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North Huntingdon zones could be reconfigured

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

North Huntingdon commissioners and planning leaders will meet together next month to discuss the township's zoning overhaul.

Planning commission members are working to revamp the 1991 zoning map, township planning director Andy Blenko said, and they're looking for input from commissioners.

In particular, Blenko said, planners have been discussing the depth of the commercial corridor along the western end of the township, which abuts Allegheny County.

“Should we be pushing commercial development towards that end of the township? Certainly Norwin Towne Square will help a lot — that will give a boost to that end of the township.”

Work is under way for redevelopment of Norwin Towne Square, a 1950s-era plaza that commissioners last year deemed blighted and deteriorated.

Plans include a grocery store and a car dealership, both slated for completion this year.

The decades-old zoning map lists a somewhat arbitrary corridor, some of which coincides with property lines, Blenko said.

That means the map indicates a strip of commercial land, then leaves the rest residential.

That has caused problems, he said, because people may approach the township with a site plan but be unsure about whether a property is zoned commercial or residential.

“You end up with the applicant's engineers trying to measure from a map,” Blenko said. “It's difficult to administer.”

The map now lists a commercial corridor of about 300 to 350 feet along the township's western end. If a developer wants to build something big there, that might not be enough space, Blenko said.

The special meeting between planning commission and commissioners is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 14 at the townhouse, prior to the commissioners regularly scheduled 7 p.m. meeting.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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