Bursca property in South Fayette to be redeveloped
The public meeting to discuss the Bursca Frontgate rezoning request has been postponed until next month to give the developer a chance to meet with residents of Freedom Drive South to alleviate their concerns about the potential change to commercial zoning.
James Scalo, president of Burns & Scalo, addressed the South Fayette commissioners at their March 15 meeting to request that the public hearing be postponed.
“I am compassionate to the neighborhood,” Scalo told the board and residents in attendance.
Residents of Freedom Drive South, which abuts the property up for rezoning, have attended several of the recent commissioners meetings to raise concerns about traffic, light pollution, noise pollution and changes to neighborhood property value. Despite the cancelation of the public hearing, some residents addressed the board once again.
Susan Chambon of Freedom Drive South said her family has known Scalo for years. After telling the board about the veterans, small business owners, teachers, former commissioners, air traffic controllers and other impressive residents who have lived on Freedom Drive, she asked that their unique contributions to South Fayette be taken into account when deciding on the fate of the Bursca property.
“I just ask that when you’re rendering your decision on the zoning adjacent to our street, that you consider these special people and the contributions they’ve made to this township that we all call home,” she said to the board.
Laurie Kushner, whose Freedom Drive South home is adjacent to the Kiddie Academy, pleaded to the commissioners for ordinances that would protect residents from the lights, sounds and traffic that come with a new commercial business in the neighborhood.
“They don’t care about any of us,” she said. “Where we sleep, what we see.”
Scalo told the commissioners and residents that he has been approached by a hotel for development on the property, which would not require a rezoning. He said, however, that he doesn’t feel that a multi-story hotel is the right choice for the area. He said he has been contacted by a grocer that he feels would be a better fit for the area and less of a disturbance to current residents. This would require rezoning the property for commercial use.
“That property will be developed,” Scalo said. “We own it. We have the rights to develop it over the next few years. I’m trying to do what I think it right for South Fayette, for you on Freedom Drive and for our organization’s investment.”
Scalo invited residents of Freedom Drive South to contact him to discuss their concerns and what they feel would be right for the development of that property.
“You can’t stop progress,” Scalo said. “The key is to do it right.”
Board President Joseph Horowitz assured the residents of Freedom Drive South that the Board is listening to their concerns and, at the end of the day, they are trying to do their best to bring the right developments into the township.
“It’s a fine line that we’re trying to walk between what’s right for the township and what’s right for the residents of the township,” he said.
The public hearing to discuss the rezoning has been rescheduled to April 12 at 7 p.m.