HERMITAGE ZONING Lawyer rethinks building plans

Design changes required by the city make the site less attractive, the owner said.
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- City commissioners granted three zoning regulation waivers that will allow Atty. Michael Ristvey to develop 20 acres of land off Foxwood Drive, but Ristvey said he may not go through with his plans.
"I think you've ruined the property for me and my plans," Ristvey told the commissioners moments before they approved the waivers Wednesday.
"It's not my plan, it's someone else's," he said, pointing out that the city rejected his plan to develop the land into four building lots for him and members of his family.
Most recent proposal: The latest preliminary plan presented for the commissioners' consideration was basically designed by the city's director of planning and zoning to comply with what the city wants, he said.
Although he submitted the revised version to the city, Ristvey said he isn't happy with the results and may decide he doesn't want to build.
"I think I've been treated very poorly," he said.
Commissioner Larry Gurrera took exception to Ristvey's claim that he was mistreated.
"You've got to follow the [zoning] rules," Gurrera said.
"I'm telling you some of your rules are a little out of bounds," Ristvey replied.
Council turned down the earlier version of the plan last month because it required waivers from city zoning requirements regulating the amount of traffic flow on residential streets as well as access to adjoining landlocked properties.
Revised plan: The revised plan presented Wednesday still required waivers but it does make some allowance for access to adjoining properties.
It calls for Ristvey to set aside a 50-foot right of way that could be used to build a road to land east of his property in the future.
It also provides 20-foot hiking/biking trail access (which will be given to the city) to lands to the south and west.
That was sufficient to persuade commissioners to grant a waiver regarding access to adjoining landlocked properties.
The commissioners also approved a waiver allowing Ristvey's development to use Foxwood Drive, which already has a daily vehicle trip load of more than 900. City regulations say 500 should be the maximum trip load and Ristvey's development would add about 40 trips per day.
Finally the commissioners approved a waiver to a requirement that all building lots face a public street.
Two of Ristvey's four lots won't be on a public road but will be served by a private driveway.
This was just the preliminary plan and a formal plan must be developed and presented to the city.
Ristvey said he must first decide if he still wants to proceed.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.