Ligonier and farm owners reach agreement on hosting weddings
Here come the brides — 11 of them that will still be permitted to hold their nuptials at Foxley Farm in Ligonier Township.
Despite a question of the legality of hosting large events at the farm, 11 weddings previously scheduled there will still be permitted to go on.
Two weeks ago, Ligonier Township officials filed a request for an injunction to halt overnight stays and large events from taking place at Foxley Farm, located off Barron Road.
An agreement was reached Friday afternoon between Ligonier Township officials and farm owners PJ and Maggie Nied. Attorney Bill Sittig, who represents three neighbors who have voiced opposition to such events at the farm, also participated in the negotiations for the consent order.
The settlement negated the need for a hearing that had been scheduled by Judge Richard E. McCormick.
Ligonier Township supervisors must vote on the agreement at a public meeting, township solicitor Judith Ciszek said.“I'm just happy the brides are safe,” Maggie Nied said, after attorneys and officials spent nearly five hours negotiating the three-page document.
Additional weddings, along with other events and overnight stays, are prohibited from being scheduled or advertised, under the terms of the settlement.
Neighbor Christopher Turner said he is satisfied with the agreement.“We didn't want to see the brides harmed. Under the circumstances this was the best outcome we could have hoped for,” Turner said.
“A lot of innocent people would have been hurt if my clients didn't take the high road,” added Sittig. “I'm proud to say my clients took the high road.”
The agreement stipulates that the Nieds will withdraw an appeal challenging a decision issued in February by the Ligonier Township Zoning Hearing Board.
The board said the township ordinance does not permit paid events, such as weddings, to be held in the residential neighborhood where the farm is situated.
Attorney Scott Avolio, representing the Nieds, said the issue will go back to the township.
“We look forward to working with the township so the (zoning) ordinance can be updated and amended to reflect activities that are already going on in the township,” Avolio said. “And we look forward to making the acceptable activities at Foxley Farm fit in with the consistency of the neighborhood, which is wedged between two private clubs and one public club.”
Township supervisors Keith Whipkey, Tim Komar and Grover Binkey declined to comment.
Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.