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Questions accrue as YMCA plans Ligonier facility

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By Nicole Chynoweth
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Members of Ligonier's planning commission expressed frustration with lack of communication over the Ligonier Valley YMCA's proposed rezoning and conditional-use applications.

“This thing is so disorganized, so disconnected,” commission member Jim McDonnell said as the board met on Monday.

The Y's application requests include changing the zoning district from R-2 to C-2 for the property where it plans to build an expansion and amending the zoning ordinance to allow surface parking lots as a conditional use in the C-2 zoning district.

Some board members said they are unsure whom they should contact to get their questions answered about details of the expansion.

Commission member Dirk Matson suggested the board give its questions to YMCA Executive Director Ben Wright for him to submit to either the Y or Excela Health System, which plans to partner with the Y on therapy resources.

Chairman Joe Willard raised the issue of whether the expansion should be considered a medical office or a medical clinic.

He said many of the questions the board has cannot be answered until after borough council holds its public hearing on Sept. 16 and decides whether to approve the rezoning application.

“If they want a parking lot there, they still have to submit a conditional-use application for the parking lot,” Willard said.

After the public hearing, the testimony and information presented will go back to the planning commission so members can review it and make a recommendation within 30 days, McDonnell said.

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 in Town Hall. The planning commission's next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 23.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or

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