O’Reilly Auto Parts gets the go-ahead in Cheswick – for now
The plans for an O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Cheswick will move forward — for now.
The borough’s zoning hearing board agreed with former zoning officer Rick Franks’ decision that a parking variance is not required for the property where the store is proposed at 1112 Pittsburgh St.
Nearby property owners Edgemark Littleton LLC and Cheswick Shopping Center LLC, represented by Bill Sittig, had appealed Franks’ decision, claiming the O’Reilly plans don’t provide enough parking spaces based on the size of the proposed building.
The plans include tearing down the vacant building on the property and building a new one for the store. The property is the site of a former auto parts store.
The three-member zoning board unanimously voted to uphold the zoning officer’s decision after hearing testimony from borough engineer Matt Pitsch, Franks, Sittig and O’Reilly officials.
Sittig said his clients will appeal the zoning hearing board’s decision to Allegheny County Court. They have 30 days to make the appeal.
“We’re not surprised,” Sittig said of the board’s decision.
The issue arose when the borough’s zoning board met in April to consider a variance to reduce the number of required parking spaces from 36 to 30 spaces.
The zoning officer later determined the store only needs 29 parking spots based on the proposed plans and a variance wasn’t needed.
Pitsch said that number was reached based on the square footage of the gross floor space, which does not include the loading dock area.
The total square footage of the building is 7,200, but the load dock makes up 1,500 square feet.
The borough code requires a parking space for every 200 square feet of a building.
With those calculations, the proposed plans would need at least 28 ½ spots. The plans submitted to the borough designate 30 spots.
Sittig said the property doesn’t have enough spaces because delivery trucks would compromise some spaces when making deliveries, which means, in those instances, there would not be 30 spaces available.
“There have never been 30 legitimate spaces,” Sittig said.
Sittig also questioned if there would be enough space on the property to make the deliveries.
Jesse Chrissey, district manager for the O’Reilly stores in the Pittsburgh region, said deliveries are never made during regular business hours.
Deliveries are made between midnight and 4 a.m., Chrissey said.
O’Reilly also would need an easement agreement from neighboring Aqua Jet Car Wash because they will share a driveway.
Alan Bochek, who owns the car wash and the vacant property where the O’Reilly would go, said he has no problem with the plans and doesn’t anticipate any issues with parking or traffic.
“In my opinion, it’s no issue whatsoever,” he said.
The plans have been conditionally approved by borough council, pending the resolution of the appeal and easement.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter @emilybalser.