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Proposed zoning changes could spur large scale development

The commissioners in Lower Allen Township, Pennsylvania are currently considering some proposed changes in zoning laws that could result in the establishment of a main street-style large development in the midst of the rural area. A major developer headquartered in Lancaster wants to build a development that will constitute a town center with many of the amenities of an urban neighborhood. They would build it on approximately 250 acres of land in the general area of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and Arcona, Lisburn, and Rossmoyne roads.

Current zoning in the area, however, needs to be significantly altered before such a development is sanctioned in what is now called the Traditional Neighborhood Development Overlay District. That zoning classification was sanctioned by township authorities approximately 4-5 years ago. While the type of development contemplated is just what the township had in mind, the text of the zoning ordinance would need to be modified to approve the particulars of this project.

The development will incorporate retail stores, as well as commercial properties and residential units. Some of the needed changes have been characterized as merely "tweaking" the language of the zoning law. Despite this, some local residents spoke about various concerns about the particulars of the proposed development, pointing to the fact that a detailed land development plan has not yet been revealed. One major change noted was an alteration in open space requirements from 35 percent to 15 percent.

Those expressing concern wondered what the impact on the area would be with the larger number of people and increased traffic likely to accompany the project. Conservation issues were also raised as possibly troubling, along with the possibility that blasting required during the construction process might damage residential wells in the area.

Before entering into business dealing that include similar plans for such a development, it is advised that you seek experienced legal counsel well versed in zoning law. This will help with the approval process and can prevent costly delays.

Source:  Pennlive.com, "Lower Allen Township commissioners weigh zoning changes that could allow large neighborhood-style development" Roger Quigley, Jun. 10, 2013

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