New Castle News

Closer Look

July 18, 2013

Neshannock OKs zoning changes

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock Township supervisors adopted a new zoning map and ordinance.

Most of the changes are along Route 18 and correct and update the existing zoning map to reflect modern land use in the township.

Changes have been reviewed by the township and Lawrence County planning commissions and the township zoning board.

For several months, the proposed map was on display at the township municipal building.

Only three residents commented at the public hearing where the changes were adopted.

Sally Kirker, a regular at municipal meetings, asked about building heights. Referring to her notes, she said in 2004 there had been discussion about allowing 10-story buildings on Route 18/Wilmington Road.

She was told residential buildings are limited to 35 feet — about two and a half stories — and commercial buildings in C-3 commercial zones and business parks may be 100 feet high.

Vince Cardella of Pulaski Road, asked about a property he had purchased on Pulaski Road.

On the old map, he said, the property was zoned for industrial use. On the new map, the zoning is residential, which is not compatible with his plans to develop the lot.

The supervisors agreed to extend the industrial zone to include the lot, even though it is not one of the 14 changes they had considered and advertised.

However, Rob Heming of Kenneth Avenue asked the supervisors, “When will it end?”

Heming said when he had purchased his home 15 years ago it was in an established neighborhood with old and young residents and new and older houses.

“There have been a lot of changes on Kenneth and there is talk of more.”

Heming said four or five houses were torn down to make parking lots and bright lights shine into his bedroom windows.

Across the street, he said, he sees a trash bin full of scrap metal from wrecked and junked cars. The air is scented by the paint shop.

He added that Kenneth and Euclid avenues have become drag strips as “the workers want to test the work they’ve done. Residents must also endure noise from delivery trucks, Dumpster emptying and, during the day, phone call pagers.

“Zoning is supposed to mean something,” he said. “When I moved there, there were trees and neighbors. They are all gone. The dealership has been there a long time expanding its body shop and parking.

“What will be next? When will it end?” he asked. “Every couple of years, as our memories fade, there’s another push to do what was wanted in the first place.”

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