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Greensburg City Council fights zoning board ruling

| Monday, March 10, 2014, 11:24 p.m.

Greensburg City Council will be taking one of its own boards to Westmoreland County Court.

Council on Monday approved appealing the zoning hearing board's Feb. 12 decision for a sign outside Sandra Lynn's School of Dance on North Maple Avenue.

City solicitor Bernard McArdle, who requested council approve the appeal, described the action as a procedural correction.

“It's purely procedural,” he said after the meeting. “It's really to make sure our ordinances are enforced appropriately.”

He explained that owner Sandra Donatelli did not appeal a decision by zoning officer Barbara Ciampini within the legally required 30 days. Therefore, the zoning board should not have heard the case, McArdle said.

Members Gene James and Mark Dent decided to hear the case, then they reversed Ciampini in a 2-1 vote. Patsy Iapalucci, who served as acting chairman during the meeting, voted no.

The zoning board did not have the “legal authority” to hear the case, McArdle told council.

“In this case, the appeal was filed ... well past 30 days,” McArdle said. “I recommend you (uphold) the integrity of our ordinances.”

2 police cars coming

Council approved buying two 2014 Dodge Chargers for the police department for $21,312 each through the COSTARS purchasing program.

The police department is looking to replace vehicles with approximately 110,000 and 90,000 miles on them, Chief Walter “Wally” Lyons said last week.

The city lowered the purchase price by trading in the two older vehicles, City Administrator Sue Trout said.

The money will come from the police equipment fund, and the expense was included in the 2014 budget, Trout and Fiscal Director Mary Perez said.

Lyons explained officers preferred the Chargers over another possible choice, a Ford Taurus, because the Chargers offer more interior room for the driver.

About two years ago, Ford discontinued making the Crown Victoria Interceptors favored by many police departments.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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