An Indiana District Court of General Appeals judge told the parties involved in a dispute over proposed parking changes at the location of a downtown donut shop to provide him with written arguments within 60 days.
“The judge is giving the district 30 days to provide a realistic record and findings,” Attorney Patrick Dougherty, an Indiana state attorney, said after a case meeting Friday before joint pleading judge Michael T. Clark.
Next, Dougherty said, it will be before the appellants, Heartland Restaurant Group LLC and VRB Associates Inc. , 30 days to respond.
Seeking Heartland, which operates 48 Dunkin’ concessions in southwestern Pennsylvania, including an outlet at 1669 Oakland Ave. in White Township, to rental property at 518 Philadelphia Street, Indiana, from owner VRB Associates Inc. , a real estate company at 541 Philadelphia Street
“On receipt of the appellant’s (Indiana County Board) file,” Clark wrote, “the parties must have 30 days to submit summaries to support their positions and to file an advance request requesting that the matter be included for discussion.”
Heartland, based in Forest Hills, Allegheny County, and VRB is appealing the March 8 decision of the Indiana State House to amend a plan for the Dunkin’ Donuts outlet.
Attorney Alan T. Chakro of the Pittsburgh law firm of Strasburger, McKenna, Gutnick and Jefsky, which represents Heartland and VRP: “We are pleased that the case is moving forward at a relatively rapid pace.”
Chakro said Clark “certainly understood” what was going on.
Chakro, who works with attorneys for Strassburger, McKenna and Gutnick & Gefsky Alexis M. Wheeler, said.
On March 8, the council authorized the removal of two parking spaces and the movement of a street lamp at the proposed Dunkin’ site along Philadelphia Street.
However, after a proposal for two parking spaces along adjacent South Fifth Street was separated from the management committee’s proposal for the Dunkin’ site, the removal of two spaces there, 7-4, was rejected, with one abstention.
Heartland Vice President and General Counsel Daniel B.
“We went ahead and met all that was presented to us (by Indiana planning and zoning officials), Urey continued. “Our plan is in keeping with the (zoning) code.”
Councilman Ben Ford, who chairs the council’s community development committee, moved to the South Fifth Street subdivision, saying “they are two different streets” and would prefer to “keep South Fifth Street the same” with two meters of parking in the neighborhood.
After the meeting, Uri declined to comment, saying, “We’ll take it up in due course.”
On April 6, Chakro and Wheeler filed their appeals in the Indiana County General Court of Appeals.
The Pittsburgh attorneys wrote in their filing: “The Board’s vote to deny HRG’s request to remove two South Fifth Street parking spaces was not in writing and the Board did not provide HRG or VRB with the findings and reasons for the ruling.” “Furthermore, there is no basis on record, other than mere speculation, for the Board to deny HRG’s request to remove two South Fifth Street parking spaces.”
Dougherty stated that “the record has provided sufficient evidence of increased traffic on South Fifth Street which may pose a pedestrian hazard,” in the response submitted to the Indiana County General Court of Appeals on May 5.
“It is recognized that the district did not provide the results to HRG or the VRB, but the minutes of the meeting serve as grounds and justification for denying the request,” the attorney wrote in his response. He denied that the results and reasons were not disclosed in writing. It is clear from the minutes that the District Council cited the infantrymen’s concerns as the reason (for) denying the HRG and VRB request.”