West View municipal authority likely will appeal decision against clean-fill plan
By Tory N. Parrish
Published: Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 9:29 p.m.
A water authority likely will go to court to appeal Franklin Park's denial of its application to build a five-acre “clean-fill” site used to deposit excavated dirt, the authority's solicitor said on Thursday.
“Certainly, we think the conclusion was unfair,” said Fred Baxter, solicitor for the Municipal Authority of the Borough of West View, referring to Franklin Park Council's vote late Wednesday against the project.
Council voted 5-1, with Richard H. Hartman opposed, to deny the authority's conditional-use application to establish a clean-fill site on part of a 25-acre tract the authority owns on West View Lane, near its reservoir in Franklin Park. Officials denied the land development application for the project, too.
The authority's application couldn't meet the nine conditions required for a conditional-use permit, Franklin Park solicitor Max Junker said.
Some Franklin Park and McCandless residents had expressed concerns about noise from dump trucks, disturbances from lights, contaminates that could seep into well water and a potential decline in home values.
“It wasn't just aesthetic. It was a health issue, as well,” said Barbara K. Kohl, who lives within walking distance of the site.
The authority supplies water to 32 municipalities and more than 200,000 people in portions of Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties.
When the authority repairs water mains, it is prohibited from reusing excavated materials to fill holes. The clean-fill site would be used to hold excavated earth.
The Department of Environmental Protection defines clean fill as “uncontaminated, nonwater-soluble, nondecomposable inert solid material” such as soil, rock, used asphalt and brick.
The authority requested the conditional-use permit by deeming the clean-fill site an emergency service and municipal facility. A borough ordinance defines this as a structure or lot used for police, fire, ambulance, public works or other public services.
Alan Shuckrow, an attorney representing about 50 Franklin Park and McCandless residents, said the site falls under the borough's broad definition of a solid waste facility, which would not be permitted in Franklin's Park's R-2 residential zoning district.
Baxter disagrees. “Our position is the statute that controls and defines solid waste specifically excludes this material. This material is known as clean fill,” he said.
Franklin Park has 45 days to send a letter to the authority, explaining why the application was denied. When that letter is received, the authority likely will appeal the council's decision in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Baxter said.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- 4-car crash near Fox Chapel snarls Route 28 traffic
- Wuerl tells faithful all Catholics are responsible for schools
- Proposal to drill in West Deer and Frazer draws comments from both sides
- Democrats consider Pittsburgh for 2016 national convention
- Landmark former school in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to incubate startups
- Post 9/11 veterans lend skills to community leadership course
- Trial begins in Steelers stabbing
- Newsmaker: Leah Pileggi
- Garden project unites Homewood through self-sufficiency, veggies
- Work on tournament-class dek hockey rink in Bloomfield to begin
- Cyber security concerns discussed in Carnegie Mellon University panel