 acres located at Route 65 and Boundary Street into office space and single-family homes. The homes would be located on the Thorn Street portion of the property, with office buildings near Route 65.

The property is assessed at $950,000, according to county data.

Trespassers had gained access to motel rooms and other parts of the property since the inn closed in 2009.

While the former hotel/motel complex, which included a pool, restaurant and banquet facility, was demolished in January 2013, a fight over the zoning of the land continues.

Before being the building was demolished, portions of “Jack Reacher,” starring Tom Cruise, were filmed at the property in 2011.

Resident Michael Lyons filed a lawsuit in 2010 against Sewickley Borough and the zoning hearing board to fight rezoning that would enable office space and homes to be built on the former hotel site along Ohio River Boulevard.

Lyons lost in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. Earlier this year, he appealed that decision to Commonwealth Court.

“Spot zoning” refers to singling out a parcel with a specific zoning designation that differs significantly from properties around it.

The property of the former hotel, which was built in the 1960s, is surrounded by residential property in Sewickley and office and residential property in Glen Osborne.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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