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Use of Sewickley Twp. property disputed

| Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

North Huntingdon developer Robert W. Shuster and a neighbor near his Sewickley Township warehouse continued negotiating last week in an attempt to resolve their dispute over his use of the property along Dicks Station Road.

The Sewickley Township Zoning Hearing Board on May 28 agreed to continue two hearings pertaining to Shuster's use of the warehouse at 540 Dick's Station Road until the board's June 25 meeting. Daniel Hewitt, Sewickley Township's solicitor, said both sides want to continue negotiations to see what accommodations might be made.

Attorneys for both sides, Matthew Brungo, representing property owners Bette and Christopher Kovac of Dick's Station Road, and Henry Moore, representing Shuster, declined to comment on the negotiations.

The Kovacs appealed Sewickley zoning officer Mike Stack's decision to issue a permit to R2MC for a non-conforming use of the warehouse building on Dick's Station Road.

Shuster, in turn, appealed Stack's decision refusing to issue a permit to construct an accessory building at the site. Shuster wants the building permit to construct an accessory building as an expansion of what is already a non-conforming use of the property.

Stack said the non-conforming use of the existing building was permitted because it existed prior to the zoning ordinance.

Peter Cherellia, zoning board chairman, speculated that there might be a public hearing, even if a settlement is reached between the Kovacs and Shuster.

Charles Wade, zoning board solicitor, said that anyone opposed to a settlement that drops objections can file an appeal of any zoning officer decision.

In other matters, the board approved a request from New Cingular Wireless PCS LLC for a special exception to the zoning ordinance to build a 195-foot-tall monopole at 848 Waltz Mill Road to improve cellular phone service in the Waltz Mill Road area.

“It fills a large gap in our coverage and assists police, emergency services and fire departments,” said Stephen J. Marshall, an agent for AT&T Wireless.

The monopole would be built at the rear of Joan Hildenbrand's property in a 98-foot-by-98-foot fenced-in area.

The land is zoned for manufacturing and a communications tower is a permitted exception in an area zoned for manufacturing, Marshall said.

Access to the site will be from an existing gravel road, which will be improved, Marshall said.

A worker would visit the site once every six weeks to inspect it, Marshall said. The site will be monitored remotely for security purposes, Marshall said.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-836-5252.