ShareThis Page

Sewickley Council OKs proposal for 'pink house'

| Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 10:40 a.m.

Sewickley Council members gave the green light for the “pink house” to be turned into a fellowship center, despite objections by nearby residents over the location of a playground.

Council members Monday night voted 4-1 in favor of approving a land development and conditional use plan by The Presbyterian Church, Sewickley for the property at 202 Beaver St.

Members Susan Aleshire, Tom Defazio, Robert Glenn and James Morrill voted yes. Carole Ford voted no.

Council President Bob Hague recused himself as he is a member of the church.

Stan Ference, Bill Cornman and Charlie Driscoll were not present.

Among conditions council members approved by passing the resolution include access easements for parking and shared stormwater sewers, that parking not exceed 46 spaces on the unified lot, a landscaping plan that must be approved by the borough's tree commission and a lighting plan.

At issue among some residents living near the church is the proposed location of a playground.

Thorn Street residents Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson filed a lawsuit appealing the borough's April zoning hearing board decision to allow the plan to move forward. In testimony at a public hearing in May, Farlow said noise at the playground drives her inside her home.

She said she worried a proposal to relocate the playlot closer to her home would increase noise.

Farlow and Olson were not at Monday's meeting.

According to drawings, the proposed playground would be located near Duquesne Way.

The playground is used for 2 12 hours per day — weather permitting — from about September through May, church member Joan Murdoch said at a meeting last month.

Some summer sessions also are held.

Murdoch said groups of 15 preschool-age children use the playground for a 30-minute period.

Church leaders were not at the meeting.

With pending litigation, church leaders can move forward with plans, but run the risk of penalties if courts rule against them, borough Manager Kevin Flannery said.

Sewickley resident and Save the Pink House member Peter Floyd Monday night questioned council members on the project.

“It's absolutely shameful for you, as council members, to ignore the taxpayers,” he said. “We're the ones who pay to pave the roads so these members can get to their church.”

Council member Glenn said noise issues with the playground weren't important.

“The fact that kids get out there and make a little bit of noise during the day … quite frankly, I can't get concerned about that,” he said.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-324-1408 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.