Hempfield attempts zoning revisions
By Richard Gazarik
Published: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Hempfield has revised a zoning ordinance and map that was shelved in 2012 after attempts to kill the measure backfired, forcing the supervisors to continue their efforts to update the outdated code used since 1978.
The planning commission Wednesday displayed a new map of the township that again creates 11 zoning districts. They are:
• Rural, suburban, corridor, residential and village residential.
• Neighborhood, local and regional commercial.
• Industrial, light and heavy industrial.
The board of supervisors will vote Feb. 4 on whether to adopt the proposed code if the planning commission accepts the plan, said Joan Shaver, a six-year member of the task force.
“All in all, I'm not 100 percent happy, but none of us are,” Shaver said. “But it's a compromise. We've done as much as we possibly can. No one's going to be 100 percent happy, but it's fair and equitable. It's been a balancing act the whole way through.”
Shaver said most criticism of the code last year concerned the zoning map, which has been improved.
“Most of the criticism was about the map. There were few arguments about the code,” she added.
Board President Doug Weimer said the supervisors addressed the complaints that were raised last year.
“I feel this is the best document we can present,” he said. “The new zoning standards are in a clear and easy format. This document is as complete as it possibly can be.”
The law has been amended a number of times since 1978, but some of its regulations are outdated.
A year ago, the supervisors inadvertently voted to continue revamping the zoning code after one supervisor mistakenly voted to keep the process alive because of confusion over the wording of a motion.
Some residents opposed the original plan, arguing that it infringed on property rights and could harm small businesses. At the time, several property owners complained that they had purchased land in the township for business ventures only to learn the proposed changes put their land in a different zoning category.
The agricultural district is designed to preserve remaining farmland as well as adjoining property that is undeveloped or sparsely populated, according to the revision.
One district likely to grow is the rural residential district, which allows single-family homes and family farms. The code warns that with the installation of sewerage in these developing areas, “significant growth pressures are likely to follow.”
• Suburban districts are designed for single-family homes on smaller lots, while a corridor district permits multi-family homes such as apartments and townhouses.
• Village residential is designed to deal with former coal towns such as Bovard and Crabtree, which are among the oldest communities in Hempfield.
• A neighborhood commercial zone would allow shopping centers near residential areas and small businesses instead of superstores and large shopping and strip malls. Local commercial districts would include auto dealerships, restaurants and strip malls.
• Regional commercial district would allow large-scale businesses ranging from 10,000 to 75,000 square feet.
• Light industrial would include technology-oriented businesses.
• Heavy industrial zone would include heavy manufacturing companies, truck terminals and warehouse and distribution hubs that are located near major highways.
• Institutional districts are designed for colleges and universities. The township has three colleges within its boundaries: branches of Pitt and Carlow and Westmoreland County Community College.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Husband to stand trial in Derry middle school teacher’s murder
- 4 Franklin Regional students remain hospitalized for stab wounds
- Youngwood woman charged with selling heroin in Greensburg hospital
- Failed inspection could make Jeannette flood-control project more costly
- Westmoreland County shared ride program sees drop in usage
- Mt. Pleasant to save with energy-efficient lighting
- Latrobe couple charged with shoving guard, stealing from Wal-Mart
- Scottdale center to host tribute to singing legends
- Juvenile prisoners present issues for jails
- Lt. governor to speak at Westmoreland County GOP’s Reagan dinner
- Norvelt man’s art on display at Seton Hill University’s gallery