ShareThis Page
Ligonier council members challenge dissolution of planning commission |

Ligonier council members challenge dissolution of planning commission

Nicole Chynoweth
| Saturday, March 22, 2014 12:01 a.m

Two Ligonier council members are challenging a recently adopted ordinance that dissolved the borough’s planning commission.

A zoning appeal claims that council did not abide by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code in enacting the change.

Officials plan to replace the commission with a planning committee of three council members, which is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday in Ligonier’s Town Hall.

Council members Judy Hoffer and Jim McDonnell claim that the ordinance amended the borough zoning ordinance, but council did not follow the planning code’s procedures for making the amendment, according to the zoning appeal.

Their appeal was filed on Wednesday in Westmoreland County Commons Pleas Court by attorney Richard Flickinger, who served as solicitor for the defunct planning commission.

Flickinger claims that council did not submit the proposed change to the planning commission or the county planning agency for recommendations; nor did it advertise or hold a public hearing about the switch.

The state planning code specifies such steps as the procedure for amending zoning ordinances, Flickinger said in the appeal.

Attorney George Welty, solicitor for borough council, declined to comment.

Both Hoffer and McDonnell voted against the ordinance that abolished the commission and established the planning committee during a special council meeting on March 4. The ordinance passed 4-2.

Hoffer and McDonnell want a judge to reverse council’s action and direct that the ordinance become void, according to the appeal.

A hearing before Judge Christopher A. Feliciani on the zoning appeal was not scheduled as of Friday.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or

Categories: Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.