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Ligonier YMCA plans still on hold

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By Nicole Chynoweth
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Ligonier's planning commission voted on Monday to table the Ligonier Valley YMCA's land-use development plan application.

Chairman Joe Willard said because the Y has a meeting scheduled to discuss its plan with residents, as well as another meeting scheduled with a committee composed of borough council and planning commission members to discuss the plan, the board would rather wait to make its recommendation until after any other changes are made to the plan.

Tom Celli, of Celli-Flynn Brennan Architects and Planners, presented renderings of the Y expansion's floor plan, an aerial view of the facility and surrounding area and a street view.

Celli said several tweaks were made to the plan since it was presented to the board in June, including additional windows to bring more natural light into the gymnasium and “simpler roof systems in terms of shape.” He said several storage and equipment rooms were moved from the front to the back of the design to “show off” the gymnasium more, which will be at the intersection of East Church Street and North Market Street.

He said he and his team are looking into bringing out the brick of the pilasters on the existing Y building so it better matches the brick expansion.

Celli said the revised plan is “much more sympathetic architecture to the other public buildings in the town.”

Pending a property survey, Celli also said the plan includes using Wellington Alley as a two-way street for traffic, instead of the plan's original use of Elm Alley for outgoing traffic and Wellington Alley for incoming traffic.

A stormwater management plan for the facility is pending review by borough engineer Ben Faas.

During the meeting, Willard read a letter from attorney Daniel Hewitt that stated solicitor Richard Flickinger could not provide legal counsel regarding the Y's land-use development plan application because he is representing residents Karen McCullough and Gay Wasserman in an appeal filed against the borough.

Flickinger said the appellants feel the borough's vote to approve the Y's requests was not validly passed because “council can't just bring it up and have another vote.”

“If they want to repeal what they've done, they have to go through a new ordinance,” he said. “They can't reject it and later come up and approve it.”

Throughout the meeting, Wasserman and resident Louise Dean questioned the plan, specifically the stormwater management and use of Wellington Alley.

Following discussion between board members, Celli and Sorice, board member Jim McDonnell made the motion to table the plan. Terry Murphy seconded it. Dirk Matson abstained from the vote.

In other business, the board discussed a potential subdivision on a Walnut Street property.

The next meeting will be held 7 p.m. Jan. 27.

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

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