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Agreement allows North Way church use of Quaker Valley school

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

North Way Christian Community church's use of Osborne Elementary School garners more than $100,000 a year for the Quaker Valley School District, according to a lease agreement between the groups.

A zoning battle could have kept the money from coming to the district.

In September 2010 — about eight months after the Pine Township-based church opened its Sewickley Valley campus — Glen Osborne code enforcement Officer Nancy Watts filed a notice of violation that contended the use as a church did not fit the borough's zoning ordinances.

She ordered the district to cease using the property as a place of worship.

A consent agreement signed in July by district and borough solicitors and the church's attorney allows the church to continue using the elementary school for worship services and keeps revenue coming into Quaker Valley.

That revenue is money the district otherwise wouldn't have, Superintendent Joseph Clapper said.

“We are grateful to be able to continue our arrangement with the church,” Clapper said. “The facility rental provides a significant source of alternative revenue for the district … to support educational programming.”

North Way pays $2,000 per weekend for use of the facility, plus $2,000 for use for Christmas services, according to the lease agreement.

In addition, the church pays for any custodial or maintenance services, it states.

The current lease — signed in August — continues through August 2015.

Under that agreement, church leaders can use the school from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturdays for setup and 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays for services.

The consent order spells out specific approved nonconforming uses of the property — including youth-oriented sports and activities.

It permits municipal activity, including the use of the school for Glen Osborne Borough meetings.

But nonconforming not under one of a series of categories will be considered by borough officials through a conditional use, according to the consent order.

The consent order “sufficiently accommodated everyone's concerns,” district Solicitor Patrick Clair said.

“It's good we could come to agreement without having an outcome imposed from outside the community.”

Glen Osborne Solicitor Harlan Stone could not be reached.

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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