EDITORIAL: There's a reason for zoning

York Dispatch

If you look at the zoning map for Springettsbury Township, you'll see a nice hue, between yellow and orange, that signifies a neighborhood commercial use.

And there's a nice stretch of it along East Market Street and on Mount Zion Road.

It's a break between a residential area and a commercial highway area, distinct from a mixed-use area, definitely not industrial — a space that confirms, yes, there shouldn't be a lot of houses along those roads, but there shouldn't be a dense commercial area either.

It's an in-between zone.

There is some amount of development going on there now. The old fire station was torn down, and a shopping plaza is being built. In recent years, a Rite Aid and a few restaurants have moved into the area across the street from the Modernaire Motel and a home that's more than 100 years old.

Last month, developer Spring Lane LLC presented a plan to the Springettsbury Township Board of Supervisors to rezone 12.5 acres on the northeast corner of East Market Street and Mount Zion Road so it can build a new shopping area.

The plan includes tearing down the Modernaire and the Bloomingdale house

Let's be reasonable. There are really enough places to shop in Springettsbury Township as it is.

In fact, there might be too many.

During our last stroll through the York Galleria, there were a number of empty stores. There's the Stonybrook center nearby, also clamoring for more businesses.

Did we mention the new center being built just down the street, where the fire hall used to stand?

Spring Lane wants to tear down the Modernaire and the Bloomingdale house, which was built in 1905, and in their place put up a center with a Lidl grocery store and potentially other stores.

A number of residents turned out Thursday night to tell the supervisors that they don't want the new center. They cited a number of reasons, including traffic concerns, not wanting to remove a historic landmark in the Bloomingdale house, wanting to keep a sound barrier in the trees surrounding the properties, the sense of community and depreciated values for their homes.

One concern stuck out: spot zoning.

There's a reason for a zoning plan. If there's a plan and a map, everyone knows what sort of area they're moving into. You can buy a house knowing that, yes, there's a busy road, but there won't be a grocery story, or worse, an empty shopping center, abutting your property.

Stick with the plan, supervisors. There's no good reason to change it here.