The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


June 4, 2014

Subdivision could put an end to access dispute

HERMITAGE — A dispute over access to the rear of a South Hermitage Road business plaza that arose when Speedway LLC announced plans to build a gas station and convenience store next door is headed toward a long-term resolution.

B&B Commercial Properties, which owns the Tuscany Court plaza, had a gentleman’s agreement with the previous owner of the property to the south to allow B&B tenants, clients and delivery trucks to go onto the neighboring property to reach the rear of the B&B building.

The agreement was never consummated in writing, and Speedway proposed using that property, which it bought, as part of its development.

Alan Baldarelli, a partner in B&B, protested the plan on safety and traffic flow grounds, and B&B filed a lawsuit to retain access.

B&B and Speedway eventually reached short-term and long-term resolutions to the dispute. Speedway granted B&B an easement to continue to use Speedway property to get to the back of its building, and is now asking for a subdivision to sell the 0.2 acre to B&B.

Hermitage Planning Commission recommended approval of the subdivision Monday.

Commission member Woody Steele asked if there will need to be a landscaping buffer between the properties. City Director of Planning and Development Marcia A. Hirschmann responded that Speedway built a 20-foot buffer from the easement line that will remain if the subdivision is granted.

Commissioner member Matt Liburdi asked if the connection between the two properties will remain closed. Speedway was required to build the connection, but B&B was not required to allow access and has blocked it.

Hirschmann said the connection will remain closed for now. The issue would come up again if B&B seeks approval to redevelop the property. At the same time, the landscaping along the border will also have to be reviewed, she said.

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