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Suit against Penn. EMS dropped

PITTSBURGH, Penn. Neighbors on Margery Drive in O'Hara have dropped their lawsuit opposing a new garage for Parkview Emergency Medical Service, clearing the way for the facility to be ready this fall.

Eric Schmidt, Parkview chief, said he expected to receive a township building permit in about two weeks for the 1,300-square-foot garage to be built in the rear of the service's base at Fox Chapel Road and Margery Drive.

"We did drop our suit against them because of a lack of funds more than anything else," said Carla Dolhi, of South Margery Drive. She added that she and others were still unhappy about the two-bay, oversized garage being built on their quiet, dead-end, residential street.

Until early this year, about a half-dozen neighbors had continued fighting a township zoning decision in 2006 that had granted Parkview several variances regarding setbacks and buffers.

Ms. Dolhi said, "Some [other] neighbors dropped out because it was futile to fight government."

She added that Parkview does good work but she and others don't believe the company should be allowed to break the zoning ordinance. She cited provisions that specify the need to ensure the residential integrity of Margery Drive homes since they are at the edge of the Freeport Road commercial district.

The station has been in operation at 200 Margery Drive since about October, when Parkview moved out of a temporary base at an old Fotohut in Fox Chapel Village. The station was a vacant home that Parkview bought in December 2005 and remodeled. The suit opposed plans for the oversized garage and parking lot.

Mr. Schmidt said that while he understood those concerns, he was glad work can now proceed.

"Certainly before the snow flies everything will be complete and we'll be inside," he said, adding that he hoped the finished product that includes a new school bus shelter will ease any residual tension.

"I really thought people were concerned about things that, given time, wouldn't be an issue.

"Right now, it's a mess because of all the dirt coming in," he acknowledged. "But once it's done, it'll be a nice building and everybody will wonder what all the fuss was about."

A nonprofit organization, Parkview Emergency Medical Services has been serving O'Hara for more than 40 years.

The garage will house the service's two ambulances as part of the borough's main EMS station. A satellite facility at the Parkview volunteer fire station covers the western part of the township, Mr. Schmidt said, an arrangement that will continue.

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