Springettsbury Twp. moving forward with rezoning proposal
Springettsbury Township officials are moving ahead with the latest proposal to rezone an area near the intersection of Mount Zion Road and East Market Street.
After a joint meeting with the zoning hearing board Thursday night, the board of supervisors unanimously voted to advertise a plan to rezone 13 parcels from neighborhood commercial to mixed use with a town center overlay.
The proposal, which was brought to the board by the township planning commission, will be sent to the York County Planning Commission for review and will be available for public inspection at the township building.
A public discussion on the proposal will be held next month, after the York County Planning Commission has viewed it.
Jessica Fieldhouse, director of community outreach for Springettsbury Township, said the proposed rezoning will allow a greater number of retail services in the location.
Fieldhouse introduced the planning commission's proposal to the crowd Thursday.
"Mixed use will give market forces the opportunity to see what will work there," she said during the meeting.
Meeting: The goal of Thursday's meeting was to bring both the planning commission and the board of supervisors together to make sure each understood the plans, Fieldhouse said. The township board of supervisors requested the joint meeting to better understand the proposal.
After rejecting an ordinance last year to rezone a larger area from neighborhood commercial to highway commercial, the board asked the planning commission to come up with another proposition for the area.
After the commission proposed the plan, the board decided to hold a joint meeting for the public to discuss the proposal. About 15 residents showed up to the meeting.
Holly Hoover, of Springettsbury Township, said she was there because her home, located near the proposed rezoning area, would be affected by the change.
"I've been following this closely," she said.
Hoover said she plans to sell her home in the next two to three years, and the proposed rezoning could affect her property value, depending on what could be built nearby.
"I'm worried about my market value," she said.
Hoover's home was included in a previous proposal that was voted down in August.
The background: In December 2015, the township supervisors denied Spring Lane LLC's proposal to rezone 12.5 acres on the northeast corner of East Market Street and Mount Zion Road.
The board's actions were in line with what the York County Planning Commission had recommended.
The developer's plan involved the demolition of 12 parcels, including the Modernaire Motel and Bloomingdale house, and the construction of a shopping center in their place.
The rezoning would have applied the commercial highway zoning designation to the area with a town center overlay, he said. That combination is "much more regulated" than other types of zoning, requiring the developer to leave a certain amount of green space and make the area friendly to pedestrians, Supervisor Chairman Mark Swomley said at the time.
In January 2016, the board asked the planning commission to go back and look at the area as a way to better plan what could be done there.
A second proposal was generated by the commission.
That proposal called for rezoning 40 acres of land — separated into 23 parcels already encompassed by the town center overlay or by developing the same area into a town center for shopping — into what is referred to as commercial highway. The town center overlay would be expanded by adding up to 41 adjacent parcels, according to the proposal.
The York County Planning Commission recommended against that rezoning plan, saying it would conflict with the pre-existing future land use section of the township's comprehensive plan for developing a town center in that same area and would impact the zoning designations of surrounding residential and commercial areas by making them nonconforming with their present zoning designations.
Furthermore, it would be unsafe, the planning commission report said.
On Aug. 25, the township board held a public meeting to discuss it, after which the members voted against the proposed rezoning.
The new proposal will be discussed at a public hearing Feb. 23, at which time the the board could potentially vote to rezone.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at@YDDornblaser.