Ligonier ends battle with YMCA
By Nicole Chynoweth
Published: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 11:42 p.m.
In an effort “to avoid continuing litigation and expense,” Ligonier Borough council voted 4-2 to withdraw the pending appeal of the Ligonier Valley YMCA's deemed approval request and approve its land development application.
At council's meeting Thursday night, Michael Bieterman made the motion to squelch the appeal of the YMCA's claim for a deemed approval of its conditional use application for a surface parking lot in its commercially zoned property. It was seconded by James B. St. Clair. President Robert Helterbran and Matt Smith voted in favor of it, while Judy Hoffer and Jim McDonnell dissented.
Council member Pat Scanlon was not present at the meeting.
Bieterman also made a motion to authorize the advertisement of a hearing for the YMCA's newly filed conditional use application for a surface parking lot, which was filed Wednesday. St. Clair seconded it, and Helterbran and Smith voted in favor of it. Hoffer and McDonnell dissented.
YMCA Chief Executive Officer Ben Wright said he is “happy to be moving forward.”
The conditional use hearing, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 4, will be followed immediately afterward by a meeting to act on an ordinance abolishing the borough planning commission.
During his personnel and planning commission committee report, St. Clair said he felt it was “in the best interest of council” to establish a planning committee consisting of three council members to carry out the duties and powers set forth in the municipalities planning code, because of the fact that “planning and development of the borough have become a priority matter.” He made a motion to authorize the advertisement of the proposed ordinance and a council meeting to act on the ordinance to dissolve the planning commission at 7 p.m. March 4.
Bieterman seconded the motion, and Helterbran and Smith voted in favor of it. Hoffer and McDonnell dissented.
Residents Louise Dean and Gay Wasserman, who live near the YMCA, expressed disappointment with council's actions during public comment.
“With the new changes...I'm shocked by them,” Dean said. “I'm not happy about them.”
Wasserman said she continues “to be appalled by the way things are done.”
“I just cannot believe all this continues to go on,” she said.
Helterbran said the matter of abolishing the planning commission is a “tough move,” but council members had thought about it for more than a year.
Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. March 4 for the conditional use hearing, followed by a meeting to act on the ordinance abolishing the planning commission at 7 p.m.
Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Unity airport steps up parking enforcement
- Quiet teacher shone as character actor
- Jeannette councilman charged after argument with city clerk
- Former Ligonier lawyer who stole from trust fund paroled
- System will allow video visits for inmates in Westmoreland
- Westmoreland County considers software upgrade
- Jeannette dirt bike rider collides with car
- Fayette commissioners move to limit comments
- Derry Borough to buy dump truck
- West Newton fire company says debts paid
- Scottdale approves slight hike in park usage fees