New Italian restaurant coming to Peters Twp.

Published May 14, 2013 at 8:58 am (Updated May 14, 2013 at 8:58 am)

Council Members in Peters Township on May 13 unanimously approved a conditional use application filed by Fiorentino Moscatello for a new Italian restaurant to be located at 3801 Washington Road, at the site of the former Parkvale Bank.

Moscatello currently owns Fiore’s Pizza off of West Liberty Avenue in the South Hills.

Silvestri said during a public hearing on the matter prior to the vote that sit-down restaurants are permitted as a conditional use in the C-4 transitional commercial zoning district, which is what the site is currently zoned. Township planning director Ed Zuk outlined several conditions that must be met by the developer, including a six-foot high privacy fence along the portion of the property that abuts the residential portion and to beef up the tree buffer along that same area.

Another condition that must be met is to remove the pole sign and replace it with a monument sign, relocate the Dumpster away from the residential property line and screen it. Also, Zuk said the hours of operation must be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

Richard Hamil, the architect for the project said the applicant has addressed everything required, including the buffer, privacy fence and monument sign. “It will be more in tune to what you see in Peters Township along the Donaldson’s Crossroads border,” Hamil said.

He said two of the former bank’s drive-thru lanes will be enclosed, but the existing roof structure will remain. He explained the restaurant as a low-turnover sit-down restaurant and that there will be no bar in the eatery. Hamil said no additional paved surface will be needed for parking. The establishment will fit no more than 100 people at a time, including workers.

Moscatello described the restaurant as an Italian restaurant with pizza, pasta and salads. He has been at his other location for 33 years.

Prior to the vote approving the conditional use application, Brian Sepelak, who lives on Pleasant Avenue in a house just behind the former bank, presented a petition with 16 signatures of nearby residents opposing the development of the restaurant.

Sepelak cited concerns over lighting and traffic as reasons he and some of his neighbors are against allowing the restaurant as a conditional use. He added that the existing buffer zone of 18 feet is not in compliance with the 25-foot buffer zone now required by the township. Township officials said the 18-foot buffer zone was grandfathered in because when the bank was developed, the township required a minimum of a 15-foot buffer.

Sepelak said the restaurant will “add additional traffic in the evening that’s not normally there.” He also proposed that township officials eliminate the entrance to the restaurant off of Pleasant Drive and just have folks enter off of Route 19. Sepelak was also concerned about noise that could come from the starting of cars and motorcycles later in the evening. “It’s definitely going to make more noise and be disruptive to the neighborhood,” he said, adding that the fence would not make much difference in controlling noise and light.

Zuk said that in 13 years he has never received a complaint from residents about lighting coming from the bank property.

Councilman David Berquist added that as far as traffic is concerned, 80 percent of the time the traffic residents worry about never happens. “That’s our experience,” he said.

Sepelak replied, “Even if it’s 15 people in the course of an evening, it would be an increase.”

Zuk added that even if the entrance off of Pleasant Avenue were eliminated, people would still use the road as a cut-through to avoid traffic on Route 19 to get to the restaurant.

The conditional use application was approved by council, and site plans for the restaurant will have to be approved separately.

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