Robert Morris University has been granted a one-year extension on its conditional use application to convert a Holiday Inn a dormitory, Yorktown Hall in Moon.
University representatives told Moon supervisors July 2 that the university needs more time to comply with some of the conditions imposed by the township for converting the former hotel at 8256 University Blvd. into housing for students. The vote was 3-0, with Jim Vitale and John Hertzer absent.
In July 2013, RMU received conditional use approval for 12 months. The school needs more time for its plans to evolve, including adding a Panera Bread location adjacent to Yorktown Hall and in front of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh Airport.
RMU legal counsel Lafe Metz said he is working with Panera and DoubleTree for shared access of the DoubleTree’s driveway. He said the school has agreed to make improvements to the traffic light and add a turning lane at the intersection of University Boulevard and Campus Drive, but it is waiting to see the Panera development completed.
Mr. Metz said plans to reconfigure the parking lot, install sidewalks, paint crosswalks, upgrade the intersection and plant trees are on hold until the Panera development is completed. The cost of the site improvements is estimated at $250,000.
Supervisors granted the 12-month extension for the improvements, providing nothing else is amended. They also approved a common access point for the three businesses. Mr. Metz said development has not been approved by the township.
While RMU’s plans are on hold, Mr. Metz said the school has adhered to other parts of the conditional use agreement.
He said site improvement plans have been finalized, RMU has contributed $100,000 to the township and will contribute another $100,000 by September. It will also submit a final contribution of $30,000 in 2015.
The university is also finalizing plans to operate a student shuttle between Braddock Hall on campus and the KFC at the intersection of University Boulevard and Beaver Grade Road. The trips would start at the beginning of the fall semester.
RMU also has completed the traffic study to improve the safety on University Boulevard in the vicinity of Yorktown Hall.
Kim Lawrence, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.