Share This Page

Zoning hearing board to rule on consolidation of church properties

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:06 p.m.

A decision by Sewickley zoning board members on whether leaders at The Presbyterian Church, Sewickley, would need to consolidate property owned at Beaver and Grant streets could come as early as next month.

Borough code enforcement officer Nancy Watts reiterated her August decision at a zoning board meeting last week.

Watts said church leaders would need to consolidate three of its four lots, and that the so-called “pink house” at 202 Beaver St. would be an accessory use to the church.

A fourth lot — a single-family home — now is listed for sale.

“The youth center, whether it's in a new structure or whether it's in 202 Beaver St., is indeed governed by the council of the church,” she said.

All events in the building “will be decided by the authority of the body of the church,” Watts said.

“As a result, it is indeed subordinate to that principal use. It is not a stand-alone entity. It doesn't have its own administration.

“Current programs that are in the church as we speak would be moved into the new facility.”

Church lawyer Michael Parrish asked Watts what other properties in the borough comply with guidelines.

“The (Sewickley Car Store),” Watts said. “They have multiple buildings … some do car repairs (and) some do detailing. But the principal use of the lot is car sales.

“Lots of principal uses can be accessory uses. The borough insisted they consolidate the lots.”

Church spokesman Tom Graham and Parrish said a multitude of community organizations use the church to hold meetings and other events that do not typically fall under the church's jurisdiction.

Church leaders initially announced plans to raze the house to make way for a structure that would offer additional gathering and meeting space, parking and green space.

Those plans changed when organizers of grassroots Save the Pink House group pleaded with church leaders to keep the late 1800s-built home standing.

In June, Save the Pink House members agreed to raise up to $200,000 of the estimated $1.6 million needed to redo the house, organizer Peter Floyd said.

Zoning members plan to meet at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Sewickley Borough building.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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.