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Fire department aims to raze house

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Thursday, March 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department hose company wants to demolish a house near its station and put up a parking lot, a company member told a city board this week.

Hose No. 7 purchased neighboring 637 E. Pittsburgh St. property via a foreclosure sale, company member Bob Baker said.

The house is filled with items “from floor to ceiling” on the second floor, with small pathways for walking, Baker told the Historic and Architecture Review Board on Tuesday.

“It has a bad aroma, and most people don't want to go in it,” Baker said. “We bought a problem that we'd like to make go away.”

The nonprofit portion of the hose company is handling the property, Baker said.

Board solicitor Lou DeRose asked whether the house had any historic significance. A historic review has not been done, Baker replied.

Barbara Ciampini, a board member and city planner, called the property “blighted.”

“There's no saving this,” she said.

The hose company wants to demolish the property and make a landscaped area, Baker said. Eventually, the company wants to build a parking lot for the group's use and that of a neighboring tenant, Baker said.

“We would like to, as soon as possible, demolish the house,” Baker said.

The city board recommended city council approve the demolition.

In their motion, members of the planning group said they want a plan for the landscaping to be submitted to them within six months.

Members set a three-year period for the hose company to construct the parking area.

The city planning commission will have to review the landscaping plans before a vote by council, Ciampini said.

In another matter, the city board recommended council approve signs for the White Rabbit Café and Patisserie at 111 N. Main St., in the former Skyview Photography. The board set colors and design for the signs.

Business owners want to sell coffee, tea, pastries, confections and other items.

Skyview has moved to another building, board members said.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622.

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