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Borough-owned house pulled off the market

March 30, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Every Memorial Day, Waynesboro honors its veterans at a service in the mall area of Memorial Park. Event organizers don't want neighbors interfering with the solemnity of the occasion with backyard barbecues.

In reaction to such a scenario, the Waynesboro Borough Council has pulled a house off the market that it owns at 141 E. Fifth St. The house abuts the park.

The borough has owned the century-old, two-story stately brick home since the 1960s. A local family paid a nominal rent to live in the house for more than 30 years, Borough Council President Charles McCammon said.

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Last month, the council sought sealed bids for the house through a legal advertisement. McCammon would not disclose the minimum price the council will accept.

The council held an open house in the building on March 13. About 10 people showed up. A second open house scheduled for March 20 was canceled when the council voted to hold off on the sale of the house.

The reason, McCammon said Tuesday, is because the lot the house sits on measures 100-feet wide by 250-feet deep, deep enough, he said, that it encroaches the mall area of the park.

"We don't want a barbecue grill that close on the 30th of May," he said.

The council wants to lop 150 feet off the lot in the back of the house, leaving the property at 100 feet by 100 feet, he said. That would be more than enough to meet the borough's minimum zoning requirement of 75,000 square feet of land per single-family house, McCammon said.

"It's too deep at 250 feet," he said.

Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said Tuesday the council must submit a subdivision plan to the Waynesboro Planning Commission to reduce the size of the lot, like any individual or developer.

The exercise seems moot since the council can veto planning commission decisions.

McCammon said the council will consider lowering the reserve price after the lot is reduced.

Hamberger said the house should be back on the market by summer.

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