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Ligonier planners recommend approval of house plans

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

A 1920s kit house along Route 711 North could soon be home to Markosky Engineering Group.

At its Aug. 19 meeting, the Ligonier Township planning commission voted to recommend for approval a request from land owner Kevin McVicker and Robb Farm, LCC to construct an addition onto the farmhouse.

At the board's July meeting, McVicker explained that the house was built and owned by the grandfather of Joyce Markosky, president of Markosky Engineering Group. McVicker plans to build the expansion and move the building back from its current location. Eventually he will sell it to Markosky Engineering Group, which will make it its main headquarters.

Ligonier Township supervisors will review the request at their next meeting.

The application was initially reviewed at the board's July meeting, but it was tabled to address engineering concerns.

At the August meeting, engineer Joe Dietrick, representing the applicant, showed the board diagrams of the proposed plan. The addition will measure about 1,750 square feet, and after it is attached to the existing house, the building will measure around 10,740 square feet. The plan also includes lighting, a paved area with 47 parking spots, a stormwater drain system and holding tank for sewage.

The parking lot includes two 8-foot handicapped spots, which appeases Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, but the township ordinance requires 9 feet. Solicitor Michael Korns said he will look into which requirement takes precedence before the plan goes to the supervisors.

Luther P. Miller has agreed to an easement to allow for stormwater to drain onto its neighboring property, Dietrick said.

The board agreed to send the application along to the supervisors on conditions that the parking issue is resolved, a copy of the agreement with Luther P. Miller is provided and approval from the sewage enforcement officer is received.

Additionally, the board recommended for approval:

• a final subdivision requested by Craig and Susan McKlveen to create a two-lot subdivision along Red Fox Lane at a property zoned residential.

• a final subdivision requested by Michael and Evelyn Lesko to create a three-lot subdivision along Maple Drive at a property zoned residential.

In other business:

The board welcomed new township manager Terry Carcella, who gave a brief speech about his hopes for the future.

“It's been almost 48 hours on the job now, and I'm already looking ahead as the planner that I am,” he said. “We are having some initial discussions already with the borough of Ligonier concerning a joint comprehensive plan. There's nothing official, but I would like you to be aware that back in 2002 and 2003, I was one of the first people in northwest PA to adopt a multi-municipal comprehensive planning group including two townships and a borough, and it benefitted us greatly.”

Several months ago, the planning commission learned more about the process of updating its comprehensive plan from Dennis Puko, planning program manager for the state Department of Community and Economic Development, and Brian Lawrence, assistant deputy director of the Westmoreland County planning department. The township's comprehensive plan — a vision for community development — was last updated in 1989.

“You can update the plan every five years,” Carcella said. “We're looking at doing a whole new plan, doing it the right way, looking at mutual cooperation agreements that are going to save the tax payers a dollar, and that involves working with the planning commissions of both entities.”

Carcella served for 13 years as a zoning administrator, code enforcement officer and planner in Washington Township in Erie County.

“(Ligonier Township's) plan is dated,” he said. “The borough's plan is dated. It needs to be replaced. It needs to be updated.”

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