Share This Page

Foxley Farm debate draws large crowd to Ligonier meeting

| Thursday, July 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Residents filled almost every seat in the room at Ligonier Township's planning commission meeting on Tuesday as they came to share their opinions regarding the proposed zoning ordinance change related to Foxley Farm.

PJ and Maggie Nied own Foxley Farm on Barron Road and want to use the property as a venue for events such as weddings. An ordinance regarding non-agricultural commercial use must be created and recommended to the township supervisors for approval before they can proceed.

During public comment, some people spoke of the economic benefits they believe Foxley Farm's events would provide the community.

Paul Essig advised the audience to embrace the growth of agritourism in the area, such as Foxley Farm's events. He said allowing such activity would stimulate the economy and benefit generations to come.

“I want my kids... and my grandkids to grow up here in this valley, and I want it to be a nice place for them to live,” he said.

Maggie Nied took the floor to express her passion for not just Foxley Farm's events but for agritourism in all of Ligonier.

“A lot of people think this is just about Foxley Farm, but to me, it's not,” she said. “This is about agritourism ... I would not have done this project if I had thought I was hurting anything in this valley.”

Others said they fear the commercial events would hinder the area's natural beauty.

Dave Barnhart, a resident of Barron Road, disagrees with changing the zoning of the area.

“One or two people could win on this. A lot of people are going to lose,” he said.

Marc Robertshaw said if he had known 20 years ago that such an ordinance could possibly be passed, he would not have come to Ligonier.

“I'm against it,” he said. “I bought into my house and the property around it 20 years ago. I like the pristine nature of the area.”

After public comment, the commission chose to adjourn the meeting to go into a work session to discuss a draft of an ordinance presented by Solicitor Judith Ciszek and zoning officer Cynthia Angelo.

Throughout their discussion, commission members deliberated various controls of the ordinance, such as how many events should be allowed per year, how many events should be allowed per month and how many people should be allowed at the events.

Ciszek and Angelo said they will work to create another draft of the ordinance that will include the controls they believe the commission will want.

The commission will discuss the ordinance at the next meeting on Aug. 20.

If the commission approves of the ordinance draft, the panel will recommend it to the township supervisors.

Nicole Chynoweth is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.