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Couple presents affidavit to Sewickley Twp. board

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

A Sewickley Township couple voiced concerns that through a parking dispute officials are trying to intimidate them after they filed an appeal to a zoning decision for a neighboring property.

Tracy and David Hampshire, of 209 Library Ave., Herminie, addressed supervisors at their regular meeting Wednesday and presented a notarized affidavit.

The document is signed by former supervisor and roadmaster John Costanza, attesting to permission he gave to the Hampshires to legally park in the alley in September 2003, signed with Wednesday's date.

“It's a sudden disruption in our lives and I think we all know why,” Tracy Hampshire said.

She referred to an Oct. 17 decision by supervisors to allow a zoning change for a property bordering the Hampshires. The portion of a vacant lot between the Sewickley Township Recreation Center and Herminie Post Office was changed from a residential to commercial designation with a vote at a public hearing.

A developer hopes to build an 8,000-square-foot Family Dollar store there, which could employ between seven and 12 people.

The Hampshires have appealed that decision in civil court. The case has been assigned to Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr., but no hearing date has been scheduled. Now, the couple refutes a letter dated Jan. 14, 2013, sent to them from Ordinance Officer Dean Zimmerman.

“This alley is a public roadway and must be kept open for vehicle passage,” he said in the letter.

The Hampshires said they have been living in their home for 13 years and have never had a problem with parking in the alley.

“We inquired about it when we signed our mortgage,” David Hampshire said.

After the alley was paved this summer, the township has received complaints about the through-way and has no written record of any parking allowances, said Supervisor Wanda Layman.

“We have nothing that shows anyone gave you permission,” Layman said before the Hampshires gave supervisors the affidavit. “I think once we have documentation then we can talk to our solicitor.”

In other business, supervisors approved the reappointment of Debra Costanzo and Belinda Derr to the Sewickley Township Cultural Commission.

Both will have four-year terms, expiring in 2017. Amber Kline was also appointed with a two-year term to the board, which handles Herminie's holiday festivities.

Recreation Director Janet Schork reported at the meeting that the recreation board held its reorganization meeting Jan. 8 and retained the same officers as 2012: Christie Royer, chairwoman; Rob Romano, vice chairman; Susan Leukhardt, secretary.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-836-6660.