New Kensington, Arnold agree on handling of code, zoning matters at industrial park
New Kensington and Arnold both approved an agreement giving New Kensington complete control of code and zoning matters at Schreiber Industrial Park, which spans both cities.
New Kensington’s Redevelopment Authority bought the park for about $8 million in 2018. It stretches for more than a mile along the Allegheny River.
The city received a $4 million grant and an $8 million loan to buy the park; money remaining after the purchase is being used toward the park’s redevelopment.
More than 7,000 people once worked at the industrial park when it was home to Alcoa. It covers about 60 acres between Ninth Street in New Kensington and 16th Street in Arnold, with most of the park within New Kensington.
New Kensington hopes to make it a center for manufacturing and bring back some of the lost jobs. Efforts are under way to upgrade its facilities to make it attractive to new tenants.
The park has not yet been renamed, but that is expected down the road, New Kensington City Clerk Dennis Scarpiniti said.
Arnold Mayor Karen Peconi voted against the agreement, questioning if Arnold should give up control. She said she worries Arnold will not have any “say-so” in the park.
Arnold solicitor David Regoli said the idea behind the agreement is for uniformity, so there is just a single interpretation of code and zoning matters.
If the park fills up, Arnold will benefit, he said.
Consistency was the word Scarpiniti used. Convenience was another.
“The idea behind having one person is so we don’t have any lags in trying to get two different people to make the same decision,” he said.
In the agreement, the cities recognize it would be best for code and zoning enforcement to be done through a single code or zoning official, as having officials with both cities involved at the park could result in a duplication of efforts and inconsistent application of the law.
Coordinating services enables each city to minimize the costs of administering its code and zoning enforcement programs, the agreement states.
Under the agreement, all work will be done by either New Kensington employees or contracted licensed professionals at New Kensington’s direction.
New Kensington will be responsible for all costs associated with any inspections or interpretations of code and zoning ordinances. New Kensington will retain all fees collected for any inspections, applications, fines or any money owed as a result of code or zoning issues at the park.
Arnold will not be responsible for any damages that may result from work performed by New Kensington employees or contractors. Arnold will not be able to intercede or object to any determinations made by New Kensington relating to code and zoning issues at the park.
The agreement will stay in effect until terminated by either city, which requires one-year notice.
Arnold will not be able to revise or reverse any code and zoning decisions already made by terminating the agreement.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .