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Baldwin Borough denies zoning request

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Baldwin Borough officials Tuesday denied a request to change the zoning of a home on Ruthwood Avenue to allow for its new owner to rent the residence as three apartment units.

Changing the zoning to multi-family use in a mostly single-family area would have created “spot zoning,” which is frowned upon in the planning and zoning industry, borough engineer Larry Souleret said.

Council members voted unanimously to deny the request.

“You don't want to fix the problem on a property-by-property basis. You want to have the same zoning in an entire area,” borough Manager John Barrett said.

Borough officials received an application on June 25 requesting a change in zoning from its R-2 single-family district to a multi-family use district that was not specified, Souleret said.

The applicant, a new owner of the home, did not attend a planning commission meeting on Aug. 12 regarding the request, commission member Bob Ieraci said. The applicant also did not attend Tuesday's public hearing or council meeting.

Commission members had concerns with the application, including that several additional parking spaces would need to be added at the home to meet borough requirements, Ieraci said.

“There were a ton of things,” he said. “As far as the planning commission goes, that was sort of a no brainer.”

Eight Ruthwood residents attended a public hearing on the proposed zoning change Tuesday to object.

“I think everybody here is against it. We're not against the man trying to make a living. It's just getting too crowded over there,” Ruthwood resident Richard W. Corson said.

Utility hook-ups already were in place at the property for a multi-family residence, and the property had at some point in the past been used as multi-housing, Barrett said.

“It was already fitted for all of that stuff,” he said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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