Commission to discuss re-zoning of Central Core

Written by Vicky Taylor, Public Opinion Online | Feb 2, 2016 4:29 AM
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(Chambersburg) -- The borough's planning commission will talk Tuesday about more restrictive zoning regulations that could lead to a ban some social establishments in a three-block area of Main Street in the town's Central Core district.

In January, Chambersburg's Planning and Zoning Commission was asked to consider restricting or limiting certain uses along Main Street from King to Washington streets, or at least add an overlay district that would serve the same purpose.

Those could include things like prohibiting social clubs, pool halls, arcades and other types of similar businesses.

The Central Core zoning district encompasses a roughly six-square-block area downtown and is one of the borough's least restrictive zoning districts, allowing all uses permitted in the Distributed Commercial Highway zoning district as well as all uses permitted in the Low Density Residential and Moderate Density Residential zoning districts.

The borough's Comprehensive Plan does include, however, a land use strategy to amend the Central Core zoning regulations to prohibit residential uses on first floor. It also includes a strategy to amend the regulations to prohibit social clubs, pool halls, arcades and other inconsistent land uses.

The planning commission may discuss these strategies tonight, as well as others that would limit land uses in the downtown area, Borough Land Use and Development Director Phil Wolgemuth said.

Commissioners could also talk about creating an overlay district for that three-block area of Main Street, Wolgemuth said.

An overlay district is a regulatory tool that creates a special zoning district, placed over the existing base zone, which identifies special provisions in addition to those in the underlying base zone.

"In this case, if the commission chose to alter uses permitted in the Central Core zoning district, they may employ an overlay district that would impact only a certain portion of the district," Wolgemuth said.

For example, the overlay district might only impact the area encompassing Main Street from King Street to Washington Street, with the remaining area in the Central Core zoning district, the underlying base zone, not impacted by the provisions of the overlay district.

The borough created a similar overlay district around Chambersburg Hospital a number of years ago to permit Summit Health to use residential properties it had bought, or was thinking of buying, for medical-related purposes.

*This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and Public Opinion Online.

Published in Adams County, News

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