South Fayette presents mining case

Published Oct 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm (Updated Oct 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm)

At a continued meeting of South Fayette’s Zoning Hearing Board held Oct. 2, lawyers for the township presented South Fayette’s case opposing mining at the former Mayview Hospital property.

Aloe Brothers, LLC, owners of the property on Mayview Road, have requested a special exception to allow mining at the site of the former state hospital and are also challenging the validity of a section of the township’s zoning ordinance for B-1 (business) districts.

Aloe Brothers wants the ability to mine coal on approximately 37 acres of the property and plans on building a business park at the site in the future. Based upon sampling conducted at the site, it is estimated that there is about 330,000 tons of coal that could be mined on the property. The coal is part of the Pittsburgh Coal Seam.

Attorneys for South Fayette Township, Jonathan Kamin and Jonathan Arminas called two witnesses at the hearing: South Fayette engineer Michael Benton and Raymond Caruso of PVE Sheffler, the township’s acting traffic engineer. Upper St. Clair Township’s solicitor, Chris Cahillane, also testified and requested the township intervene in the matter.

“We’ve asked to intervene in this action as an adjacent landowner,” Cahillane said. Upper St. Clair’s 475-acre Boyce-Mayview Park and community recreation center is located adjacent to the proposed mining site. The park borders the mining site on three sides.

“It’s not just an Upper St. Clair park, it’s a regional asset,” Cahillane said. “We join in South Fayette’s opposition of this application. We are concerned about the affects of mining on users of the park and the park itself,” Cahillane added.

Caruso did a preliminary traffic analysis of the Boyce Road and Mayview Road intersections as well as the intersection of Washington Pike and Boyce Road. He testified that a 53-foot tractor trailer would not be able to safely turn out of either intersection without encroaching into the other lane of traffic.

“The intersections are relatively small,” Caruso said.

Thomas Ayoob, solicitor for the zoning hearing board closed the portion of the hearing and the board adjourned. Attorneys for both Aloe Brothers and South Fayette Township have until Nov. 6 to submit their briefs of submission and concessions of law to Ayoob.

The board will meet Nov. 20 to consider the submissions in the case and possibly render a decision.

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