Council declines to rehear Cumberland church proposal

The City-County Council declined Monday evening to rehear a rezoning issue that would pave the way for the demolition of a historic church in Cumberland.

Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc. wants to build a gas station and convenience store at the northeast corner of Washington Street and German Church Road where the St. John United Church of Christ has stood for more than a century.

Councilor Ben Hunter, who represents the area, said before the meeting on Monday that he had no interest in “calling this matter down” for a hearing in front of the full council.

At-large Councilor Pamela Hickman, however, made the request, but was rejected 21-7 in her bid to have the matter reheard.

The council’s decision not to grant a rehearing paves the way for the demolition, unless Cumberland officials can find another way to stop it.

The town is exploring whether Giant Eagle correctly filed the necessary permits with the city to build the gas station and whether they might be incomplete, Christine Owens, Cumberland’s director of planning and development, told IBJ Monday.

The Metropolitan Development Commission in May voted 4-2 favoring Giant Eagle’s request to rezone the four-acre site.

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