The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 7, 2013

Speedway plans get OK from panel

HERMITAGE — Hermitage Planning Commission recommended approval of a land-development plan for a Speedway gas station, but two members agreed with a neighboring property owner’s complaints about it.

Speedway, a subsidiary of Marathon Oil, wants to build a gas station serving passenger vehicles and large trucks and a convenience store at South Hermitage and Morefield roads.

The company would tear down the Rex TV building and Chiccarino’s restaurant.

At a zoning hearing last week, Alan Baldarelli of B&B Properties raised objections to the plan because it would eliminate a gentlemen’s agreement he has had with Jerry Chiccarino, in which restaurant patrons use B&B property for parking – Chiccarino pays $250 a month for the privilege – and B&B customers can go onto Chiccarino property to access the back of the B&B building.

B&B owns the property to the north and its tenants are Vantage Home Medical Equipment and Services, Hogan’s Heroes, Sylvan Learning Center and United Way of Mercer County.

Baldarelli also objected to Speedway building a driveway connecting the two properties.

He reiterated those objections Monday, although his attorney, Jonathan Solomon, said B&B is not against the Speedway development.

Baldarelli called his issues matters of safety. Even though Speedway said it would put up a speed bump and stop sign to slow its customers entering B&B property, Baldarelli said the efforts would have little effect.

He also argued that having access to the back of his building allows parents to drop off their children at Sylvan Learning Center, and trucks to deliver oxygen tanks and medical equipment at Vantage Home Medical.

City officials said the connection between properties is required in the land development ordinance so motorists do not have to go onto the main roads to move from one property to the next.

Baldarelli, the West Middlesex Area School District superintendent, argued the provision was poorly thought out, robs his property of parking and ultimately will lower his property value.

Levio Baldarelli, Baldarelli’s brother and partner in B&B Properties and owner of B&B Paving, Sharon, said he will put up jersey barriers to block access from Speedway.

“We probably couldn’t do anything about it,” city Director of Planning and Development Marcia A. Hirschmann said of Baldarelli’s intention.

Commission member Dr. John V. Coupland said he understands making a provision for a connection, but not the requirement that the connection be built.

“This is just an invitation to a shortcut,” said Coupland, who was joined by MaryDee Wellman-Donald in opposition to the plan. “I have sympathy with Baldarelli.”

Concerning access to the back of the building, that’s an issue that should be addressed between B&B and Speedway, city officials said.

Alan Baldarelli said Speedway has not responded to him after he sent an e-mail outlining his concerns.

John Skorupan, who works in business development for consulting firm Pennoni Associates Inc., Pittsburgh, which represents Speedway, said he doubts Speedway would allow use of its property by B&B because of liability concerns.

He added that such a use would lessen the amount of green space at the gas station, which could have implications for its stormwater drainage plan.

The Speedway plan cuts down on the amount of impervious surface now at the combined Rex/Chiccarino property, Skorupan said.

“I’m not a big oil company but we live here,” responded Alan Baldarelli.

Outside of B&B’s complaints, Skorupan played up the “hometown feel” of the development, with a brick facade building, cafe seating on a patio and landscaping that exceeds city requirements.

Commission Chairman Charles E. Rogers wasn’t impressed.

“This is the best building Speedway makes?” Rogers asked.

“Yes, it is,” Skorupan said.

“We oughta introduce you to an outside architect,” Rogers said.

Skorupan said the building is “dressed up” from what Speedway usually builds.

“Trees are a blessing to a bad architect,” Rogers responded.

Rogers, Woody Steele, Matt Liburdi, James M. Tamber, Ed Benton and Chester B. “Barney” Scholl Jr. recommended approval of the plan, which now goes to city commissioners.

Text Only
Local News
  • Prison term upheld for sex offender

    A sex offender challenging a 4- to 8-year prison sentence for a probation violation lost an appeal of that sentence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

    The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014