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Heidelberg school buildings could get new uses

| Friday, April 25, 2014, 2:09 p.m.

School buildings in residential areas might be converted for a business use in Heidelberg, under proposed rules.

Heidelberg Council voted last week to advertise an ordinance allowing such a change.

The ordinance amends the borough zoning code to “permit school buildings to be used for office, child day care and day care center purposes in the R-1 districts subject to certain conditions and approval of borough council.”

Borough Manager Joe Kauer said the move is simply bringing back an old ordinance left out of zoning regulations that were rewritten last year.

Kauer said he did not know if the revival of the ordinance was related to a planned daycare center at 1819 Ellsworth Ave., the site of the former Heidelberg Elementary and Hierarchs Eastern Orthodox schools.

The advertising approval April 15 allows the borough solicitor to draft the ordinance and send it to the borough's planning commission.

The planning commission then will hold a public hearing before voting on the ordinance. No date has been set for the hearing.

Susan English, owner of Wee Care Children's Center, intends to purchase the property on Ellsworth Avenue and move her center from Lindsay Road in Scott, where it has been for more than 30 years.

English received five zoning variances for the building and operation at a Feb. 18 Heidelberg zoning board hearing, despite concerns raised by several residents, including parking and safety issues some residents think will result from increased traffic on the street.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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