South Fayette development almost sabotaged

January 11, 2014

This letter is in response to your Jan. 3 article concerning the announcement from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program that the state will invest $4 million into the construction of the Newbury Market to be located in South Fayette Township. Specifically, I wanted to respond to the quote from the South Fayette Board of Commissioners President Deron Gabriel, who stated, ”South Fayette Township, through our board of commissioners and state representatives, has been supporting and working diligently on this important project over the past six years, and it is becoming more and more evident that our efforts, particularly over the past two years, are bringing us closer and closer to reaching full development potential.”

Frankly, I find Gabriel’s remark to be incredibly disingenuous and misleading. I was the township engineer from 2005 to 2011. As a point of record, during the March 2011 regular monthly meeting, Gabriel was the only commissioner present who voted against the minor subdivision called “Kosky Plan of Lots at Newbury.” Without approval of the subdivision application, EQA Landmarks, the developer for Newbury, would not have the necessary right-of-way to construct the main entrance off of Route 50, as required by PennDOT. Or in simpler terms: no Kosky Plan of Lots, no Newbury Market development.

As the township engineer, I could not understand why, for no valid reason, Commissioner Gabriel would vote against arguably the most important subdivision application to commercial growth in the history of South Fayette. At the same meeting, I asked Gabriel to provide an explanation as to why he voted against the application. However he offered none. Thus, I find it disheartening that an elected official is taking credit for spearheading the largest economic development project in the history of our township that he, only 2 years earlier, almost sabotaged.

David Gardner



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