The developer that bought the former Mayview State Hospital site three years ago is asking South Fayette Township officials to allow it do a “full-scale mining operation” on the property to remove coal.
Aloe Brothers LLC, which in 2010 bought the former state hospital property in South Fayette, wants to conduct surface mining on the land to retrieve coal 40 feet beneath the ground.
Dennis Regan, who is Aloe’s project manager, claimed that the coal removal is mainly to stabilize the ground to begin developing the property.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there is a coal mine located beneath the property that was used to heat the hospital buildings, but it was abandoned in the 1960s. The newspaper also reported that the state retained the property's mineral rights in the sale.
“It’s an Earth-moving project so we can build our development there," Regan said. “Part of the process of that development is removing (the coal).”
Aloe is petitioning South Fayette Township to grant it a variance for mineral removal because the property is zoned as a business district. The township is holding a public hearing inside the municipal building at 7 p.m. Wednesday to get feedback from residents and other affected parties.
The area that would be surface mined encompasses the lower property off Mayview Road that is surrounded by Chartiers Creek.
South Fayette Township Engineer Mike Benton did not have specifics on the proposal, although he said the project is “feasible.”
“They’re asking to do a full scale mining operation,” Benton said. “It sounds like it will be pretty extensive.”
He said the township is expecting a big crowd for the public hearing and plans to move it to the senior center on the other side of the municipal building. Benton was not sure if the South Fayette commissioners would make a decision on the variance Wednesday night.
“It’s hard to say right now,” Benton said of the outcome. “There are definitely a lot of unknowns and we don’t see this thing very often.”