The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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September 12, 2013

Speedway approves easement

HERMITAGE — Speedway LLC and B&B properties have reached an agreement to grant an easement so B&B customers and suppliers can slip onto Speedway property to reach the rear of the B&B building.

The agreement ends an at-times contentious exchange between B&B and Jerry Chiccarino, who owned a restaurant next door that has since been bought by Speedway.

“We’re extremely happy and satisfied that things worked out pretty much the way we wanted, probably better,” said Alan Baldarelli, an official with B&B Commercial Properties, which owns the Tuscany Court retail plaza in the 400-500 block of South Hermitage Road.

Speedway officials were “absolutely fantastic to work with,” he said, and the easement does not affect the layout of the pumps, parking spaces or store building.

Speedway recently bought the former Chiccarino’s restaurant and the former Rex TV property next door on which to build a gas station and convenience store.

Baldarelli protested the plan before city boards because Speedway planned to build a buffer up to the Tuscany Court property line. Baldarelli said he and Chiccarino had a gentlemen’s agreement that allowed Tuscany Court customers and suppliers to go onto Chiccarino’s property to get to the back of the Tuscany Court building, and Chiccarino’s customers to park on Tuscany Court property.

While there still would be rear access from the north of the building, Baldarelli said he needed access from the south, calling it a safety issue.

B&B built a rear entrance for one of its tenants, Sylvan Learning Center, and noted that another tenant, Vantage Home Medical Equipment and Sales, has supplies, such as oxygen tanks, delivered at the rear.

Baldarelli argued the gentlemen’s agreement was binding, even if never signed, citing Chiccarino’s payment of money for parking and construction on both properties that he said facilitated the agreement.

Chiccarino said the agreement was never formalized, making it nonexistent, and said B&B had undisclosed ulterior motives for filing the suit.

The relationship deteriorated to the point that each side put up barriers to keep the others’ customers off their properties. Chiccarino sought a court injunction, which was granted, barring B&B from erecting signs that used the words “Chiccarino’s” and “closed” because they implied the restaurant was closed – at the time, it still was open – and anyone associated with B&B from entering the Chiccarino’s property.

Speedway, also a party to the suit, never formally filed an answer.

City Director of Planning and Development Marcia A. Hirschmann said Speedway can add the easement to its land-development plan before it is recorded.

The easement is not considered a substantive change, so the Hermitage Planning Commission and board of commissioners will not have to review and approve the plan again, she said.

Monday, the planning commission recommended approval of a subdivision to consolidate the Chiccarino’s and Rex lots into one. Commissioners will act on the request later in the month.

Speedway bought the Chiccarino property for $601,000 and the Rex property for $695,000, according to real estate transfers filed at the county courthouse.

Baldarelli noted that one of the conditions of the agreement is that he not build a gas station on his property.

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