Plan for bigger Oakmont Bakery advances with 2 council votes
Plans for a new Oakmont Bakery at Third Street and Hulton Road, by Riverview High School, cleared two hurdles on Monday night.
Borough council unanimously approved subdivision/lot consolidation plans, and voted 6-1 in favor of a preliminary site plan.
Councilman Thomas Whalen opposed the site plan because of traffic concerns.
“It will just make traffic chaos,” he said. “It adds to chaos in the mornings and evenings. The traffic study is inadequate.”
David Ivanek of Bankson Engineers, consulting firm for the bakery project, assured council that plans follow all recommendations of the study including adding a second entrance and egress off Hulton Road that are right turn in and right turn out.
Ivanek also noted the borough's planning commission recommended approval of both plans.
Councilman Tim Favo said bakery officials adjusted their original plans to comply with all borough zoning laws.
“It should be a positive for our community,” he said.
Council President Thomas Briney likened the plans to the nearby Walgreens, and said he doesn't see many problems with the location if the business can properly mitigate increased traffic flow.
“It's one of the most prominent sites in the town,” Briney said.
Owner Marc Serrao and his family opened the bakery in 1988. Its current location at 531 Allegheny Ave. features a retail space and a separate production building next door.
The move will put both operations and a warehouse under one roof — specifically, at the site of the former ATA Oakmont Martial Arts and Kelsey's Dance & Fitness, along with the La Tanning business, along Third Street near Hulton Road.
La Tanning still is in the process of relocating. The other two shops are gone.
Plans include demolishing that building and starting new construction that will provide the bakery with more parking and a larger seating area, and an opportunity to provide more jobs. Desmone Architects of Lawrenceville designed the new bakery.
“Our goal with the owner has been to have a highly efficient place to reach the Oakmont area and beyond,” said associate and senior architect Terry Oden. “The Oakmont Bakery is kind of iconic, highly recognized in the area. It really represents the community and is a very identifiable component. We envision this having an outdoor café porch that visitors can use; the main retail area as a great hall that's almost double the (current) space (with a) contemporary industrial flavor.”
The project still requires other approvals, such as a highway occupancy permit from PennDOT and sewer erosion and sedimentation control approval from the Allegheny County Conservation District.
Ivanek said they can move “full steam ahead with final designs” now that council gave its preliminary approval. He said it would be a few months before they had everything in place to come back to the borough for final site plan approval. Construction is expected to begin some time next year.