Any rezoning should wait until the city looks at implementing recommendations from a Route 18 North Corridor study, officials said.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- City commissioners shelved a request to rezone land along North Hermitage Road for commercial use and instead asked the city planning commission to develop a "mixed use" zoning for that area.
The request for rezoning 32 acres on the west side of Hermitage Road (Pa. Route 18) just north of the D'Onofrio Food Center at 1749 N. Hermitage Road came from the property owners, Joe, Sal, August and Angela D'Onofrio and Maria Buzzio.
The land, which is vacant, was zoned as a planned technical park years ago but never attracted development. The request for a highway commercial designation would open it to just about any type of commercial development.
City Manager Gary Hinkson asked commissioners if they wanted to introduce the D'Onofrio request as a new ordinance at Wednesday's meeting, but the board declined.
Commissioner Larry Gurrera said the board had decided at a work session last week that effort should be made to contact homeowners on the east side of North Hermitage Road in the project area to gauge their opinion.
Hinkson said that he recalled that most of them wanted their land to be rezoned as commercial about a year ago but that a Route 18 North Corridor Study came up with a proposal to rezone the area as a "mixed use" designation.
The idea was to form a buffer zone between any commercial development along North Hermitage Road and nearby residential property, he said.
That study was done nearly a year ago, but the city still has no "mixed use" zoning, said Marcia Hirschmann, director of planning and zoning.
The corridor study suggested that a "mixed use" zone be developed as a transitional district to accommodate commercial retail, office, medical, medical support and similar uses. However, the city never took any action on that suggestion.
Gurrera said the matter should be handed over to the city planning commission to come up with formal recommendations for a "mixed use" zone and the other commissioners agreed.