South Fayette approves site plan for Top Golf, delays vote on UPMC hospital
South Fayette Township commissioners on April 19 approved the site plan for Top Golf at Newbury plan, but delayed approving a conditional use plan to permit a UPMC medical facility to anchor the mixed-use development.
More than 100 residents turned out for a lengthy public hearing about the conditional use plan during Tuesday’s voting meeting.
The nearly four-hour long public hearing, which was continued, included testimony from developer Brett Malky, president of the Newbury development, along with representatives from UPMC, which plans to build an medical facility that would sit on a 16-acre parcel along Presto Sygan Road and would include inpatient and outpatient services, an emergency room, an intensive care unit and, potentially, a helicopter pad for patient transport.
Malky said he has received letters, texts and telephone calls congratulating Newbury for reaching an agreement with Top Golf, a three-level driving range facility that would house 102 bays set up with soft couches, televisions, and food and beverage service.
“And, quite frankly, the same is true with UPMC,” said Malky. “These two complementary anchors will permit us to create a new heart of the South Hills and the Main Street all of us always wished and dreamed and hoped would be built.”
At least two dozen residents voiced their support or opposition to the proposed medical facility and Top Golf during a public comment portion of the public hearing.
Resident Kelly Smith urged commissioners to approve the conditional use plan.
“We stand here today with two amazing anchors that are unaffected by the Amazon effect … the online shopping, the online ordering and the online everything that people can do today,” Smith said. “You cannot have a Top Golf experience for your family and your children online. You cannot have emergency surgery online. These two anchors will bring something to our township that is so important because it cannot be done online. I encourage you to vote for these two anchors, which will bring economic sustainability and viability to South Fayette Township for years to come.”
Other residents said the addition of the hospital, portions of which would not be taxable, deviate from the vision of Newbury Market, and do not support a business that would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
South Fayette Township solicitor Jon Kamin said the board of commissioners needed additional information about the impact of the medical facility in order to make an informed decision, and Malky agreed to pay for the cost of a study to be completed by an independent, third-party consultant, Fourth Economy.
Kamin said the firm will complete the study within seven weeks.