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York County planners: Rezoning a bad idea in Springettsbury

Township leaders propose 'concept' for development of Mount Zion Road area

Blanda Nace, a Springettsbury supervisor, talks about a rezoning plan at Tuesday's York County planning meeting. - (Photo / Dave O'Connor)

A short, traffic-packed stretch of Mount Zion Road just east of York features a sign in just about every resident’s front yard.

“NO RE-ZONE!” the signs read, a declaration of residents’ opposition to a Springettsbury Township rezoning plan that would, say neighbors, bring even more traffic to their already crowded area.

Township leaders say the rezoning plan is more a concept designed simply to gather feedback and responses from residents and the York County Planning Commission.

On Tuesday, the county commission, an advisory board, urged Springettsbury Township leaders not to go ahead with the rezoning plan.

The plan itself suggests rezoning 25 parcels of land for “commercial highway” uses and create an additional “town center overlay” district, which provides for alternative development options, on a total of 66 properties.

The entire plan covers 40 acres in the area of Mount Zion (Route 24) and East Market Street (Route 462), just south of Route 30’s Mount Zion Road exit.

Tuesday’s unanimous vote by the Planning Commission board was just a recommendation, officials at the commission meeting said.

The final vote is up to the Springettsbury supervisors, who will resume a public hearing on the plan Thursday, Aug. 25, starting at 6 p.m. The supervisors could vote on the issue that night or at a future meeting, township officials said.

York County planning officials have a range of concerns with Springettsbury’s plan, York County senior planner Michael Shaffer said after Tuesday’s meeting.

The new proposal isn’t consistent with Springettsbury’s comprehensive plan – a road map that charts future land uses, they said. In addition, the town center concept emphasizes a “pedestrian-friendly design, and the East Market/Mount Zion Road corridor is extremely heavily traveled,” so the new proposal raises safety concerns, Shaffer said.

Rezoning the land for commercial highway uses would not be compatible with nearby land uses and would cause at least one property, the existing Springetts Apartments, to fall out of compliance with the new zoning, Shaffer pointed out.

One resident on hand Tuesday, Lisa Shahid of 73 Mount Zion Road, doesn’t want to see more development in her area: “It’s hard to get out of (your driveway) now, and we’re only occasionally dealing with people pulling out of their driveway. Could you imagine a shopping center, where they’re constantly going out, and what that would do?”

But Springettsbury Township’s top planning official emphasized today that the township-proposed rezoning is just a concept, designed to gather input from residents and county planning officials.

“And all of that information, combined, is going to tell the supervisors whether this is something they should move forward with or go back to the drawing board,” said Jessica Fieldhouse, township director of community development.

The area is just east of a busy commercial stretch of East Market Street/462. Springettsbury leaders say they want to study how best to develop the Mount Zion Road/462 area now, instead of when a major development proposal comes in. 

CPBJ Staff
Contact the Editorial Department at [email protected]

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