Lansford's zoning hearing board on Wednesday granted approval for a new business, the Holistic Therapeutic Outreach Center, to operate out of a former voice and dance studio on East Ridge Street.

The board also approved a new sign for the enterprise, to be placed above a wooden fence that marks the property.

The business owners needed a change of use variance. The site was originally granted a variance to operate a voice and dance studio in a residential section of town in July 1998.

Then, it was The Studio, owned and operated by Janet and Joel Sager.

Janet Sager, who attended the hearing Wednesday as the building's owner, said she is leasing the property to the outreach center. In response to a question posed by solicitor Greg Mousseau about parking, she said there had never been any complaints.

Attorney Kim Christie, who represented the center at the hearing, said there were 12 parking spaces. There will be five employees, and six people are currently attending yoga classes at the center. Director of Outreach Vicky Benack said parking is available on both sides of the business, on Snyder Avenue and on Ridge Street.

The center offers yoga, dance, exercise and other classes in addition to social services designed to strengthen families. All of the principals have earned degrees in social work.

Executive Director Jonathan M. Rodgers said he plans to expand the scope of the business by offering community events, and that he is working with the Lansford Alive community improvement organization and the Panther Valley Public Library to create events.

Mousseau met in a brief executive session with zoning hearing board members Joe Orsulak, Jermaine Thomas and Bob Gaughan, and borough Code Enforcement Officer Katheryn Labosky, before the board ruled.

Mousseau advised center principals to "work hand-in-hand" with Labosky as the business develops.