Harrison building destroyed by fire can be rebuilt
A Harrison building destroyed by fire in April can be rebuilt, even though it didn’t fit in the residential neighborhood, a township official said Tuesday.
The building at 1300 Alabama Ave. was destroyed by a fire April 9. The two-story building, across from Allegheny Valley Hospital, was mixed use, with commercial space on the ground floor and six apartments above.
The fire was ruled accidental, and what was left of the building has been torn down. The cause was related to the wiring, according to county investigators.
The building, as it existed, was a pre-existing, non-conforming use in an area zoned for single-family residential homes, said Lindsay Fraser, supervisor of Harrison’s zoning and ordinance office.
Township regulations allow such a building damaged by fire or natural disaster to be rebuilt, if it’s done within 12 months, she said. If the year passes without construction, the property’s zoning status would be changed to single-family residential.
Fraser said the owner, Mick’s Properties, indicated to the township it does plan to rebuild.
Mick’s Properties has owned the property since June 2014, according to Allegheny County real estate records.
A representative of Mick’s Properties could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
“He’s going to work with the zoning hearing board and zoning and ordinance office to find a building footprint that is more conducive to the lot,” Fraser said.
The new building can be the same size, with the same square footage and internal space, Fraser said. The footprint — such as where the building is placed on the lot, and how it’s built — would be changed because the building was very close to a neighboring house on Carlisle Street and, after the fire, was a danger to the home because of the threat of it collapsing.
Mick’s Properties has not filed any paperwork for the construction with the township, Fraser said.