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'Pink house' can be used as youth center

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Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 1:24 p.m.

A proposed youth center at the so-called “pink house” on Beaver Street can move forward as a principal use, Sewickley's zoning board members agreed.

Zoning board members last week overturned borough code enforcement officer Nancy Watts' ruling that the building at 202 Beaver St. could not be used as a youth center by The Presbyterian Church, Sewickley.

Zoning board member James Eichenlaub said Watt's decision did not “acknowledge that the uses comply with the current definition of principal use.”

Church leaders have proposed using the “pink house” for a variety of programming and other events.

Zoning board members also granted a conditional use application to allow the church to move forward with the youth center in a single-family residential district. Despite the decision from zoning board, church lawyer Michael Parris said he will continue to seek a decision on two separate plans filed by the church — one which retains the “pink house” and another that would demolish the home, creating a new structure.

“I do not wish to withdraw either plan,” he said.

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 $1.6 million church leaders have estimated would be needed to redo the house.

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

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