Clarks Summit recognizes police officer and council vice president

First Posted: 3/7/2015

CLARKS SUMMIT — Council president Gerrie Carey and Mayor Patty Lawler honored Clarks Summit Borough Police Officer Edward Orzalek for his work in the police department and council vice president Dominic Scott for his generosity to the borough at the regular council meeting March 4.

Lawler read congratulations written by Police Chief Chris Yarns to Orzalek for his “stellar and impressive wor,” in the department for the motor carrier enforcement program. “You have made Clarks Summit Borough and the surrounding community much safer place to live and work,” Lawler read.

“It’s a great borough, and I’m just doing my job,” said Orzalek.

Scott was also recognized for donating $200 to the borough for a truck scale so trucks that exceed a certain weight limit may be fined for safety. Scott said he “wanted to give back to the community.”

Also at the meeting, multiple citizens of Maple Avenue addressed council citing their concern for a curative amendment to rezone 110 Maple Ave. from an R1, or single family residential unit, to an RP, which may be used as a residential unit and may house professional offices.

John Lawlor, 116 Maple Ave., said he was “adamantly opposed” to the curative amendment because of the potential for increased traffic if another business is added to the block.

“It’s a point of congestion already,” Lawlor said.

Eugene Moyer, 120 Maple Ave., told council his concerns were “a matter of safety, especially in the winter time,” because of the narrow street and already congested traffic and limited parking for businesses.

Mary Ellen Lawlor, also of 116 Maple Ave., expressed her condolences to the owner Joe Struchko because his mother, Helen Struchko who was living at the property, passed away March 1. “I’m sad we have to be talking about it today,” she said.

Lawlor identified safety concerns because multiple young families with young children live in the neighborhood and, once a residential property is rezoned as allowing professional or commercial property, businesses would continue to spread into the residential area.

The curative amendment was originally proposed in November 2014 by the Struchko family to change the property from an R1 to a CC, or central commercial district property.

The planning commission recommended that council pass the curative amendment that would zone the house as an RP, instead of a CC. In an RP, the unit must maintain the residential aesthetic to suit the neighborhood, but is permitted to house certain professional offices such as a doctor or lawyer’s office, but not retail, according to borough solicitor Dan Mulhern.

Joe Struchko, owner of 110 Maple Ave., told council, “We are completely surrounded by commercial property. That’s commerce. We are exploring the possibilities (of selling), but I don’t know. We just buried my mother this morning.”

The Struchko family had multiple reasons to rezone the property, citing if the property is zoned as a commercial property it may be more appealing to sell, and that the property was commercially zoned until 2002.

Council rejected the motion to pass the curative amendment that would have changed 110 Maple Ave. from an R1 to an RP with council members Vincent Cruciani, Jim Klein and Pat Williams voting no, and Carey and Scott voting yes. Council members David Jenkins and Herman Johnson were absent.

The Maple Avenue property will remain zoned R1 unless the family decides to appeal the decision in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas.

In other business, council voted unanimously to accept the paving bid for Wayco, Inc. to complete the 2015 paving project in the borough and to formally propose a change order to remove paving Division Street from the project in order to save costs since the lowest bid was still approximately $7,000 over what council budgeted for the project.

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