By Ken Askew
On September 13, 2010, the South Park Township Board of Supervisors met earlier than usual (6:45 PM), for the purpose of conducting a Public Hearing--then piggy-backed its’ regular monthly meeting at 7:00 PM.
The Public Hearing was held to take testimony on a Conditional Use application from the Peters Creek Baptist Church, located at 6300 Library Road. The church wants to add a 28K square foot addition in the rear of the facility, which will be almost as large as the current building. The addition will house a multi-purpose room with folding partitions to enable a classroom format, a kitchen, and a new fellowship hall capable of seating 250-300 people.
The front entrance to the existing building will be re-graded, to allow easier access by elderly members of the congregation; in fact, the new and old structures will both be made more accessible as specified by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Board of Supervisors will render a decision within 45 days.
In the continuing saga of nuisance complaints against the property at 3400 / 3404 Brownsville Road Extension, the question arose again as to whether the property is classified as a farm or residence. If the dwelling was built before an ordinance was enacted in the 1990’s, it may be exempt from certain restrictions due to a grandfather clause in the ordinance.
Nevertheless, the Township has been diligently observing the property for the last month, having conducted two formal inspections, one informal inspection, and numerous drive-by observations. To the homeowners’ credit, conditions have improved. The inspections revealed that (1) there are only two dogs on the property (up to three are permitted), (2) a five-foot high fence is in place, which is sufficiently containing their miniature horses, (3) chickens were in fact being kept in a coop, (4) there were wild turkeys seen on the property, but this is not within the homeowners direct control, (5) there were no junked vehicles on the premises, (6) the trash had been put out in a timely manner, (7) firewood was stored more than 10’ from the property line, (8) the swimming pool (including electrical lines) was within code, and (9) no vehicles were parked on the grass.
To the contrary, a permit must be acquired for the horse fence (the resident promised to comply), a recreational fire was noticed with no one overseeing it (but the resident says she was there, out of view), and rooster crowing continues (the old rooster was killed as requested, but new 2-month-old banty roosters have now started). The property owner complained that someone used chemicals to destroy a row of bushes which cost her $2,500 to replace. The Supervisors tabled the nuisance decision (whether or not to levy fines and penalties) for another month to give the resident an opportunity to correct the final deficiencies.
The Supervisors also heard public comments opposed to construction of a skate park on Broughton Road. Speakers contended that the parcel is too small to house the park and adequate parking, teenagers frequenting the park will be unruly, and the additional traffic would overburden an already very busy road.
In other business:
• A representative of “Power of 32” (the “32” refers to the number of counties and states participating in this venture) invited the audience to also attend their meeting on September 15 to discuss anyone’s vision of the region. They want to hear from residents about what the strengths and challenges of this area are.
• VW Plumbing and Excavating, of 986 Cochrans Mill Road was granted approval of a waiver request for minor land development.
• A request was approved for reduction of a Letter of Credit, from $265,000 to $220,000 for the Brookfield Manor Phase 2 development on Snee Drive.
• The Supervisors approved payment of $1,424.26 to Lawrence P. Arrigo, Tax Collector, for reimbursement of office expenses.
• A Software Maintenance Agreement with ProSoft Technologies was approved.
• Code Enforcement Officer Gary Wargo was approved to attend a course in Coraopolis about how existing commercial buildings are regulated by the Uniform Construction Code, at a cost of $65.