Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Residents Fighting D'andrea Office Plan

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Residents Fighting D'andrea Office Plan

Article excerpt

Opponents of a zoning change for a parcel of land on Rodi Road say the plan would ruin their Penn Hills neighborhood.

Proponents argue the change would permit a lucrative, high-tech company to expand there and open 100 or so high-skill, high-paying jobs in the area.

But Penn Hills council said it didn't have answers to some important questions and tabled the whole matter Monday at a special session.

"We need some more information," Mayor Anthony DeLuca said.

At issue is a 5-acre parcel of land owned by developer Joseph D'Andrea.

The land is zoned for low-density residential development, and D'Andrea wants it changed so that he can build an office complex to accommodate high-tech company Vocollect in its expansion plans. The company is based in Wilkins in the blue glass and steel office building at the bottom of Rodi Road.

The land D'Andrea is eyeing for the expansion is in the same area but across the boundary line in Penn Hills.

Residents, who have fought -- and won -- battles against zoning changes for that same area four times say enough is enough.

"We're all tired," said neighborhood resident Alfred Maiello, whose law firm is located in the vicinity of the Vocollect building. Maiello is also solicitor for the Penn Hills school board.

He added that the neighborhood in question, the Ridgecrest and Graymac roads area, is the only low-density residential neighborhood left in Penn Hills.

It is quiet and wooded and should be protected, he said.

D'Andrea wants to develop the area a hillside away from some of the residents' back yards. But Maiello said the request is "spot zoning," which he said was illegal.

The plan before council addresses none of the problems Vocollect expansion would cause, Maiello contended. Increased traffic pouring onto a single-lane road that connects with busy Rodi Road is just one issue, he and others said. …

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