ShareThis Page

Proposed plaza in Buffalo Township would include up to 4 businesses

| Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, 12:16 a.m.

A new commercial development has been proposed in Buffalo Township outside the large plazas near the Route 28 interchange.

“We have very little (other) commercial property in Buffalo Township,” said Roger Kelly, the township's zoning officer.

Kelly Mason of Buffalo Township said he wants to build a small shopping plaza, with three or four businesses, on his mother's property on North Pike Road (Route 356) near its intersection with Coal Hollow Road.

“I've been in business for 18 years, but this is the first time I'm venturing into commercial development,” Mason said.

He is developing the plaza with the help of two cousins. They plan to begin the project in about 1½ to 2 years, Mason said.

Mason cleared the first step toward making the development a reality when township supervisors last week voted to rezone the approximately 7-acre parcel as a “central business district.”

The rear portion was already zoned for commercial development, and the front was a combination of general residential and conservation district.

Mason owns Vocelli Pizza at 246 North Pike Road in front of the trailer court, not far from his proposed development. He said he plans to move the shop to the new plaza.

Sandra Rudert, who lives next door to the property, told supervisors she was concerned about what types of businesses would be located there. She said she doesn't object to the development.

“I don't have any concerns at this point, just general questions,” she said.

Supervisor Ron Zampogna said the rezoning is a preliminary step in getting the development off the ground.

“He has to go through the planning commission, meet with the engineer and come back to us,” he said. “We'll take a close look at what is going on there.”

Rezoning is being considered for another property to allow commercial development near the township's borders with Freeport and Harrison.

Supervisors have formally asked the planning commission to review the creation of a zoning overlay district specific to the former Dugout Bar property on Freeport Road up the hill from the Freeport Bridge.

“It will start the process to move us ahead a little bit,” said Supervisor John Haven.

Real estate developer Brian Clark of Harrison said he plans to buy the 2-acre parcel but hasn't determined what to put there.

An overlay district imposes additional regulations beyond the existing zoning. In this case, the overlay would allow for commercial development while regulating the use of billboards.

The billboards currently on the hillside are grandfathered in. A township ordinance allows billboards only in a manufacturing district.

Buffalo Township and Freeport's planning commissions are working together to come up with a plan on how to deal with billboard requests in that area.

“They're the ones that have to look at them,” Haven said of Freeport residents. “We want to let them know what we're doing.”

The township has one zoning overlay district in the South Pike Road commercial corridor.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.