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Garage Gets Council OK, After Debate

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
September 03, 2020
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

K&K Roadside Service has received the city’s permission, with conditions attached, to continue operating along Patterson Avenue. (Tube City Almanac photo)

City council has granted an occupancy permit — with conditions attached — to a Patterson Avenue car repair shop that neighbors have claimed looked more like a junkyard.

At Wednesday’s meeting, McKeesport council by 4-2 vote approved a conditional use application for K&K Roadside Service, LLC, to continue operating in the 2200 block, near the entrance to Myer Park.

Councilmen Jim Barry Jr. and Keith Soles voted no, and Council President Richard Dellapenna Jr. was absent due to a professional obligation.

Although the neighborhood is zoned for residential use, an auto-repair shop has been located on the site for decades. But since K&K moved onto the property from Braddock, neighbors have complained repeatedly to McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko and several members of council.

They have alleged that K&K is scrapping cars on the site, that its operations are noisy and last well into the night, and that derelict vehicles were being left on the street and the sidewalk.

K&K owner Leonard Kolodziek could not be reached for comment Thursday.

According to county tax records, the property is owned by a Robinson Twp. man. City officials said they determined that K&K did not have a valid occupancy permit to operate on the site and threatened to shut the business down.

“Small businesses are good for the community and I’m not trying to drive anyone away,” Cherepko said Wednesday. “But it looks like (a junkyard) at times, and that cannot happen in that neighborhood.”

Council accepted a recommendation from the city planning commission that authorizes an occupancy permit for K&K, but which restricts its operations to activities such as car repairs and washing.

K&K also must register with the city’s business and mercantile tax system.

K&K’s lot “doesn’t look very appealing,” Cherepko said. If the business does not comply with the city’s conditions, McKeesport will revoke its occupancy permit.

“How long will it take?” Barry asked. “A month? Sixty days? I really have a bad feeling about this.”

Cherepko said he met with Kolodziek several days ago and told him in no uncertain terms that “as business-friendly as we are in the city of McKeesport, we have to make sure we protect the integrity of our neighborhoods as well.”

In other business, council by 6-0 vote granted a conditional use request to Lea Morgan, doing business as Morgan Coach & Tours, to operate a limousine service at 1828 Fifth Ave. in the city’s East End.

The business had been operating without required permits, Cherepko said. As a condition of the occupancy permit, the city required repairs to be made to the building. “It looks much better and they are now in compliance,” he said.

Jason Togyer is editor of The Tube City Almanac and volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc. He may be reached at jtogyer@gmail.com.

Originally published September 03, 2020.

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