Full court press…Fit Farm zoning case takes new legal step

By on August 19, 2015

 

It’s now a fitting case to send to court.

The zoning status of the Fit Farm, a fitness facility at Steffy Concrete, 243 E. Church Street, Reamstown, will likely be decided by the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas.

All this came about as the result of the East Cocalico Township Zoning Hearing Board Aug. 12 meeting.

Jeff Mitchell, acting board chairman for this issue, announced that the board found “80 different findings of fact and conclusions” after reviewing many, but not all, previous zoning hearing board cases initially submitted by Kenelm L. Shirk III, attorney for Darryl Steffy, at the July 8 zoning board meeting. Chair Ashley Fichthorn recused himself from this case.

The findings of fact and conclusions were accepted unanimously by the three zoning hearing board members — Mitchell, Amy Nedimyer, and Brian Wise.

Shirk reminded everyone that, “the case was remanded back to the township hearing board for presentation of additional evidence. Nothing further was needed… Ultimately the court will decide what will happen.”

Next stop for the case is the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas. When asked if it would take a long time for the court to schedule and hear the case, Zoning Hearing Board Attorney Charles W. Sheidy said although he did not know how busy the court calendar was, he wouldn’t think it would take too long.

The fitness facility is considered a second primary use on the Steffy Concrete property. As such, proper permits for a club plus other legal paperwork needed to be filed and approved prior to opening the fitness facility to other families other than those employed by Steffy Concrete.

The land on which Steffy Concrete is located is zoned conservation and has no public water or sewer.

The fitness facility located inside Steffy Concrete, and known to many as the “Fit Farm” started as a workplace fitness center for employees.

About 18 months ago complaints of loud music got East Cocalico Township’s Zoning Officer Tony Luongo involved. An investigation showed that the spacious up-to-date facility was being used by many locals in addition to Steffy Concrete employees. Group classes, such as Zumba, which commonly use salsa music combined with dance steps and exercise movements, were being offered.

A fee of $15 per month was assessed to community members who desired to use the fitness facility.

At the June 4 East Cocalico supervisors meeting about a dozen local women wearing grey T-shirts with tall red letters spelling out “Fit Farm” on the shirt backs, testified to their appreciation and the health benefits they’ve derived from the Fit Farm. Examples of great weight loss, better blood pressure, and improved glucose monitoring numbers were given. They felt it would be a shame to eliminate such a convenient, well-run facility.

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