SF still mulling comprehensive plan

Published Apr 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm (Updated Apr 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm)

Commissioners in South Fayette approved the township’s comprehensive plan at an April 17 meeting, in spite of nearly 15 people – mostly industrial property owners – asking the board to rethink the plan’s future land use map. The vote to approve the plan was 4-1 with board Vice President Tom Sray voting against the plan. The comprehensive plan has been in the works since April 2010.

The future land use map was amended at the board’s April 10 meeting and eliminated the word “industrial” from the Millers Run Road area. From the map presented at the board’s March meeting to April 10, the wording for the area was changed from mixed commercial or industrial/residential mix area to mixed-office commercial/residential.

“It’s a substantial change to the future land use map,” said resident John Alan Kosky, who is also a member of the township’s zoning hearing board. He said the area along the Millers Run Road corridor primarily includes established industrial uses. “What changed from March 27 to April 10?” Kosky asked. “What’s the intent?”

William Brown, who owns property in the Westbridge Industrial Park, said he opposed any changes omitting the industrial area from the map. Albert Olshinsky, who also owns property in the same industrial park, said, “You’re pulling the rug out from under me. This (South Fayette Township) cannot be one big park and school district. You’ve got to have industry.”

Jim Clister, who owns Bell Containers along Millers Run Road, said if industrial is eliminated then it would limit his options if he ever wants to sell his business. “It’s too big for a pizza parlor,” he said of the property.

George Hannan, a South Fayette resident who also owns industrial property, said, “It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.” He added he pays more than $25,000 a year in property taxes.

Prior to the vote approving the plan, Commissioner Joe Horowitz said, “We’re not changing zoning.” He said he would be opposed to any rezoning of the industrial property and added that the map and comprehensive plan is a “long-term plan for growth.”

Landowner Terry Kuhn said it was “premature for the board to vote on the comprehensive plan.”

Township solicitor Jonathan Arminas stressed that the comprehensive plan doesn’t change zoning in any way. “Zoning is not going to change. Zoning districts are not going to be affected,” he said.

Resident Judy Krisovenski said after the meeting that she was “totally disappointed” the board approved the comprehensive plan. “This is a back door approach to a property owner’s rights. By changing the word, it changes the meaning” she said.

After the meeting, Commissioner Tom Sray, who cast the lone vote against the comprehensive plan, said, “Even though it won’t change the zoning,” the industrial portion should have been left on the map.

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