Zoning rewrite paves way for future Brentwood development

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

An overhaul of Brentwood's zoning regulations will provide clearer guidelines for future development.

So says Daniel Santoro, vice president of Delta Development Group, who worked with borough leaders and members of the Brentwood planning commission since 2013 to rewrite the borough's zoning rules.

“We've taken a real detailed and comprehensive look and essentially have expanded greatly and enhanced the ordinance that you had,” Santoro said.

Council members approved the new rules at their Dec. 10 meeting.

The project to replace section 210 of the Brentwood code and nearly all of the borough's existing zoning regulations, was needed because the borough's previous zoning regulations were “in need of complete replacement,” building inspector Ralph Costa said.

The new regulations worked to meet the “present and future needs of the community,” he said.

Updates included an expanded definition section, Santoro said, to help interpretation and enforcement of the zoning rules.

A comprehensive look was given to the zoning districts.

Seven zoning districts were created, with more properties being added to the R-1 single family district, decreasing those in the R-2 district.

“The R-1 zoning in Brentwood has almost doubled, if not tripled, and that would restrict people ­— or at least be another step for them — before they can go and hack up a house,” Councilman Rich Schubert said. “It would hopefully deter more people from turning a large, beautiful house into a quadplex or duplex or something like that.”

Standards were set for each district.

Other districts include a mixed use neighborhood district, renamed from a C-2 district to increase flexibility for smaller businesses, and commercial development, industrial and park districts.

The borough also has an airport overlay districtbecause of its proximity to the Allegheny County Airport, Santoro said.

Regulations also were reset for screening and landscaping, lighting, fencing, walls and flood plain management. Parking requirements and sign regulations also were updated.

The Brentwood planning commission recommended council's approval of the ordinance on Sept. 19.

“This is probably one of the most important things we as a borough have looked into for a while,” Schubert said.

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

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