TOWNSHIP OF NORTH HUNTINGDON, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PUBLIC HEARING, WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 2010, 6:00 P.M.
11279 Center Highway, North Huntingdon, PA 15642
Presiding Officer – Lee D. Moffatt, President, Board of Commissioners
CALL TO ORDER
Mr. Moffatt called the meeting to order at 6:00 P.M.
Commissioner Herold Present Also Present:
Commissioner Haigis Present John M. Shepherd
Commissioner West Present Craig Alexander
Commissioner Gray Absent (Arrived 6:05 PM) Michael M. Turley
Commissioner Martino Present Andy Blenko
Commissioner Austin Present
Commissioner Moffatt Present
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Solicitor Alexander stated the purpose of the Public Hearing is to consider public comment with
respect to the following proposed zoning ordinance amendment. First, the use table in the C-1A
zoning district has been revised by deleting and adding various uses. Second, consideration of a
zoning map amendment for property identified as a segment of Parcel No. 54-12-00-0-0109
consisting of approximately 14 acres, from the current zoning district of R-1A to the proposed
zoning district of C-1A. The property is currently owned by Lincoln Hills Realty Associates.
Mr. Blenko said except for micro-breweries, C-1A and C-1 zoning districts are identical. When
the Zoning Ordinance was done in 1991, the use table which sets forth which uses are permitted,
special exception, conditional uses or prohibited uses, was identical for both uses. The Planning
Commission has been considering how to provide for a Business Park use in the Zoning
Ordinance. The C-1A zoning is good for a Business Park. The Planning Commission reviewed
the table and recommends changes to improve the C-1A district. The Zoning Ordinance
provides for the following four districts: 1) C is a neighborhood business district such as a
bakery, newsstand, convenience store or coffee shop. 2) C-1 district provides locations for
facilities for all residents generally located along highways. 3) C-1A Commercial provides for hi-
rise apartments and office buildings that are adjacent to other commercial districts. 4) C-2
Limited Commercial provides for district in the Township to act as commercial and to act as a
transition zone between C-1 and residential districts. C-2 provided for commercial uses where
they shouldn’t be. These districts are in addition to Industrial and PEDD-1 & 2. C-1 should be
the main commercial district located along major roads, C should be for smaller businesses and
C-1A is for higher commercial buildings both commercial and residential. C-1A district is similar
to Penn Center in Wilkins Township where there is retail, hi-rise apartments and office buildings.
There are proposed changes to the Use Table for C-1A zoning district and they are trying to
removes some uses that may be offensive such as trucking terminals, mobile home parks,
July 21, 2010
businesses that would generate trucks, lumber yards, large retail uses, clubs and industrial use that
would generate emissions. It would allow small retail and department stores less than 15,000 sq.
ft. and office buildings up to eight stories high. There are 20 parcels in the Township zoned C-
1A. One is located at border of North Versailles, one is Elizabeth-Hata International which
would be a non-conforming use. The area where Shorkey Suzuki and the mobile home park
would be non-conforming uses. The area on Norwin Avenue which includes Busy Beaver, Shoe
Store, Jiffy Lube, Sherwin Williams and an Auto Parts Store would all be non-conforming uses.
Lincoln Hills Realty wants Phase 8 of Lincoln Hills rezoned. The area around the Holiday Inn
Express is zoned C-1A. The proposed area to be rezoned is R-1A now and is between the
Holiday Inn Express and the Legends Plan. Mr. Shuster had presented a concept plan for that
area and if that area is rezoned, it will be for anything else that may come in. The Planning
Commission said at that intersection of the Turnpike, it should be rezoned commercial.
