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Pittsburgh Tribune Review
November 12, 2013 Tuesday
|Bethel Park clears YMCA to open in ice complex site
by ERIC EISERT
Despite the objections of two businesses, Bethel Park Council approved a conditional use Monday for the YMCA to occupy and open a facility in the Blade Runners ice complex building on Church Road.
The Y plans to convert most of the building to a $13.8 million replacement for its longtime Upper St. Clair location. One of the two Blade Runners ice rinks will be retained for hockey leagues.
Council approved the YMCA's request by a vote of 5-2. Don Harrison and Paul Dixon voted no, and John Pape and Jack Allen were absent.
Attorney Robert Xides, representing Healthtrax Fitness and Wellness, questioned the legality of the variance process, accuracy of a traffic study and the fact that the YMCA is exempt from paying real estate taxes. However, municipal Solicitor Robert McTiernan told council that an applicant's tax status cannot be considered when seeking approval.
After the vote, Xides said he was weighing his options, including appealing council's decision or the variances granted by the zoning hearing board. Another option could be to challenge the YMCA's tax-exempt status with AlleÂgheny County.
Eric Eisert is a freelance writer.
November 14, 2013