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Efforts to save Sewickley's 'pink house' continuing

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 3:15 p.m.

As a grass-roots group continues raising money to save Sewickley's so-called “pink house,” owners of the home have pledged to reuse it only if variances from the borough are granted.

Save the Pink House member Donald Traviss said his group gave $20,000 to The Presbyterian Church, Sewickley, last year as part of a community campaign to raise up to $200,000 of the estimated $1.6 million needed for an 1800s-built home at 202 Beaver St. to remain standing.

Church leaders last year announced plans to raze the house — originally built in the 1860s with later additions made in the early part of the 20th century — and replace the structure with a new facility to house youth and fellowship activities.

Those plans changed when organizers of the Save the Pink House group pleaded with church leaders to keep the home standing.

Traviss said he is “confident we can raise another $180,000,” adding that about $50,000 already has been pledged to reach that goal.

In a zoning hearing board meeting last week, some residents spoke out against proposed parking plans that could create up to 48 spaces on property between the church and “pink house.”

Group member Peter Floyd said he supports the church's plan to reuse the home, but said he wants to see parking plans for the reused “pink house” fall under the borough's residential district guidelines and also wants the property to meet the borough's requirement for allowable setbacks.

Church elder Tim Merrill said the church has “gone to great lengths to make sure the proposed parking lot is as unobtrusive as possible.”

Landscaping features including a dense row of trees and LED lights would offer a buffer for nearby residents, church leaders said.

Zoning board members are expected to consider the church's variance requests at their March 5 meeting.

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

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