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Ligonier Township Zoning Hearing Board delays decision on variance request

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:04 p.m.

The Ligonier Township Zoning Hearing Board will wait until next month's meeting to make a formal decision on Mary Hoza-Dorazio's variance application.

Dorazio, who resides at 1044 Gravel Hill Road, wants to add on an addition to the rear of her house in order to create a bedroom for her son who plans to live with her.

The township's zoning ordinance restricts lot coverage to 25 percent, but Dorazio did not know the exact dimensions of her home, which would be used to determine how much her current structure covers the lot and how much the addition would cover. The board said the dimensions are necessary to determine if the plan violates the ordinance.

Jim Silvis of O'Connell and Silvis law firm in Greensburg represented Joanne Wilkins, who lives next to Dorazio. He questioned Dorazio as to why her attached one-car garage could not be used as another bedroom.

Dorazio said it could not function as a third bedroom because her dogs live in it and the furnace and hot water tank are in it.

Zoning Officer Cynthia Angelo said it would be difficult to convert the accessory structure into living quarters because it would call for a special exception approval and an expansion of the septic and water systems.

Jeffrey Wilkins, son of Joanne Wilkins, asked the board to uphold the existing ordinance, consider Dorazio's existing coverage percentage and consult with emergency personnel to see if the addition would interfere with emergency vehicle traffic.

Dorazio's survey of the property conflicted with the survey presented by the Wilkins party.

Solicitor Mark Sorice informed Dorazio that she could have her property resurveyed and advised her to seek a lawyer.

Silvis will present his party's argument and comments at the next meeting.

Nicole Chynoweth is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or