We appreciate and applaud the Harrison Township Planning Commission's refusal to recommend the zoning change from Residential 1 to Business 1 for the Sheetz/CVS development on Freeport Road. The refusal was based on the developer not accommodating the residents' proposal to control traffic and protect the integrity of the neighborhood.
Despite the differences between businesses and residents, it's mutually beneficial to work toward the common goal of a sustainable and vibrant township. Although it is challenging for any community to integrate commercial and residential areas, there is no reason commercial development needs to diminish the quality and safety of residential living.
How the township chooses to respond to these challenges can either make us a better or worse place in which to live. We all must collaboratively seek to do the least harm while maximizing the good with this proposed development. Residential and commercial use can coexist positively, but securing the integrity of the residential neighborhoods is critical if Harrison is to endure as a vibrant and safe community.
As the residents most significantly impacted by the proposed Sheetz/CVS development, we hope the planning commission's decision will encourage the developer to support the residents' recommendations in the upcoming presentation to the Harrison commissioners.
We remain optimistic that the commissioners will assure implementation of our recommendations, which will maintain the integrity of the neighborhood if the development proceeds.
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