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Sewickley Zoning Board to Continue Sewickley Country Inn Hearing

A resident is challenging the borough and zoning hearing board's decision to re-zone the property.

When the Sewickley zoning hearing board convenes tonight, members will continue a spot zoning hearing involving the former Sewickley Country Inn property.

A panel of Commonwealth Court judges has asked the zoning board to consider a spot zoning challenge from borough resident Michael Lyons. In 2010, Lyons challenged the validity of the borough and zoning hearing board's decision to re-zone the former Country Inn property as the "Ohio River Boulevard Mixed Use" area.

Tied up in the courts for years, the matter was almost prolonged again last month when zoning chairman James Eichenlaub recused himself from the hearing, leaving the board with two members.

Lyons raised a formal objection against proceeding on without a temporary third appointment to the vacant seat. 

The zoning board determined a temporary member wouldn't be necessary by statute because two members are considered a quorum.

MCM Ventures under developer Cody Mueller proposed redeveloping the former motel and banquet facilities on Route 65, or Ohio River Boulevard, into office space and single-family homes.

Lyons said the rezoning unlawfully singled out the property for different treatment, creating a commercial island in a sea of residential uses.

Several residents who testified also raised concerns that the zoning change opened up the residential area to unwanted commercial ventures.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. The board is also expected to render a decision on variances requested by the Presbyterian Church of Sewickley related to the pink house.

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