Parking Lot Plans vs History

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Fourteen new townhouses will be built in Columbia County, but a family who lives next to the site is concerned that property surrounding a historic building in Catawissa will be turned into a parking lot.

Trevor McGinley and his wife, Rachael Markow, live next door to a condemned building in Catawissa.  The owner plans to demolish it and build 14 townhouses.  McGinley said he is happy about that but does have some concerns. The property sits behind a historic building, the Quaker Meeting House, built in 1775.

"I think the fine attributes of a new development are great, but I don't think we should do it at the cost of the history of the community," said McGinley.

Catawissa Borough Manager Chris Moonis said one of the things that is being discussed by council is taking 22 feet of property which the meeting house building sits on and turning it into parking for the new townhouses.

"There's been no agreements or formal action but it's a possibility down the road," said Moonis.

"I feel like it's going to help for parking but it's not going to add anything to the borough as far as historical significance goes," said Rachael Markow.

"I just feel there has to be a better idea in terms of arranging for the parking. Whether it be under the building or reduce the size of the building," said McGinley.

Moonis said the meeting house itself would not be affected by the parking spaces, but admits that the steps outside place could be moved.

"Basically keep them there and reposition the lower part of 10, 12 steps to come down onto South Street," said Moonis.

The developer of the townhouses needs a variance in order to put in the parking area. There is no word when the Catawissa zoning board will make a final decision.