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Oakmont Planning Commission approved developing part of the former Edgewater Steel site

| Monday, Jan. 1, 2007

Oakmont Planning Commission approved its final recommendation for Kacin Companies, developers of half of the former Edgewater Steel site, to be submitted to Oakmont Borough Council for approval.

The planning commission recommended that borough council accept modifications on lot depth and rear yard setback, but said density still needed work.

Kacin architects and commission members disagreed on site density preferences. The commission said some areas were too tight, with a large quantity of buildings crammed into small spaces. The west and north areas are consistent with the borough's mixed-use zoning ordinance, but the south and southeast areas exceed the borough's definition of an acceptable density.

The streets need to remain suburban rather than urban, said Jeff Kline, commission member.

Kacin Vice-President Bruce Corna said architects designed the project with potential buyers in mind. He said removing units would make the price of others go up.

"We've tried to work to make this a livable community," he said, referring to the off-site sports fields Kacin Companies plans to provide. "I think we've done everything we can to accommodate what you're trying to do."

The planning commission will submit its recommendations to Oakmont Council, which will then be discussed and eventually voted on at future meetings.

The planning commission asked PNC planners to consider contributing to the cost of building and maintaining the traffic light planned for Allegheny River Boulevard and Allegheny Avenue at their intersections with Hulton Road.

The traffic signals will be paid for primarily by Walgreens, which recently opened next to the site of the proposed PNC branch.

If PNC contributes, borough manager Roger Dunlap said the borough would consider waiving a traffic study requirement.

The planning commission also said it was concerned with the amount of pavement surrounding the building.

Members asked PNC planners to consider reducing the number of parking spaces.

PNC planners said the parking spaces are necessary because employees will take up as many as nine spaces, and one handicapped spot is required, leaving fewer for customers.

The planning commission said green space is essential, and a sea of asphalt is not aesthetically pleasing.

Planning commission members said the elimination of three spaces would be sufficient and will recommend it to council.

The planning commission will meet again Wednesday, Jan. 17.

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