Sewickley Twp. zoning officials delay decision on variance
North Huntingdon housing developer Robert Shuster will have to wait yet another month to plead his case for a building permit to construct a garage to house two flatbed trailers adjacent to his existing warehouse in Sewickley Township.
The Sewickley Township Zoning Hearing Board intends to conduct a hearing on Aug. 27 on Shuster's appeal of Sewickley Township zoning officer Michael Stack's rejection of Shuster's request on June 25 for a building permit for his property at 540 Dicks Station Road. The request was made in the name of Shuster's company, R2MC Co.
Shuster on July 17 appealed Stack's rejection of a revised application for a building permit to construct a detached garage of 40 feet by 100 feet on the Dicks Station Road property. Stack said following the meeting that he denied the request because he believed that there were some “gray areas” that required a zoning hearing board decision.
Shuster's request to expand his warehouse – a nonconforming use in the residential area – has been opposed by some neighbors in that area. Stack also had rejected Shuster's initial application earlier this year for a building permit, in which Shuster proposed to build an attached garage at the warehouse site.
In other matters, the board postponed for a month a decision on a Murrysville developer's request for a variance to avoid constructing sidewalks in his proposed development of eight residential buildings containing 19 condominium units on a 7.8-acre parcel off Pinewood Road.
Donald Hixson, a New Stanton engineer representing Gregory Serakowski on the proposed housing development, argued that it was not feasible to build sidewalks along a 24-foot-wide road in the proposed housing development, when the 18-foot-wide Pinewood Road does not have any sidewalks. The township's ordinance requires housing developments of at least 10 units to have sidewalks within the plan.
“It's silly to put a sidewalk along this street, with no likelihood of sidewalks being on Pinewood,” Hixson said.
Hixson said the development meets the requirement for exterior lighting and does not need a street light because each unit will have an outdoor lamp.
A road running through the housing development will end in a cul de sac, Hixson said. The developer plans to build the road to township specifications and expects the township will adopt the road and maintain it, Hixson said.
Serakowski plans to build units that will sell for about $200,000 and be marketed to people whose children have grown and left their family home, Hixson said. A homeowners' association will own the land and be responsible for exterior maintenance, while residents will own their units, Hixson said.
The developer purchased the land in April for $88,000 from the estate of Dorothy J. Fiume, under the name of Bell Rock Development LLC of Murrysville, according to documents in the Westmoreland County Recorder of Deeds.
Several residents living near the site objected to the proposed housing development, raising the concern that stormwater runoff from the site will increase the possibility of flooding along Pinewood Road.
One neighbor, John Sebbens of Skyview Drive, predicted that the new housing development will result in more flooding in the area. Sebbens urged the board to reject any request for a variance and force Serakowski to build the housing development “to the letter of the law.”
“The drainage on Pinewood is so bad, I can't see nothing but bad things happening at the bottom of that hillside,” Sebbens said.
Hixson said, however, that the Westmoreland County Conservation District is reviewing the stormwater management plan. The township's ordinance requires that the water flowing from the development is released at a rate less than the current flow. The development plans call for two stormwater retention ponds, he said.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-836-5252.
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.
- Hackers’ new Dyre malware infects W.Pa. computers, vexes FBI cyber agents
- Oakland man pleads guilty to smuggling drugs from Mexico
- Fingerprint expert says defendant’s prints were on cyanide bottle
- Foundations’ deal to buy August Wilson Center could be in jeopardy
- Attorney General Kane injured in auto accident
- Veteran LB Harrison: Steelers must play to way defense is set up
- Pirates likely to seek pitcher, catcher when free agency starts
- 5 Cal U football players arrested for assault; Saturday’s game canceled
- Space tourism rocket explodes, killing one person aboard
- Economy woman sentenced to 15 months for Medicare fraud
- Butler County man sentenced to 9 years for child pornography