Bob Shuster, Lincoln Hills Realty: When they acquired that property, they were going to put
homes in, but it was too close to the turnpike. They were going to put in hi-rise apartments, but
that was not good for the area behind. The front of the property is commercial and they wanted
to rezone the front portion to C-1A and put in a business park. He feels they can put in office
buildings, small restaurants, hair salons, barber shops easily. He has put multi-family buildings
against the C-1A because it is walking distance to the shops. Phase 7 is up against this are and
they are single family homes. There is a buffer there with many trees at the Legends Plan and a
detention pond. There is also a wetlands area they can’t develop. He plans on putting buildings
in that have nice roof lines and look more like residential homes. People have contacted him that
want to put in banks and hotels. He looked at the zoning changes and has a question on one
item. The best way to approach this is to re-write the C-1A district. He has 320 homes in
Lincoln Hills Plan and he doesn’t want anyone saying he is decreasing the value of their property.
Wal-Mart will be in walking distance from Lincoln Hills and they are happy with that. There will
a lot of tax revenue from Wal-Mart.
Mr. Moffatt asked where the detention pond was located.
Mr. Shuster said it is in the area of the wetlands and you can’t get close to that area.
Mr. Alexander asked for public input on the Text Amendment only.
Tom Kohut, 1021 Augusta Circle: He is next to the detention pond. In reading the text, they
have removed some of the objectionable items, but Hi-Rise is still in there and eight stories are
very high. When they wanted to put in a Sheraton Hotel years ago, it wasn’t allowed because it
was over three stories. Clubs are allowed but where do gentleman clubs and adult bookstores fall
in. He doesn’t understand why you have zoning laws if you can just slice them up to fit to suit
Donald Tarosky, Attorney, 8954 Hill Drive: He is there on behalf of Colony Development
Company which is the owner of land where Busy Beaver is built. If the change goes through,
Busy Beaver will be non-conforming use on property which has always been conforming use.
This will have adverse affects on the loss of a tenant and would like it zoned C-1 only.
July 21, 2010
Mr. Alexander asked for public input on the Lincoln Hills rezoning.
Tom Kohut, 1021 Augusta Circle: He has been in the Legends since 2001 and he moved there
because there were only woods behind him and it was zoned residential. Mr. Shuster wants to
build homes and that what he should do. After he bought that property, he said he couldn’t put
homes there. When the zoning law is changed, the property value will go up and his own
property value will go down. He was told he won’t be seeing any buildings because the Holiday
Inn sits lower and you can see over the top of it. They have been moving dirt for the Wal-Mart
and have been dumping the dirt behind his house. He showed pictures of this to the Board.
They are still dumping it and the dirt is at least 12 ft. high. He wanted a 200-ft. buffer zone but
Mr. Shuster said they would leave 50-ft. but he cut all the tress down to the property line. You
can do that in Residential but not for Industrial. The buffer zone left lies in the detention pond.
They have a noise issue to deal with trucks backing up. He doesn’t feel they need another Dollar
Store in the Township. If they are running out of ground, they should use some of the buildings
that are shut down. He doesn’t think they should change the laws for the convenience of one
person. If the Zoning is changed now, when a new Board comes, the Zoning could be changed
Mr. Alexander said the pictures will be marked as Exhibit #1 and #2.
Mark Tulenko, 1020 Augusta Circle: He is across from the detention pond and his house faces
the mound of dirt. Last year when they talked about putting in a three story building which is the
same height as the Holiday Inn. He doesn’t know who allowed the dirt to be moved in, but is
not sure if it is safe for the large buildings. You buy a piece of property and then decide you can’t
build homes on it. The Turnpike has always been there. The land was Residential and he doesn’t
know what changed. Mr. Shuster originally was going to put homes in and now he can’t.
Phil Rendin, 1030 Augusta Circle: He is directly across from the detention pond. He was the
Assistant Special Agent in charge of the F.B.I. and he was transferred to Pittsburgh and bought a
$500,000 home. With an eight story building going in, he wouldn’t have bought the home. This
area is on top of the Legends. Mr. Shuster is a gentleman and a pillar in the community, but you
wouldn’t want to live in a $500,000 home with an eight story building in front. He would like to
see what is planned for a buffer between that building and his house. He asked if it was a
business building or an apartment building.
Mr. Shuster said if it is not rezoned, it will be an apartment building. He never said it would be
an eight story building and would not go over three stories.
