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Hampton Township revising zoning regulations

| Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, 2:24 p.m.
Hampton Township sign (submitted)
Hampton Township sign (submitted)

Hampton Township is looking to amend its zoning ordinance, including changes for wall construction, accessory structures and setbacks.

A public hearing Sept. 27 will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, during Hampton council's regular meeting.

Zoning amendments were suggested by township council in May after noting some regulations were too broad and other needed to be relaxed or adjusted, said Council President Victor Son.

One proposal sure to be popular would allow residents to make small additions or adjustments to their property without paying a $500 fee.

For example, Son said residents shouldn't have to pay $500 and file for a zoning adjustment just for installing a shed on their property. A new fee will most likely discussed at the public hearing.

The council has recently approved reducing the Zoning Hearing Board fees to $100 for residential applicants while the zoning and planning commissions made proposed changes. After the planning commission made its recommendations and amendments, they were sent to the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development for review and comment, as required.

Also, a public hearing to obtain citizen comment is required, according to Martin Orban, the township's land use administrator.

The proposed amendments include issues dealing with wall construction methods and requirements, adding an exemption for certain deer barrier fencing; adding accessory structure setback requirement based on square footage and height that will reduce requirements for certain buildings and a clarification of the non-conforming structure setback requirements, Orban said.

The old zoning law often did not account for the many residential lots in Hampton with irregular shapes, making it difficult for owners to make additions or changes, said Son. The old ordinances regarding residents was at times “too restrictive” and “black and white,” so this will hopefully ease the process, he said.

Natalie Beneviat is the Tribune-Review contributor.

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