The waiting zone

Commercial rezoning proposal on hold pending residential approval

Submitted to Times Observer The area in Conewango Township near the intersection of Market Street and Jackson Run Road that is being recommended for rezoning from residential to business. A total of eight properties are being recommended for rezoning.

Commercial development may be coming to Conewango Township near the intersection of Market Street and Jackson Run Road, but what and when is still up in the air.

The Warren County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a request for rezoning of eight properties during a meeting on Tuesday. The request would change the current zoning of Residential 2 to Business B.

Owners of six of the eight properties signed forms of written authorization for the rezoning, according to David Kell, ERA Real Estate agent, who submitted the rezoning request.

Tuesday’s approval by the commission is contingent on Kell obtaining written authorization from the remaining two properties. “This could be back before this board in October if that doesn’t happen,” Commission Chairman Paul Pascuzzi said.

The six properties signed on for potential development include 121, 123, 125, 127 and 129 Jackson Run Road and 2 Railroad Street. Kell is still seeking approval from owners on Vine Street.

Kell told those in attendance that he has been working on this commercial development project for more than a year. He added that none of the properties involved in the rezoning request are on the open market for sale.

As several questions were posed to the commission from those in attendance, a local resident asked if a 7-Eleven built in the area would devalue neighboring properties. The question led to some discussion of buffer zones but no confirmation of that specific business.

Kell denied that a 7-Eleven was being considered for the area. “They haven’t contacted me,” he said. He also chose not to elaborate on what business may be considering coming to the location. “It’s early in the process at this point,” he said. “I have someone interested in developing but until it’s rezoned, they haven’t even made an offer yet.”

Tuesday’s approval by the planning commission is a recommendation that, with signatures from all eight property owners, would then move to the county commissioners for a decision.

“The county commissioners would open it up to a public hearing,” Pascuzzi said. “Then they would make the decision.”

“We’re looking at possibly 16 weeks before it could go to a public hearing,” said Zoning Officer Michael Lyon.

Notification of the public hearing would be published in the newspaper and property owners within 300 feet of the area included in the zoning change would be notified of the hearing, according to Lyon.