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Ligonier supervisors pick special counsel to handle Foxley Farm matters

| Friday, May 30, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Ligonier Township supervisors have appointed attorney Gary Falatovich as special legal counsel for matters involving Foxley Farm as it seeks to offer agritourism events and weddings in a district zoned for residential use.

During a meeting held before the board's work session on Thursday, the supervisors voted to accept attorney Mark Hamilton's resignation letter.

Hamilton, a Mt. Lebanon attorney who resides in Rector, was appointed interim solicitor in November.

In January, supervisors appointed Scott Avolio as township solicitor, but Hamilton was retained for matters in which Avolio had a conflict of interest, including Foxley Farm.

Hamilton's resignation letter, dated May 14, was sent after supervisors voted 2-1 on May 13 to reject a zoning amendment he proposed to allow agricultural tourism on residential properties as a conditional use.

Foxley Farm owners PJ and Maggie Nied want to host weddings and other events, which are not permitted on their property.

The Nieds, Ligonier Township and several neighbors of the farm have been involved in a dispute in Westmoreland Common Pleas Court.

The board voted unanimously to appoint Falatovich, who has a law office in Greensburg, at a rate of $110 per hour. According to his website, Falatovich specializes in cases involving gas and oil leases, personal injury and real estate contracts and zoning.

Falatovich declined to comment on Thursday.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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