Unity supervisors to update township’s zoning ordinance
Unity supervisors plan to update the township’s zoning ordinance to include bed and breakfasts, and institute changes for electronic billboards and gas stations.
Supervisors approved advertising the proposed amendments during their meeting last week. The planning commission will review the proposal before a public hearing scheduled for May 18.
“The changes keep all of our residents in mind and any concerns they may have,” said Supervisor Mike O’Barto.
Solicitor Gary Falatovich said during the meeting that bed and breakfasts would be allowed in agricultural, residential and village residential, or R3, zoning districts.
“There’s been discussion of other municipalities adjoining the township regarding the permission of those uses,” he said.
In Ligonier Township, owners of Foxley Farm have been involved in a legal dispute with officials and neighbors about the use of their 56-acre farm. In June, they were denied permission by township supervisors to operate a bed and breakfast and social recreational club.
Another proposed amendment would modify the definition of convenience stores and gas stations, adding a new definition for convenience stores with accessory gas fueling islands, Falatovich said.
Stations with fueling islands would not be allowed in B2, or community commercial, zoning districts and would be a conditional use in B3 regional commercial, IAP institutional airpark and M1 manufacturing zones.
In October 2013, Enon, Ohio-based Speedway LLC proposed a plan for commercial diesel pumps that was withdrawn because of concerns from neighbors. Officials in June proposed another gas station for a vacant 4.2-acre lot zoned B2 community commercial at the corner of Route 30 and Village Drive near the Inn at Mt. View. The 24/7 operation with 16 gas pumps also was denied, challenged by the company with an appeal to Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas.
O’Barto would not comment on whether the amendment was directly related to the requests.
“With these changes, whether it’s Sheetz or Speedway, there’s certain things they can do in certain areas,” he said.
The third proposed amendment would revise electronic billboard and sign requirements.
Falatovich said the changes would clarify some confusing language and redefine sign types.
The size requirements for existing billboards will remain the same, but the amendments would permit electronic elements to the face of the sign, he said.
If approved, flashing and motion will be limited to 30 seconds for billboards, while business identification marquees will be allowed to change every 10 seconds, Falatovich said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.