Archive

Ross commissioners approve ‘mixed-use overlay district’ | TribLIVE.com
North Hills

Ross commissioners approve ‘mixed-use overlay district’

njmixeduse2072717
Submitted
This is an artist's rendering of how it might look to combine housing and businesses on a single 5-acre parcel in Ross.
njmixeduse072717
Submitted
This is an artist's rendering of how it might look to combine housing and businesses on a single 5-acre parcel in Ross.

A measure that could help reshape the McKnight Road corridor in Ross has been approved by the board of commissioners.

In the future, developers will be able to combine housing and businesses on a single, five-acre parcel instead of buildings being limited to commercial uses only.

In addition to allowing developers to blend retail space, offices, restaurants and multi-family housing on a single lot, the so-called “mixed-use overlay district” will require pedestrian walkways to link buildings and the surrounding neighborhood.

Restaurants will be allowed to offer outdoor seating and projects must include bicycle parking and set aside a minimum of 20 percent of the land for open space.

Digital signs, businesses with drive-through lanes and automotive service and filling stations will be prohibited.

To address storm water problems that can occur in developments with large parking lots, the ordinance provides for a “bonus” that will allow developers to add 5-percent more parking if they add storm-water control — rain gardens, green roofs and various other measures to control runoff.

Ross’ likely first mixed-use development — a pair of apartment buildings with retail and office space on the lower floors – will be at the former Northway Elementary School on Brown’s Lane. He said the formula is “the evolution of retail.”

“Mixed-use developments are a national trend,” said Jeff Mills, an attorney representing Akron, Ohio-based LRC Realty. “Placing upscale retail shops, nice restaurants and offices together with housing not only creates a destination for people to visit, it creates an attractive option for the growing number of people who desire those amenities without necessarily having to drive.”

Mills said the planned project is designed to complement LRC’s redevelopment of the former Northway Mall site.

The change’s two most ardent supporters — Commissioners Steve Korbel and Jeremy Shaffer — have said the development tool is a way to plan for the future.

Korbel said the major shift in the retail landscape has resulted in more than a dozen major chains filing for bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2017 or announcing store closings — a strong reason for allowing mixed-use developments.

The McCandless Crossing complex, just north of Ros on McKnight, is a local example of mixed-use development.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or [email protected] or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.