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Dorazio variance in compliance with Ligonier ordinance

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:06 p.m.

The Ligonier Township Zoning Hearing Board voted Tuesday to allow Mary Hoza-Dorazio to move forward with building an addition to the rear of her house on Gravel Hill Road.

Earlier in the month, Dorazio had applied for a variance because she thought her home's square footage coupled with the addition would cause her to violate the township's zoning ordinance that limits lot coverage in an R2 area to 25 percent. The board could not make a decision in the matter at the meeting because Dorazio was not aware of the dimensions of her home so she could not present a calculation of her lot coverage.

At Tuesday's meeting, Dorazio, represented by Attorney Scott Avolio, brought a survey of her property by Arthur Kromel that stated the current dimensions of her house and garage total 2,420 square feet and cover 8 percent of Dorazio's lot. With the proposed 24 by 22 feet addition, the dimensions will total 2,857 square feet and cover 9.4 percent of her lot, thus complying with the zoning ordinance requirements of no more than 25 percent lot coverage.

Jim Silvis of O'Connell and Silvis law firm represented Joanne Wilkins, who owns the property adjacent to Dorazio. Her son, Todd Wilkins, expressed concerns about the layout of the property, as the Wilkins' survey of the property conflicted with Dorazio's survey. The Wilkins' survey's location of the property line was on the opposite side of the right of way in comparison to Dorazio's.

“The right of way does not follow the driveway verbatim,” he said. “If you look where they have the nail in the driveway on Gravel Hill Road, it's in the middle of our driveway, so some of the driveway would be on what they consider their property, some wouldn't. With construction vehicles tearing up the asphalt, I just wondered what recourse there would be if there's a deterioration of the driveway.”

After both parties' testimonies, the board entered an executive session to determine if Dorazio would be in compliance with the zoning ordinance. All members agreed to let Dorazio continue her plans since her lot coverage will be in compliance.

Solicitor Mark Sorice said Dorazio's next course of action will be obtaining a building permit from the zoning office. The zoning office is currently closed until further notice due to the suspension of Zoning Officer Cynthia Angelo.

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