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Ligonier planners drop Foxley Farm proposal

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Ligonier Township Planning Commission voted unanimously to abandon a proposed zoning ordinance related to Foxley Farm during its meeting on Tuesday.

“We will consider this ordinance abandoned and do no further work on it,” said board member Robert Smithley.

The proposed ordinance included adding new provisions for mixed-use buildings and structures; amending the “Agricultural Requirements” section; adding and changing definitions, and providing for repeal of inconsistent provisions, severability and effective date.

The motion to cease working on the ordinance was made by Rob Angelo. Ben Faas seconded it. Mark Spitzer and Smithley agreed. R. Eric Schrieber was not present.

Smithley said a lot of the items in the proposed ordinance are already in the township zoning code.

“I don't think it's beneficial to continue with it,” Smithley said.

The proposal stemmed from a request from Foxley Farm owners PJ and Maggie Nied to host weddings and events on their property. Before they can move forward, township supervisors would have to make and approve a non-agricultural commercial use ordinance.

During public comment, Maggie Nied thanked the board members for their work regarding the proposed ordinance. She asked who on the board had visited working farms in the township since starting work on the ordinance and encouraged the board to speak with farmers in the township before making addendums that could affect those farmers.

“I appreciate your work, I really do,” she said. “I just think you should have talked to a few farmers.”

Smithley said the board has no further direction to take in the matter, unless the supervisors give them direction.

“We make no decisions — we only recommend,” he said.

At the end of the meeting, Nied said she feels the outcome “is a good thing.”

“I am very happy that it was shelved, because I felt that the addendum was hurting the values of the farms in Ligonier Township,” she said. “I am very happy.”

The next meeting will be held 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19.

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

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