New Castle News

April 3, 2013

Neshannock officials prepare for zoning map changes

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock Township supervisors Tuesday accepted zoning map and ordinance changes recommended by county and township planning commissions.

A public hearing for residents to voice their opinions has been set for 5:30 p.m. June 4. The supervisors are expected to act on the changes at their public meeting that will follow the hearing.

For several months, the supervisors have expressed interest in correcting and updating the township zoning map to reflect modern land use in the township.

In February, the township planning and zoning commission reviewed proposed changes and essentially followed recommendations of the Lawrence County Planning Commission. The township commission recommended seven of the proposed 14 changes.

The supervisors followed those recommendations with one exception — rezoning a parking lot along Kenneth and Worthington avenues to commercial. The township planning commission rejected the change, noting it serves no benefit to the township. They said if the property owner wants the change he should go to the commission and supervisors and make the request.

However, the county planning commission had recommended rezoning the existing parking lot for the car dealership, but not surrounding land, which includes 14 residential structures.

The county and township zoning boards, who had reviewed the requested changes, are both advisory in nature. The final say remains with the supervisors.

The supervisors must advertise the proposed zoning map changes and changes to be made in the text of the ordinance, and may have to post properties to be changed. Prior to the June 4 public hearing, the proposed map and ordinance changes will be on display at the township building and the Lawrence County Law Library.

The proposed changes essentially comply with the township’s comprehensive plan.

The township’s zoning ordinance was last updated in 1994.

Of the 14 proposed changes to the map, the supervisors propose:

•Rezoning four acres south of Glenn Road and west of Wilmington Road from agricultural to R-2 residential, to correct an instance of spot zoning.

•Changing 11 acres north of Orchard Park Drive from C-2 highway commercial to R-1 residential, also fixes a past zoning map mistake.

•A limited rezoning of 18 acres on the east side of Wilmington Road from R-2 residential to C-2 highway commercial.

•Converting 14 acres of agricultural land on the east side of Wilmington Road near McGary Road to industrial park.

•Reaffirming a July 25, 2001, request rezoning a 15-acre site at Glenn Road from C-3 commercial to industrial park district.

•Reaffirmed a July 25, 2001, request rezoning 10 acres on the northwest side of Northgate Circle from C-3 commercial to an industrial park.

Both changes were already made, but had not been included in the township zoning map.

•Included a 19-acre lot at 3020 on Wilmington Road, rezoned earlier this year from residential to commercial for a planned skilled nursing facility.

Requested changes not to be made are:

•Converting 30 acres of R-2 residential on Pulaski Road to C-1 commercial.

•Changing a six-acre R-1 residential site on Wilmington Road to C-2 highway commercial to a depth of 600 feet.

•Rezoning 17 acres north of Robinson and Glenn roads from R-2 residential to A-1 agricultural.

•Converting 11 acres of R-1 residential property on the west side of Wilmington Road to C-2 highway commercial.

•Changing five acres along Kenneth and Worthington avenues from R-1 residential to C-1 commercial. The property, behind Preston Motors’ Wilmington Road location, includes a parking lot used by the dealership and 14 houses.

•Two Mercer Road properties, one housing J&M Mini Mart, on the west side of Mercer Road, the other the new location of Gettings Financial Group, on the east side of Mercer Road at the intersection with Maitland Lane, remain as non-conforming use sites.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)