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Housing complex on armory site gets planners' OK

Ligonier Borough planning commissioners will recommend to council a 17-unit housing complex to be built where the former National Guard armory once stood.

During their meeting Tuesday -- the fifth held to discuss the project -- planners and other borough officials said there were no outstanding issues with the proposal.

Representatives from developer Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland County and designer Montgomery & Rust Inc. will present the plan to council members at their meeting 7 p.m. Thursday.

The plan calls for the construction of five detached single-family homes, six townhouses and six homes designed as flats on the parcel near the intersection of Walnut and West Main streets. Houses will not be built until they are sold, the same manner in which construction was done on West Church Street.

Resident Bill Clark told commissioners he was concerned about the construction process because of what happened with the Church Street project.

"There were piles of dirt, building materials, refuse as tall as 10, 12 feet," he said. "It's an eyesore. It's like a junkyard."

Planners and engineer Ben Faas drafted a stipulation as part of the plan that would prevent that, Montgomery & Rust representative Greg Green said.

The clause stipulates that after infrastructure -- a loop road, utilities and a storm-water basin -- is complete, disturbed land where construction is not occurring for more than 30 days must be returned to grass.

Although Montgomery & Rust designed the four-home project on Church Street, Green said the company had no control to put in temporary landscaping while construction continued.

"Not having control of that site was one of my biggest frustrations," he said. "It wasn't our money to spend and fix it."

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