Miniature golf isn't coming to Forward Miniature golf

By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer A developers plans to build a miniature golf course in Forward Township have been scratched due to zoning issues. Forward Township supervisors on Thursday denied a request for a zoning variance that would have permitted a 2-acre tract of land along Roberts Hollow Road to be used for recreational purposes. Township Solicitor Bernie Schneider said the township was legally in the right to deny the request because the area in question is in the midst of an area already zoned as residential. He said the variance would have created a peninsula of agriculturally zoned land within the residential zone, something the law prohibits the municipality from doing unless they have a compelling reason that is for the public good. Schneider said a privately owned golf course would not meet that standard. He said another compelling reason for denying the request is that there has been some public opposition from neighbors who live in the area of the proposed course. They are concerned the facility would bring extra

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traffic, parking problems and crime to the area about one mile south of Route 51 along Roberts Hollow Road. The supervisors can determine if it is not in the best interest of the township ,Schneider said.I dont think a court would find this is abuse of discretion. Developer Ron Brizes of Munhall, who sought the variance, was disappointed with the decision and left the meeting immediately after the township denied his request. I spent $20,000 in three years investing and planning for this, said Brizes, whose mother owns the land in question. He said he wanted to build an upscale miniature golf course and build a home on the property, but, obviously its been denied that so now it stays residential. Brizes said he plans to discuss the possibility of an appeal with a lawyer, noting the township zoning board had already approved his zoning request. He said he may also look into building homes on the property. Supervisors said the decision to deny the request was not an easy one. Whichever way we rule were going to upset somebody, said Tom Headley, who voted with chairman Tom DeRosa to deny the requests. Supervisor Dave Magiske was absent from the meeting. Resident Bobbi Cheplic was glad to see the plan overturned. She said the golf course would have brought noise, traffic and parking problems and crime to the rural neighborhood.

 
 
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