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Harveys Lake rowing club hits choppy waters


September 04. 2013 12:00AM
JON O’CONNELL joconnell@timesleader.com

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HARVEYS LAKE — Scott Meuser said he wants to be a good neighbor.


But the residents around a property he hopes to buy at 207 Lakeside Drive question the outcome if he is able to use the property for a private rowing club, where he said he wants to host students learning to row crew.


Meuser requested a zoning variance and argued his case at a zoning hearing Tuesday at the borough building.


Mark Sobeck, who lives near the proposed property, voiced concern that seemed to be the same as others living near the property. They opposed change that might disrupt the scenery they’ve known for most of their lives.


“I’ve been here 32 years,” Sobeck said. “And it’s a new thing. I’m against someone changing my neighborhood.”


Meuser sits on the board of directors for Wyoming Seminary. He said this year students are forming a rowing club. He said, given the fact that there would be only one coach and rough water is not conducive to rowing crew, the students would be limited to how many could be out on the water at one time and what time of day.


In the sport of crew, rowers sit single file in long skinny boats and row in time with each other. Meuser said he hopes to install a coach in the house being sold with the dock.


Meuser rowed crew in college and said he wants to help pass on the tradition, starting with the students at Wyoming Seminary. If he sees a growing interest in the sport, he said, he will consider opening the doors to rowers who would like to learn outside the Wyoming Seminary community.


Some residents were concerned about parked cars at the club impeding traffic. Others said many long crew boats would disrupt the regular flow of boats and swimmers in Harveys Lake. One said noise made by young rowers and their coaches would cause a disruption during the early morning when fishermen get out on the water.


Meuser reiterated he is willing to follow any restrictions the zoning board might place on his business for which he said he would pursue a non-profit status should the interest grow enough to require paid memberships.


“The hours, the parking, the traffic, all of these things can be controlled,” Meuser said. “I go by the good-neighbor standard.”


At the meeting’s end, the board agreed to table the vote to review the application submitted by Meuser’s lawyer, C.J. Bufalino. The board agreed to make its decision at the next meeting on Oct. 1.


In other business, Steve Vieczorek who owns the dock at pole 140, agreed to reduce his dock to its original size. Vieczorek had been issued a stop-work order by the zoning officer for expanding his dock without proper permits.


An on-site inspection is planned an hour before the next zoning hearing board meeting.




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