2010-02-11 / Front Page

Council Takes First Look At New Ordinances

Initial zoning, subdivision and land ordinances discussed

McConnellsburg Borough Council members got their first look at a new zoning and subdivision and land development ordinances at their regular monthly meeting last Wednesday evening.

Fulton County planner Steve Thomas and Christopher J. Knarr, a community planner with the Camp Hill offices of Rettew, presented the initial drafts of both plans and answered questions for council members.

The new zoning ordinance, when adopted, will replace the borough’s previous zoning ordinance that has been in place since December 1995.

The ordinance calls for four new zoning districts in the borough, and they include downtown, general business, residential and traditional neighborhood.

The downtown zoning district will include the traditional mixed-use (residential and nonresidential development) business area of the borough. The area is located basically between Second and Third streets along the Lincoln Highway.

The general business district is located in the east end of the town and encompasses the shopping and restaurant area as well as a car dealership.

The traditional neighborhood zoning district encompasses certain areas along Second Street and the Lincoln Highway adjacent to the downtown zoning district.

The residential district makes up the remainder of the borough, and that area will be stabilized and protected as a suitable environment for family life.

Council held some discussion on the borough’s current historical district overlay and the fact that the district is not included in the new zoning ordinance. Thomas explained, however, that those properties included in the historic register will remain in the register, but will not be addressed in the ordinance as it is now written.

The proposed subdivision and land development ordinance marks the first ordinance of its kind for the borough. The borough, as well as Brush Creek, Licking Creek, Taylor and Union townships, taken advantage of a county matching grant to have the ordinances prepared by Rettew and the county’s planning office. The ordinance is designed to help Fulton County and its municipalities to implement certain portions of the county’s comprehensive plan as well as the county’s joint comprehensive plan entitled “Moving Fulton Forward.”

According to the plan, it will “provide municipal officials, developers, builders, financial institutions, surveyors, engineers, landscape architects, planners and property owners with an understandable, practical and relevant community development tool.”

The proposed plan will address the administration of the plan, plan processing procedures, information required to be included on or with plans, assurance for completion and maintenance of improvements, supplemental requirements for tests and studies, rural area design standards, urban growth area design standards and mobile home parks, campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks.

Council expects to approve the ordinances at its May meeting.

During other business, council voted to approve the tax exoneration list as presented and to forward the delinquent percapita and occupation tax list to Powell, Rogers & Speaks for collection.

Council members reviewed a letter from the Chamber of Commerce & Tourism regarding the chamber’s Christmas lights. In the letter, the chamber thanked the borough for its Christmas light donation and reported that a number of the wreaths are beyond repair. Although council voted to discontinue its contribution (of $900) for the erection of the lights in 2010, the chamber is planning on asking businesses and individuals to buy new wreaths for next year at a cost of $375 per wreath. Council took no action on the idea.

Council also discussed a letter from the Ayr Township Board of Supervisors stating its intention to withdraw from the Parks and Recreation Commission effective December 31, 2010. Because no reason was given, council asked Jack Fields, borough secretary, to invite the supervisors to the next Borough Council meeting to discuss the issue and to ask them to reconsider their decision. Various municipalities and school districts have joined the commission since its inception in 2005. Under the terms of the intergovernmental agreement, member municipalities are asked to contribute 25 cents per capita to operate the program. Ayr is the first municipality to announce its intention to withdraw from the agreement.

Councilwoman Pat Frazier updated council members on the work being done to apply for Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG) for sidewalk repair and replacement.

During regular business, council approved the payment of January bills in the amount of $12,198.74. Receipts for the same period were $18,176.20 Checks were written for $19,850.44 and the February 1 balance was $51,299.43.

Council members present were Travis Bard, David Washabaugh, Jim Smith, Pat Booth, Pat Frazier, Rick Buterbaugh, Mack Shaffer and Mayor Mike Chilcote.

Borough Council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Fulton House. The next regular meeting is scheduled for March 3, 2010.

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