Planned banquet hall won't happen in Jackson Township

February 8, 2019 Cranberry Local News

JACKSON TWP — Residents of Textor Hill Road thought they'd have to convince the township's zoning board to reject a potential banquet hall in their neighborhood.

Instead, they convinced the buyers to back out of the deal.

Potential buyers Kent Muir and Bob Zonts were listening to major concerns from neighbors who didn't want them to commercialize the property when they found out information the buyers had been provided was incorrect.

The buyers' representative, Howard Hanna's Marianne Hall, said they withdrew their offer on the property Thursday because “information we found out about the house and the property that was not disclosed to us.”

The property, located at 129 Textor Hill Road, is listed for $850,000 with another real estate agency.

Hall cited “issues that we (would) have to deal with as far as well (and) septic” as driving factors.

“We were completely unaware of all this,” she said. “It would have been a beautiful venue.”

Hall said the buyers would most likely terminate the pending sale and continue to look elsewhere in the township and community to bring to life their dream of operating a wedding venue.

Coming into the meeting, Muir and Zonts intended to convert the property into a banquet hall for weekend weddings.

Muir presented a plan to renovate parts of the structure adding noise cancellation precautions, such as interior insulation and trees around the perimeter.

The upgrades didn't persuade Textor Hill residents who cited noise, traffic, alcohol consumption and other safety worries as motives behind their petition for the board to deny the banquet hall's application for conditional use.

“My children and wife need to travel this road seven days a week, and peace of mind would not be had knowing that drunk people could be exiting that facility at any given time,” said Jeff Behr, who would have been a neighbor to the property.

The proximity of train tracks to the intersection of Hartmann and Textor Hill roads also seemed to be a concern for any wedding goers under the influence who may feel adventurous enough to either play on the tracks or try to beat an oncoming train while driving.

“Hartmann Road and Textor Hill intersection is one of the worst in Jackson Township, in my opinion,” Behr added.

Rebecca Lavezoli, another resident, added similar safety problems to the list of issues with the plan, but she also mentioned the property value and quality of life losses the neighborhood would experience if the venue didn't monitor noise issues well enough.