The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 7, 2012

Zoning hearing ordered

Sandra K Reabuck

EBENSBURG — Judge Timothy Creany has decided that he will need to hear testimony from witnesses in the legal battle over whether Richland Township’s zoning ordinance should be amended to permit the construction of townhouses on Walters Avenue.

Creany said that the civil case’s record – which includes transcripts of testimony at a township hearing – was insufficient for him to rule on the case. He will hold a hearing Jan. 16 for the new testimony.

Township Solicitor Gary Costlow and attorney Timothy Leventry, who represents the Richland Citizens Group opposing the zoning ordinance change, have contended that the case record was sufficient.

Attorney Donald Graham, who represents Laurel Pointe Family Apartments – the developer – has maintained that the judge should have additional information.

Laurel Pointe wants to construct townhouses with a total of 48 units for low- to moderate-income tenants.

Township supervisors rejected the requested zoning change for the property to be zoned for R-4, multiple-family zoning, rather than the existing C-3 commercial zoning.

Laurel Pointe and Ashbridge Oil Co. – then the owner of the property – filed an appeal asking the county court to overturn the supervisors’ decision.

Ashbridge since has sold the property to Laurel Pointe for $550,000, according to records at the Cambria County Courthouse.

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