Mr. Rendin said he had been in the F.B.I. for 32 years and apartment buildings can cause
problems and those buildings are right in front of his house.
Mr. Alexander closed the public comment for the hearing.
Mr. Moffatt said one of the biggest issues is the eight story building and could that be lowered.
July 21, 2010
Mr. Blenko said even though the Zoning Ordinance provides for eight story buildings, none have
been built. It could be lowered and then the only district a hi-rise could be built in would be the
C-1 district. In an R-1A district, it can only be two stories high.
Mr. West asked if that could be a conditional use and stipulate how high it could be based on an
applicant. If a high rise was going in that would control what was going in to it.
Mr. Blenko said that could be done and it would give input on how it would look. You would be
able to look at the site and see what you could do by way of buffers.
Mr. Moffatt said that is like in Monroeville with the Jonnet Building, which doesn’t fit there.
Mr. Blenko said as long as the land is available, they will build out rather than up.
Mr. Martino said as far as public safety, he would rather it go out than up because there aren’t
many fire trucks that can go up eight stories.
Mr. Blenko said when first discussed a year ago, the topography has changed with fill that was
Mr. Herold asked if the mound of dirt was going to be permanent.
Mr. Blenko said that is material from DeBartolo to make it better for the building, but he doesn’t
know how much it has come up.
Mr. Tulenko asked Mr. Blenko if he had visited the site to see how high it had risen.
Mr. Blenko said he doesn’t know how high it was before.
Mr. Moffatt said he was there today and it was level with the detention pond. He drove up
Augusta Circle and could see that fill was put in. He asked if the Planning Commission was
concerned with the height.
Mr. Blenko said the issue was with the use more than the height but that can be changed. There
is about 18-ft. to the detention pond that was filled in. He showed the view of the area from the
Holiday Inn to the Legends.
Mr. Tarosky said he has been involved in the grading plan and the final elevation is 22 ft. above
where it was originally. Mr. Shuster doesn’t have a problem with a three story restriction and that
anything taller would be a conditional use.
Mr. Blenko said someone was concerned about clubs and they are not permitted under the
changes. The other item of concern is the buffering. There could be an option in revising the
C-1A district to provide for buffering around the perimeter. That could be added where it abuts
the residential district and could be added to the building height. Under the existing Ordinance
the rear yard buffering is 20-ft.
July 21, 2010
Mr. Moffatt asked what the side yard was.
Mr. Blenko said the side yard in an R-1A district is 20-ft and the front yard is 50-ft.
Mr. Moffatt said there has to be a screen on a parking lot, but no screen for buildings.
Mr. Shepherd asked if the sided rear buffer is different if it adjoins residential rather than
Mr. Blenko said it would be in the Shopping Center Ordinance but not under C-1A.
Mr. Shepherd said that could be an additional option that the biggest concern is where it adjoins
Mr. Blenko said the Ordinance provides for Commercial or Industrial parking areas of more than
five spaces be screened in on any side abutting residential premises. It cannot be less than 10-ft.
Mr. Moffatt said it will be three stories high and over that it will be a conditional use.
Mr. Shepherd said these items are on the agenda tonight to authorize advertisement of the
Ordinances for the text amendment and the rezoning. The Board may or may not take action.
Mr. Alexander closed the public hearing.
Barbara Campbell, 1011 Augusta Circle: She asked about the clubs in the table where it is in the
Mr. Blenko said the final recommendation shows it to not be a permitted use.
Ms. Campbell asked about the definition for residential.
Mr. West said there were two commercial districts and they didn’t talk about two residential.
Mr. Blenko said it is rezoned R-1A now.
Motion: Mr. West I’ll make that motion. (7:55 P.M.)
Second: Mr. Herold
Motion Carried 7 – 0 – 0
July 21, 2010
Public Hearing Minutes of July 21, 2010 were approved by the Board of
Commissioners on .
Lee D. Moffatt, President
John M. Shepherd, Township Secretary