Zoning Concerns Presented at LT Meeting

CLEARFIELD – The Lawrence Township Supervisors reviewed several zoning issues at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Greg Martell asked about zoning and subdivision on the Bayer industrial property in Fletcherville that they purchased. Martell said the parcel is currently zoned industrial; however, they’d like to subdivide two small lots that lie between residential properties and to have those re-zoned as residential.

Supervisor Chairman Bill Lawhead pointed out such a zoning change could be considered “spot zoning,” which is illegal. Solicitor James Naddeo confirmed spot zoning is illegal, but the character of the area surrounding the two lots is such that they could be incorporated into the residential zoning without being spot zoning.

Martell said they are doing this in consideration of their neighbors at the Fletcherville site to eliminate the possibility of an industrial operation being located between the homes there.

Lawhead said the situation needs reviewed to be sure they proceed correctly, and suggested the Martells’ contact the Zoning Board.

Zoning Officer Deb Finkbeiner said she’d already contacted Hess & Fisher, Engineers, for clarification on dimensions and zoning for that area. She said the zoning was changed in 2001 and some of the area was already re-zoned residential-urban.

Residents from Long Meadow area of Hyde presented a petition with approximately 40 signatures protesting proposed zoning changes that’ll permit multi-family dwelling units in residential areas. Don Stewart said residents oppose the possibility that multi-family dwelling units may be located in the Long Meadow area, and have concerns on how such will affect the neighborhood and property values.

Lawhead pointed out a public hearing is scheduled for June 30 at 6 p.m. at the municipal building regarding the proposed zoning changes. Naddeo said everyone with input about the zoning proposals should attend the hearing so that their concerns will be on record. He suggested at least one of the signors of the petition attend to present it.

Naddeo also pointed out some properties are deeded with private restriction covenants that can supersede zoning ordinances. It’s up to the property owner, Naddeo added, to determine if any restrictions in perpetuity are contained in a property deed and to follow through with private legal action if any zoning action should interfere with such restrictions.

Randy Powell, of the Township Zoning Board, said there are six zones in the township that are zoned residential-suburban, such as Long Meadow. Of those, he said, only three are suited for multi-family dwellings because of minimum lot size and setback for such facilities. He noted Long Meadow isn’t one of the three locations.

Dr. William Curley, director of Lock Haven University Clearfield campus, presented plans for a trail network on the university property that’ll be open for public use. Curley said a grant proposal has been submitted to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to fund a master site plan for the project.

Maps of the property were presented showing proposed trail locations and additional structures including outdoor classroom facilities, gazebos, and a welcome center. Curley said the estimated cost of the project is $45,000. He asked the supervisors for a letter of support to be included in grant applications. He said he’s also looking for matching funds for the project and noted that Act 13 funds can be used for “greenway” projects.

The supervisors agreed to the letter of support and will consider what funds are available to contribute to the matching funds for the project.

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