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Couple: Parking scuffle retaliation for zoning appeal

| Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 12:02 a.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 Westmoreland County 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.

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

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