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Dormont Council Discusses Option for Cochran Plan

Questions and comments about the options will be taken through Friday.

, as well as about 25 citizens and small business owners, met Wednesday to review options for the much-discussed West Liberty Avenue business plan proposed in February by .

included the following:

  • A possible land swap in which one parcel of borough-owned property—the triangle-shaped lot at the corner of West Liberty Avenue and McFarland Road—would be exchanged for two parcels of property currently owned by #1 Cochran. Both of those parcels border West Liberty Avenue.
  • The possible creation of a Tax Increment Financing District to help finance the development project.
  • The building of a parking lot—at #1 Cochran's expense—on one of the two parcels of land on West Liberty Avenue that would defer to the borough's ownership.

were discussed Wednesday.

The first option is to do nothing—to not move forward with the #1 Cochran proposal, and make no changes on West Liberty Avenue.

If nothing is done, the borough would not gain any extra revenue from taxes or TIF contributions. The lack of funds would mean that streetscape improvements, such as new sidewalks, lights, and landscaping would not be made.

The second option is to complete the land swap, but not implement the TIF district. By completing the land swap, Dormont would gain about $30,000 in extra tax revenue and would gain a new parking lot on West Liberty Avenue, as well as more parking after Cochran's business expansion is complete. However, the cost of building those lots would fall to the borough—around $400,000 total to complete parking lots on five parcels of land.

The third option is to both complete the land swap and implement the TIF district, which could generate $100,000 or more per year. TIF funds could be used to make improvements to both sides of West Liberty Avenue. New parking lots also would be created.

In all scenarios, the borough still would be responsible for paying the $350,000 cost of the triangle lot, which was purchased several years ago. In both the second and third options, parking would be limited in the borough while construction of new lots is underway.

No votes on the matter will be made until September at the earliest. No contracts between the borough and #1 Cochran have been signed.

Comments from the public are being accepted until the end of the work day on Friday. Those with questions or comments about the proposal and options can email borough manager Jeff Naftal at jnaftal@boro.dormont.pa.us.

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Ed M August 16, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Anything that reduces the number of public parking spaces should not be considered.
T&B T August 16, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Dormont is a parking space "challenged" borough and has been for many years. I think business locations along West Liberty should not be discouraged. Keeping businesses out is not going to magically correct the borough parking issue.
JR August 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Parking is at a premium on West Liberty Av. Patrons to the local businesses in that area need to be afforded adequate parking. Why can't Cochran build on the property they own between Biltmore and Park Blvd and if they need more, let them build a parking deck behind their existing Nissan building. They are not wanting to move but they always could. Everyone needs to work together for the benefit of the business community and the patrons. They need each other. If they really need more space, there is the empty building where the beer distributor was, but that is in Mt Lebanon, but it is vacant and they could build there. Still reasonably close for them.

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