Potential buyer of Aster Street property in Penn Hills wary of deal |
Penn Hills

Potential buyer of Aster Street property in Penn Hills wary of deal

The former library on Aster Street that was owned by the Penn Hills School District before its sale was approved in April 2018.

The Penn Hills School District wants the municipality to delay voting on an application that would allow a potential buyer of an Aster Street property to use it as a car repair and storage shop — but the buyer said it might be too late.

“My contract with the school district is expired at this point,” said Steve Parco, who said he signed a sales agreement with the school back in April, when the school board approved the $62,000 sale of 260 Aster St.

Parco said he wants to use the 234,000-square-foot facility as an auto repair shop and vehicle storage unit. He plans to store 35 to 40 cars inside. The vacant building was the former Penn Hills library until the school district bought it in 2007.

The Zoning Hearing Board is set to vote on the school’s application at a Sept. 26 meeting.

“It’s going on six months since the sales agreement was signed, and it was a three-month agreement. So it’s null and void right now. I don’t see it working out,” Parco said. “I’m not backing out. Obviously, if I’m able to use it for what I want to use it for, then yes. But it’s looking like it’s not going to happen.”

He said Nancy Hines, the district’s superintendent, contacted him recently and asked if he’d be open to running the facility as a storage garage only in order to avoid a zoning issue.

The vacant facility on Aster Street sits in a residential zone. Under the school’s current application, the building would be used as a commercial property.

“I said ‘absolutely not.’ I want to do what I want to do. It’s not worth putting all that money in it and not be able to use it,” Parco said, adding the property needs around $80,000 in renovations for his purposes.

Parco owns Allegheny County Customs, an auto repair shop on Rodi Road in Penn Hills.

Hines confirmed that she contacted Parco recently to reassure him the district is committed to “having all outstanding issues resolved,” but referred other questions about the school’s desire to delay a Zoning Hearing Board vote to the school’s solicitor, Craig Alexander.

Alexander did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Penn Hills Planner Damien Buccilli said a revision asking only for the vehicle storage facility would still be a commercial use for the property.

“In order for it not to be a ‘spot zone,’ they would have to rezone the entirety of Aster Street from Saltsburg Road. Currently, there are homes along Aster Street, and that prohibits that from being a possibility,” Buccilli said.

The municipality’s Zoning Hearing Board will vote to postpone its vote on the school’s application at its next meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 26. The meeting will take place at the municipal complex, 102 Duff Road.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.